WASHINGTON – Feed grain production for 2010/11 is estimated at 330.0 million tons, down 2.2 million from last month as lower corn production more than offsets an increase in sorghum output, according to the most recent Feed Outlook study from the US Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service. Projected 2010/11 corn ending stocks are lowered 86 million bushels as a small increase in imports only partly offsets the lower production estimate.

Ending stocks, at 5.5% of projected usage, would be their lowest since 1994/95. Projected season average prices are raised for corn, sorghum and oats. Dec. 1 hay stocks per roughage-consuming animal unit (RCAU) are down from last year, but silage production per RCAU is up as the decline in RCAUs outpaces that for silage.

US and foreign 2010/11 coarse grain production and ending stocks are reduced this month. Forecast world coarse grain ending stocks for 2010/11 are down 20% from the previous year and are lower than in 18 of the previous 20 years.

US feed grain supplies for 2010/11 are forecast at 380.3 million metric tons, down 2 million from last month and down 17.5 million from last year. The 2010 corn crop is estimated lower this month, but the sorghum crop is higher. Barley and oats production are unchanged. Imports are raised slightly to 2.1 million tons, reflecting an increase in corn imports. Beginning stocks are unchanged at 48.1 million tons.

Total feed grain use is projected slightly higher at 357.7 million tons this month. Domestic use of the four feed grains is raised 0.4 million tons this month to 304.1 million. This increase is the result of higher projected feed and residual use for sorghum.

US corn production for 2010/11 is decreased 93 million bushels this month to 12,447 million bushels. This month’s decrease reflects a decrease in the average corn yield, down 1.5 bushels per acre to 152.8 bushels per acre. The decrease in yield outweighs an 183,000-acre increase in harvested area to 81.4 million acres.

Projected feed and residual use is lowered 100 million bushels to 5,200 million, reflecting lower-than-expected September-November disappearance as indicated by Dec. 1 stocks. September-November corn food, seed, and industrial use was higher than the same months last year, partly reflecting increased use for sweeteners and starch. Corn used for high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in September-November 2010 was 126.2 million bushels, up from 119.1 million bushels during the same months in 2009.

Corn used for fuel alcohol production from September-November 2010 is estimated at 1,218 million bushels, up from 1,058 million in the same period last year. Record ethanol production in December indicated by The US Energy Information Administration’s weekly data boosted first quarter corn use and resulted in a marketing year increase of corn used for fuel by 100 million bushels to 4,900 million. As the industry approaches the blend wall, exports of ethanol have strengthened during 2010, providing an additional outlet for US production.