U.S. corn farmers will be able to meet all demands for food, feed, fuel and exports, the National Corn Growers Association said in response to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s reduced projection for 2010 corn production. The harvest of 12.7 billion bushels, the third-largest crop in history, will still provide a surplus, or ending stocks, of nearly 1 billion bushels.

 “Our farmers are working hard to bring in a great crop this year, despite the many challenges,” NCGA President Bart Schott, a grower in Kulm, N.D., said. “We have had many reports of lower yields and, at the same time, are hearing stories of higher-than expected yields in some areas. This may not be a record year, but we’re bringing in the corn and meeting all needs, even for our export markets.”

 The USDA reduced the estimated 2010 national average corn yield from 162.5 to 155.8 bushels per acre and overall corn production from 13.2 billion to 12.7 billion bushels. Corn use for the 2010 marketing year is projected at 13.5 billion bushels. Beginning stocks of 1.7 billion bushels help ensure all needs are met.

 “A global perspective is important,” Schott said. “Global coarse grain supplies are nearly unchanged, and lower U.S. supplies are offset by increased foreign grain production. We expect farmers in South America to respond to these market signals, just as we know U.S. farmers will do when it comes time to make planting decisions for the 2011 crop.”

 Schott said that, as of Oct. 3, only 37 percent of the U.S. corn crop was harvested and that much of what has been harvested to date was in the areas most adversely affected by the summer weather. NCGA sees the potential for an upward adjustment in the overall production number as the harvest is completed.