Despite slightly lower corn harvest estimates for 2011, growers are still pulling in the fourth-largest U.S. corn crop ever to meet all needs for food, feed and fuel, the National Corn Growers Association said upon release of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's monthly report on supply and demand.

"Even in light of slightly lowered estimates, U.S. corn farmers remain on track to produce an abundant crop that will be more than enough to meet all demand," said National Corn Growers Association President Garry Niemeyer. "Recently, we have become accustomed to setting new yield and production records every year, but 2011 reminds us that the weather still plays a major role in growing a successful crop."

Estimated U.S. corn production fell by one percent, roughly 123 million bushels, from October projections as national average yield forecasts were revised down by 1.4 bushels per acre according to U.S. Department of Agriculture reports released today. With yield estimated at 146.7 bushels per acre, total U.S. corn production is still forecast at 12.3 billion bushels for the current crop year.

The reports also indicated lower feed and residual use projections in light of the smaller crop, with estimates revised down by 100 million bushels. Additionally, the decreased corn estimates led to reduction in the broiler production outlook. The U.S. ending stock projections for corn were lowered by a mere 23 million bushels.

Average yield projections were increased for Ohio and Iowa by five and two bushels per acre respectively as further harvest data became available. Projections were lowered for Illinois, Minnesota and South Dakota by three, five and four bushels per acre respectively.

"Farming has come a long way in minimizing the negative impact of harsh conditions, as clearly demonstrated by our ability to produce the fourth-largest corn crop on record even with drought, flooding and other severe weather. I am proud of the resilience and dedication shown by my fellow farmers and of our ability to pull through for America even when facing major challenges," said Niemeyer.

The reports also indicated minor changes to corn import and export markets with China now projected to import one to three million metric tons more corn this year. At the same time, Argentina is now expected to increase corn exports by somewhere between one-half and twenty million metric tons.