USDA expects U.S. grain stockpiles to remain ample at the end of the 2009-2010 marketing year as production of corn and wheat keeps pace with demand.

In supply/demand projections released at its Annual Outlook Forum in Washington D.C., USDA pegged U.S. corn ending stocks for 2009-2010 at 1.720 billion bushels, down only 70 million bushels from this year’s projected carryout, and pegged 2009-2010 wheat ending stocks at 664 million bushels, up 9 million bushels from than this year.

USDA sees U.S. corn production rising to 12.365 billion bushels this year on planted acreage of 86 million and a trend-line yield of 156.9 bu./acre.

The larger crop is expected to offset a 13.9% increase in corn usage for ethanol production, which is pegged at 4.1 billion bushels for 2009-2010 vs. 3.6 billion for this year. USDA also sees exports rebounding modestly to 1.850 billion bushels from this year’s projected exports of 1.750 billion.

USDA forecasts U.S. wheat production will drop by 280 million bushels to 2.12 billion bushels this year due to lower plantings. Total U.S. wheat seedings are forecast at 58 million acres, down from 63.1 million in 2008-09.

However, USDA also sees wheat demand weakening again next year.

U.S. wheat exports for 2009-2010 are projected to be only 950 million bushels, compared with a projected 1 billion bushels for 2008-2009. Food/seed/industrial wheat usage is forecast to rise only 6 million bushels, while feed/residual usage is expected to drop by 20 million bushels.

Editor’s note: Richard Brock, Corn & Soybean Digest's marketing editor, is president of Brock Associates, a farm market advisory firm, and publisher of The Brock Report.