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Home » Agriculture, Business News/Analysis, Farming/Growing, Federal Agency, Field Crops, Infrastructure, Opinions, Policy, Sustainability

Enough Corn? USDA Says “Abundantly so”, Forecasting Record 2012 Harvest

Submitted by on May 21, 2012 – 7:07 pmNo Comment

by Jim Lane (Biofuels Digest) …The first World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates for 2012, from the US Department of Agriculture, give us an opportunity to review that debate.

Let’s go back 10 years ago, before the first Renewable Fuel Standard was passed, when there was 1.1 billion bushels of corn used for ethanol. Then, we’ll look at 2007-08, five years atom, when RFS had been implemented and RFS2 was on the way. And, we’ll look at the WASDE forecasts now available for the 2012/13 season.

The RFA’s Geoff Cooper reports, “USDA released its first estimate of the 2012/2013 corn crop size and it is a big one.  According to this estimate, USDA is projecting record US corn production of 14.79 billion bushels – up 1.7 billion bushels from the previous record of 13.09 billion bushels in 2009. USDA is also projecting corn for ethanol use to be 5 billion bushels for the marketing year running from September 1, 2012 to August 31, 2013. ”

…Based on USDA’s forecast, the corn available for other uses, such as export and the feed markets (which is how field corn plays into the food market, as field corn is not used for human consumption) will have increased 31 percent during the corn ethanol era.

Let’s put this in terms of corn available for other uses, per US resident. In 2002 the population stood at 287 million, and there was 30.4 bushels of corn – that’s 1706 pounds – available per US resident for all other purposes besides corn ethanol.

Where is that today, after a decade of negative press on food vs fuel? The 2012 population stands at 313, and there are expected to be 36.6 bushels of corn – that 2050 pounds, available per US resident for all other purposes besides corn ethanol.  READ MORE

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