U.S. corn production is raised to 15,115 million bushels—a 7 percent increase from 2020/21 production. Total corn use is projected to be slightly higher than the USDA’s December World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report, with higher domestic use more-than offsetting lower exports. Corn ending stocks in 2021/22 are projected to be higher than the December WASDE report, but the season-average farm price is forecast to remain unchanged at $5.45 per bushel.
Foreign corn production is reduced this month, with several partly offsetting changes. Ukrainian corn production and exports are boosted. Corn output in Brazil, and to a lesser extent in Argentina, is projected lower. However, these reductions are not expected to affect these countries’ export potential.
Corn exports for both Brazil and Argentina are projected higher this month. Projected U.S. corn exports for 2021/22 are reduced this month (despite higher projected output), due to increased competition from all three of its competitor countries—Brazil, Argentina, and Ukraine—combined with strong U.S. domestic demand for ethanol that is expected to pull corn away from exports.
The USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) released updated cost and returns data for U.S. sorghum production in 2019 and 2020, based on updated survey data. Returns to growing sorghum have been relatively strong, particularly in 2020. Returns and the cost structure for producing sorghum could be important for future planting decisions for sorghum—relative to wheat, corn, and cotton, which are generally grown in the same regions of the country.
Domestic Outlook: Second-Largest U.S. Corn Crop Boosts Supplies for 2021/22
The USDA’s January World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report projects higher supplies in the U.S. corn market, along with slightly higher use. On January 12, 2022, the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released its Crop Production 2021 Summary report and the latest Grain Stocks report, with inventory data through December 1, 2021. Based on the data from the NASS reports, the January 2022 WASDE report projects total corn supplies for 2021/22 at 16,375 million bushels—52-million-bushels higher than the December projection. The change from the December WASDE report is primarily due to changes in the outlook for production, with a minor 1-million bushel adjustment to September 1 corn stocks.
The 2021/22 U.S. corn crop is projected to total 15,115 million bushels—a 53-million-bushel increase from the December projection. Larger production is due to higher projected area harvested—increasing from 85.1 million acres harvested in the December forecast to 85.4 million acres in January. The national yield for the crop remains unchanged at 177.0 bushels per acre. The 2021/22 corn crop represents a record yield (compared with the previous record of 176.6 bushels per acre in 2017/18) and the second-largest corn crop on record (behind the 2016/17 production of 15,148 million bushels).