U.S. corn production for 2011-2012 is forecast 556 million bushels lower than previous estimates, with a reduction in harvested area and lower expected yields, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates.

The national average yield is forecast at 153 bushels per acre, down 5.7 bushels from July's projection as unusually high temperatures and below-average precipitation across much of the Corn Belt sharply reduced yield prospects.

Total projected corn use for 2011-2012 has been reduced by 340 million bushels. Feed and residual use is projected 150 million bushels lower, reflecting the smaller crop and higher expected prices. Corn use for ethanol is projected 50 million bushels lower with tighter supplies and lower forecast gasoline consumption for 2011 and 2012.

Projected corn exports for 2011-2012 are reduced by 150 million bushels, with wheat feeding expected to increase. Ending stocks are projected 156 million bushels lower at 714 million. The stocks-to-use ratio is projected at 5.4%, compared with July's projection of 6.4%. The season-average farm price is projected at $6.20 to $7.20 per bushel, up 70 cents on each end of the range.

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U.S. wheat supplies for 2011-2012 have also been lowered, by 30 million bushels, as higher forecast winter wheat production is more than offset by lower area and production for durum and other spring wheat, according to the report. Total use for 2011-2012 has been lowered by 30 million bushels with a reduced outlook for exports, more than offsetting an increase in expected feed and residual use. Exports are projected down 50 million bushels with increased competition, particularly from FSU-12 countries, where production prospects are raised.

Projected feed and residual use is raised by 20 million bushels, reflecting a continuation of competitive prices for feed-quality wheat and lower projected corn supplies. Ending stocks are nearly unchanged.

The 2011-2012 season-average farm price for all wheat is projected at $7.00 to $8.20 per bushel, up from July's range of $6.60 to $8.00 per bushel, supported by higher projected prices for corn.