Department of Agriculture production

forecast indicates stronger exports


WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service released a corrected U.S. Crop Production report Oct. 28.

Supply and demand

The department also issued an abbreviated global supply and demand report to reflect the revisions and is now projecting the 2008/2009 corn harvest at 12.03 billion bushels, down 167 million bushels from the Oct. 10 forecast.

Feed and residual use is projected 50 million bushels lower at 5.30 billion bushels.

The department reported sorghum production is projected up 8 million bushels from the Oct. 10 forecast to 472 million bushels. Sorghum feed and residual use is raised 10 million bushels with increased supplies.

While tighter supplies pushed corn exports forecast down 50 million bushels to 1.95 billion bushels, Ken Hobbie, U.S. Grains Council president and chief executive officer, said he anticipates sorghum exports to increase as well as distiller’s dried grains with soluble, a co-product of ethanol.

“The council will continue engaging in market development efforts for U.S. sorghum. A lot of education and technical training pertaining to the feeding of U.S. sorghum is needed and we will do what we do best and get the job done for U.S. sorghum growers,” Hobbie said, adding the U.S. normally exports about half the total sorghum crop.


Sorghum is typically grown in Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Illinois and can be shipped out of Texas or the Mississippi Gulf.

Hobbie said export customers need not worry about U.S. farmers’ ability to respond to global demand.

“The council has worked vigorously to educate end-users on how to effectively feed U.S. sorghum and distiller’s grains and those efforts will result in increased demand for these feed grains. I anticipate the tighter supplies of U.S. corn translate into greater quantities staying in the domestic marketplace for feed, food and fuel. This will mean more distiller’s grains available for overseas livestock industries,” Hobbie said.

“Distiller’s dried grains with solubles and its value in all types of animal rations show U.S. grain producers have the capacity and the capability to produce for both food and fuel.”

He noted if the 4 million tons of distiller’s dried grains with solubles exported from the U.S. this year were divided equally between all the major livestock food sectors, it would produce 331,000 metric tons of chicken, nearly 5 billion eggs, almost 86,000 tons of beef, 1.8 million tons of milk and 205,000 tons of pork.

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