NCGA and USDA Economist Optimistic on Corn Supply and Demand

At a biofuels conference, the National Corn Growers Association and USDA Chief Economist Keith Collins look ahead at the corn market's direction.

The corn and ethanol industries can reasonably aim to produce 15 billion bushels of corn and 15 billion gallons of ethanol by 2015, National Corn Growers Association CEO Rick Tolman said at the Farm Foundation's "Biofuels: Food & Feed Tradeoffs" conference in St. Louis last week.

Tolman is optimistic that corn supply can meet ethanol production's growing demands without causing a large increase in food and feed prices.

USDA Chief Economist Keith Collins also spoke, giving his "Status Report on the Biofuels Industry." Collins says USDA expects 2007/08 corn carryout to top 1 billion bushels. USDA projects ethanol use of 3.25 billion bushels of corn, feed use of 5.85 billion bushels and exports of 2 billion bushels in 2007/2008. Collins said feeders are already substituting more feed wheat for corn and that led the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates board to reduce corn feed use on the April report.

"I think the needs of the (corn) market will be readily met," Collins says.

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