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More corn going into fuel than livestock feed

More corn will go into U.S. gas tanks in the coming year than will feed U.S. livestock and poultry, according to USDA figures released last week.

Amid cuts to yield estimates for corn and soybeans, the USDA’s Crop Production and Supply/Demand Report projects that ethanol plants will use 200 million more bushels of corn than animals will eat.

“That’s a first-time-ever type of change,” said Ron Plain, an economist for the University of Missouri’s Extension Service. “For forever, feed was the largest single use of corn.”



He noted that sustained high corn prices resulted in a lot of red ink for livestock producers, forcing many to shrink their livestock and poultry numbers, to reduce costs and to get a better price.

“Critters have to eat, so many farms will have to downsize and that is reflected in the reduced forecast for meat production next year,” Plain said. “You have to go back to 1995 to find a smaller amount of corn to be fed to livestock in the U.S. That is going to make things tough for the livestock and poultry industries.”



More corn will go into U.S. gas tanks in the coming year than will feed U.S. livestock and poultry, according to USDA figures released last week.

Amid cuts to yield estimates for corn and soybeans, the USDA’s Crop Production and Supply/Demand Report projects that ethanol plants will use 200 million more bushels of corn than animals will eat.

“That’s a first-time-ever type of change,” said Ron Plain, an economist for the University of Missouri’s Extension Service. “For forever, feed was the largest single use of corn.”

He noted that sustained high corn prices resulted in a lot of red ink for livestock producers, forcing many to shrink their livestock and poultry numbers, to reduce costs and to get a better price.

“Critters have to eat, so many farms will have to downsize and that is reflected in the reduced forecast for meat production next year,” Plain said. “You have to go back to 1995 to find a smaller amount of corn to be fed to livestock in the U.S. That is going to make things tough for the livestock and poultry industries.”


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