U.S. corn production for 2009-10 is projected at 12.1 billion bushels, down 11 million bushels from 2008-09 as lower plantings more than offset higher expected yields.

In its May 12 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates, USDA projects yield is at 155.4 bushels per acre, 1.5 bushels below the 1990-2008 trend based on the slow pace of planting in the eastern Corn Belt.

USDA is projecting a 350-million bushel increase in ethanol use, at 4.1 billion bushels, reflecting the rising federal biofuels mandate and improved blending incentives. Corn exports are projected up 9 percent.

U.S. corn ending stocks for 2009-10 are projected down 28 percent to 1.1 billion bushels. The season-average farm price is projected at $3.70 to $4.50 per bushel.

World corn ending stocks are projected at 128.2 million tons, down 8 percent from 2008-09.

e-mail: erobinson@farmpress.com