The Department of Agriculture projects higher corn ending stocks, which would be the second largest on record behind 2016/17, in this month’s World Agriculture Supply and Demand report.

USDA’s National Agriculture Statistics Service is forecasting corn ending stocks at 2.48 billion bushels 2019-20. This number is slightly higher than last year’s 2.09 billion. The department has the corn crop pegged at 15 billion bushels, up from last year’s 14.4 billion-bushel estimate.

Statisticians projected corn yields at 176 bushels-per-acre based on normal planting conditions. Market traders were perplexed USDA chose to leave corn yields steady.

“They’ve [usually] been aggressive in adjusting corn yields based on planting progress,” Allendale’s Rich Nelson said. “In fact, they have moved them in the past 13 to 20 years.” He said the planting number today is the second lowest in the past 20 years.

Beginning stocks are down from a year ago but corn supplies are forecast at a record high of 17.2 billion bushels. However, use is projected to rise 50 million bushels to 7 billion and exports are expected to decline 25 million in 2019/20 due to larger corn trade.

Nelson also noted he was surprised to see USDA drop corn-use for ethanol down 50 million bushels but not change the export numbers.

Ending stocks for 2019/20 soybeans are expected to fall 25 million to 970 million bushels from the revised 2018/19 forecast. The soybean crop is projected to drop 394 million bushels to 4.15 billion. Last year, producers yielded a record 4.54 billion bushels.

This year’s soybean crush is projected at 2.1 billion bushels, higher than the 2018/19 forecast. Exports are forecast 1.95 billion, which is up 175 million from last year's shipments.

U.S. wheat supplies are increased by 41 million bushels year to year due to higher carry-in stocks and larger production. America’s wheat crop is projected at 1.89 million bushels, which is up less than one percent from a year ago. Acre projections moved up slightly to 48.6 bushels per acre.

Total domestic use is up five percent and exports are projected at 900 million bushels, down 25 million from the revised 2018/2019 exports.

“I was surprised about USDA cutting exports as well as many of other factors for old crop numbers,” Nelson said. He noted Allendale estimates were on pace with April export numbers.

Ending stocks are projected 14 million bushels higher than last year at 1.1 billion.

U.S. winter wheat production is forecast 7 percent higher than last year, at 1.27 billion bushels, according to USDA’s Crop Production Report.

Nelson added traders weren’t too excited about Friday's report because the next the June Acreage report will adjust planted acres, and some argue acres too wet to plant haven’t been taken into account.

For more news, go to