Category Archives: Corn

Looking At 2015 Corn Production

Traders must now turn the page from “old-crop” to “new-crop.” Questions and debates are already arising in regard to 2015 production: 

  • How many corn acres will US farmers plant in 2015? Most early guesses range from 87 to 90 million acres. The consensus seems to be a number north of 89.0 million will be considered somewhat bearish, while a number sub-88 million might start to be considered somewhat bullish. Obviously the bulls are wanting to see the acreage number slip down to around 87 million acres or lower. On the flip-side the bears are thinking if corn prices can hold at their current levels or perhaps slightly higher, US producer will plant closer to 90 million corn acres.     
  • What type of yield estimate will the USDA start out using? You have to believe the USDA will start with a yield estimate somewhere between 165.5 and 167.5 bushels per acre. Bulls are hoping somewhere along the line a “weather” story can build that eventually causes the the trade to consider a 10-12 bushel reduction in yield. If this is to happen prices could certainly push north of $5.00 in 2015.  The problem is without a bullish weather story, yields around or north of 167 bushels per acre would certainly be hard for the bulls to overcome, hence keeping a lid on most any and all significant rallies.   
  • What about South American Production? Most sources inside the industry are looking for Brazilian corn production to be down by about 5.0 MMTS, Argentine corn production is estimated to be down some 3.0 to 4.0 MMTs. A lot will obviously depend on the weather moving forward and the planting of second-crop corn in Brazil. Most sources will tell you the second-crop in Brazil needs to be planted by late-February or at the latest the first week in March. Stay tuned…

USDA WASDE Results, January 12, 2015

US Corn & Soybean Production

Jan. #
USDA Nov.
Avg. Guess
Range of Guesses
2013 Final
Corn Total Crop
14.216
14.407
14.349
14.171 – 14.554
13.925
Corn Yield Avg.
171.0
173.4
173.3
171.3 – 174.3
158.8
Harvested Acres
83.1
83.097
82.765
82.057 – 83.527
87.668
Soybean Crop
3.969
3.958
3.956
3.844 – 4.020
3.358
Soy Yield Avg.
47.8
47.5
47.6
46.8 – 48.2
44.0

Harvested Acres

83.1
83.403
83.044
82.126 – 83.403
76.253

2014/15 January Ending Stocks

 
Jan. #
USDA Dec 2014
Avg. Guess
Range of Guesses
Corn
1.877
1.998
1.927
1.710 – 2.081
Soybeans
0.410
0.410
0.393
0.355 – 0.452
Wheat
0.687
0.654
0.666
0.636 – 0.699

December 1st Quarterly Stocks

 
Jan #
USDA Sep. 1
Avg. Guess
Range of Guesses
USDA Dec 1, 2013
Corn
11.203
1.236
11.123
10.820 – 11.325
10.453
Soybeans
2.524
0.092
2.590
2.400 – 2.742
2.154
Wheat
1.520
1.914
1.499
1.400 – 1.585
1.475

2014/15 World Ending Stocks

 
Jan #
USDA Dec 2014
Avg. Guess
Range of Guesses
Corn
189.15
192.20
191.19
186.50 – 193.00
Soybeans
90.78
89.87
89.35
87.40 – 90.55
Wheat
196
194.90
194.33
190.90 – 196.00

USDA Winter Wheat Acres

 
Jan #
Previous USDA
Avg. Guess
Range of Guesses
Total Winter
40.45
42.399
42.564
41.000 – 44.000
Hard Red
29.50
30.471
31.023
29.800 – 32.115
Soft Red
7.50
8.498
8.039
7.432 – 8.739
White
3.48
3.430
3.502
3.200 – 3.823

USDA Estimates for Final 2014 production

US Corn & Soybean Production

 
Jan. #
USDA Nov.
Avg. Guess
Range of Guesses
2013 Final
Corn Total Crop
???
14.407
14.349
14.171 – 14.554
13.925
Corn Yield Avg.
???
173.4
173.3
171.3 – 174.3
158.8
Harvested Acres
???
83.097
82.765
82.057 – 83.527
87.668
Soybean Crop
???
3.958
3.956
3.844 – 4.020
3.358
Soy Yield Avg.
???
47.5
47.6
46.8 – 48.2
44.0

Harvested Acres

???
83.403
83.044
82.126 – 83.403
76.253

2014/15 January Ending Stocks

 
Jan. #
USDA Dec 2014
Avg. Guess
Range of Guesses
Corn
???
1.998
1.927
1.710 – 2.081
Soybeans
???
0.410
0.393
0.355 – 0.452
Wheat
???
0.654
0.666
0.636 – 0.699

December 1st Quarterly Stocks

 
Jan #
USDA Sep. 1
Avg. Guess
Range of Guesses
USDA Dec 1, 2013
Corn
???
1.236
11.123
10.820 – 11.325
10.453
Soybeans
???
0.092
2.590
2.400 – 2.742
2.154
Wheat
???
1.914
1.499
1.400 – 1.585
1.475

2014/15 World Ending Stocks

 
Jan #
USDA Dec 2014
Avg. Guess
Range of Guesses
Corn
???
192.20
191.19
186.50 – 193.00
Soybeans
???
89.87
89.35
87.40 – 90.55
Wheat
???
194.90
194.33
190.90 – 196.00

USDA Winter Wheat Acres

 
Jan #
Previous USDA
Avg. Guess
Range of Guesses
Total Winter
???
42.399
42.564
41.000 – 44.000
Hard Red
???
30.471
31.023
29.800 – 32.115
Soft Red
???
8.498
8.039
7.432 – 8.739
White
???
3.430
3.502
3.200 – 3.823

2014/15 South American Production Numbers

 
Jan #
USDA Dec 2014
Avg. Guess
Range of Guesses
Brazil Corn
???
75.00
74.66
72.25 – 75.80
Argentine Corn
???
22.00
22.49
21.20 – 29.20
Brazil Soy
???
94.00
94.60
93.50 – 98.00
Argentine Soy
???
55.00
55.45
54.00 – 59.20

New Tool Helps Farmers Plan and Apply Nitrogen In Order to Maximize Yields

The USDA has teamed up with Iowa State University and other schools to launch a new online decision-support tool to help farmers and farm advisers manage the application of in-field nitrogen. This is a free tool, called “Corn Split N” and it’s available for use in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Kansas. Corn Split N combines 
historical weather data and fieldwork conditions with economic considerations to determine the feasibility and profitability of completing a post-planting nitrogen application for corn production. The concept behind the Corn Split Ni tool is based on research that has shown by splitting the nitrogen over two intervals, applying it once in the fall or spring when the soil is not saturated and the temperature is between 50 and 32 degrees F, and then a second time when the plants are in the ground and in most need of it, will ultimately lead to better results. Less fertilizer will be needed overall and not as much will be lost in run off. Below is just a small sample of what the Corn Split N tool can do:
  • Timing of the application varies depending on weather and soil conditions. Corn Split N tool’s historical climate data is designed to help farmers pinpoint when nitrogen should be applied for best results.
  • Post-planting application must be done before the corn gets too tall. Estimates of corn development stages based on location, selected planting date and the accumulated corn growing degree days for the year are also factored into the tool.Growing degree day accumulations and associated corn growth beyond the current day are estimated based on the historical 30-year (1981-2010) average degree day accumulation for a location. 
  • The tool also helps farmers quantify the costs and benefits under average,worst and best-case scenarios when making an application, even taking into account two passes of ground equipment in the fields. 
  • Farmers get customized results based on their planting and fertilization schedule, local costs and available equipment. 
  • A summarized fieldwork table and crop calendar also allow farmers to see how schedule adjustments might affect their ability to fertilize on time.
In 2015, the product will be expanded to seven additional north-central states, so keep you eye out. Corn Split N is part of the U2U suite of tools created to help farmers and agricultural advisers manage increasingly variable weather and climate conditions across the Corn Belt. I am happy to help the schools pass along their latest tools. I hope you find them useful. 

The REAL Reason I Believe Grains Are Moving Higher

As most of you know, I spend a lot of my time talking to fund traders and large money-managers trying to pick their brain. With another year of big gains in equities and only 12-trading days until year-end, most of the big payers seem to be looking for ways lock in profits, hedge against “unknown” price-risk and decoupling. The crazy uncertainty now surrounding crude oil and the energy sector has a lot of guys spooked and is obviously pushing “fund-money” in several unexpected directions. A few clear and obvious beneficiaries as of late have been corn, soybeans and wheat. This might be a tough bridge for some to cross, but for others it appears much more logical, especially when you consider we are rolling into what could be more extreme winter weather, continuing turmoil between Ukraine and Russia, an election in Japan, Fed divergence from the rest of the central banks, a newly controlled Republican Congress, Greece and parts of the EU once again moving towards unstable ground. Not to mention the amount of debt the oil companies had on their books 5-years back was only around $200 billion, while now it’s all of a sudden up around $3 TRILLION. In other words there could be secondary derivative impacts the investment world hasn’t even thought about yet that players are now trying to reposition and protect against. Remember, we have now seen over 80 straight days of declining prices at the pump. Also remember, this is traditionally a “thin” period of time where moves can become extremely over-exaggerated! In other words, when you get major “headline-risk” like we are seeing in the energy markets, coupled with lower than normal trade volume, all bets are off in regard to traditional fundamental rhyme and reason. Like Bill Gross said this past weekend, “The sharp decline in the price of oil has disoriented markets and changed the perception of the creditworthiness of companies and countries. When levered money moves and tries to seek a safe haven, basically you have violent price movements across the board.”

USDA’s ​December Supply & Demand

USDA’s ​December Supply & Demand

US 2014/15 Ending Stocks (In millions of bushels)

 
 USDA Dec. 
Avg. Estimate
Range of Estimates
USDA Nov.
Corn
1.998
​2.027
1.905 – 2.156
2.008
Soybeans
.410
​0.427
0.400 – 0.455
0.450
Wheat
.654
​0.654
0.642 – 0.681
0.644

World 2014/15 Ending Stocks (In million metric tons)

 
 USDA Dec.
Avg. Estimate
Range of Estimates
USDA Nov.
Corn
192.20
​191.42
189.60 – 194.00
​191.50
Soybeans
89.87
​89.7
88.50 – 91.60
90.28
Wheat
194.90
191.75
189.50 – 193.20
 
​192.90
 

South American 2014/15 Production Worksheet

USDA Dec.
Avg. Trade Guess
Trade Range
USDA Nov.
Argentina
Corn
22.00
23.07
21.00 – 29.10
23.00
Soybeans
55.00
55.45
55.00 – 58.60
55.00
Brazil
Corn
75.00
74.01
68.70 – 75.50
75.00
Soybeans
94.00
93.39
92.00 – 98.00
94.00
 

Corn & Soybeans Left To Harvest

How Much Corn Is Still In The Field? The USDA now reports the US corn harvest at 89% complete, which is actually ahead of our 88% 5-year average. I wanted to shift things up a bit in this weeks graphic. Rather than showing the percent harvested, I wanted to show what we think might be left out in the field.  The numbers below represent how many million bushels of corn might still be left in each state. This is obviously a simple elementary guess based on the precent of ground the USDA is estimating still needs to be harvested and the USDA’s most recent state production estimate. As you can see, there’s still probably some 1.0 to 1.5 billion bushels in the field.  According to the USDA Michigan still has 41% left to harvest; WI 36% left to harvest; PA 21%; OH 19%; CO & IN 16%; ND 15%; MO & NE 9%; IA & SD 8%; IL 6%; KY & MN 5%; KS 4%; TX 3%; TN 1%.

How Many Soybeans Are Still In The Field? The USDA reported the US soybean crop, as of Sunday, at 94% harvested compared to 90% last week and 96% on average. Similar to corn, I wanted to shift things up a bit in this weeks graphic. Rather than showing the percent harvested, I wanted to show what we think might be left out in the field.  The numbers below represent how many million bushels of soybeans might still be left to harvest in each state. This is obviously a simple elementary guess based on the precent of ground the USDA is estimating still needs to be harvested and the USDA’s most recent state production estimate.  As you can see, there’s probably only some 200 million bushels still out in the field.  According to the USDA North Carolina still has 47% left to harvest; KY 25% left to harvest; MO 19%; TN 17%; KS & MI 8%; IN, OH & WI 7%; IL 5%; AR 4%; MS 3%; IA 2%; MN 1%

USDA November Supply & Demand Results

USDA Highlights – In a somewhat surprising move the USDA elected to lower their US corn yield estimate from 174.2 down to 173.4 bushels per acre.  Corn acres left “unchanged.” Corn exports as well as feed and residual were left “unchanged.” Corn use for ethanol was raised by 25 million bushels. Food, seed and industrial was raised by 5 million bushels as well.

 Soybean yield raised slightly from 47.1 to 47.5 bushels per acre.  US soybean acreage left “unchanged”. Soybean exports raised higher by 20 million bushels.  Soybean crush raised higher by 10 million bushels. Residual raised by 1 million bushels.  Net-net no change in the 450 ending stocks estimate. 

Wheat crop (US) lowered by 9 million bushels as yield and harvested acreage is reduced. 

Global Changes:     

  • Chinese corn crop lowered from 217.00 down to 214.00.  At the same time they lowered Chinese corn imports from 3.00 down to 2.50 
    • Ukraine corn production raised higher by 2.0 MMTs 
    • EU corn production raised higher by 2.03 MMTS  
    • Argentine & Brazilian corn production left “unchanged” 
    • Argentine & Brazilian soybean production “unchanged” 
    • World soybean production raised from 311.20 to 312.06
    • Australian wheat production lowered from 25.0 to 24.0
    • Kazakhstan wheat production lowered from 12.50 to 12.0
    • EU wheat production raised from 153.98 to 155.40  
    • Russian wheat production left “unchanged”  
    • World wheat production lowered from 721.12 down to 719.86 
USDA’s NOVEMBER Supply & Demand Worksheet

US 2014/15 Production (In billions of bushels and per-acre yields)

 
USDA Nov. 
Avg. Estimate
Range of Estimates
USDA Oct.
USDA 2013
Corn Production
14.407
14.551
14.242 – 14.842
14.475
13.925

Corn
Yield

173.4
175.233
171.40 – 178.60
174.2
158.8
Soybeans Production
3.958
3.976
3.903 – 4.064
3.927
3.358
Soybean Yield
47.5
47.608
46.80 – 48.70
47.1
44.00

US 2014/15 Ending Stocks (In millions of bushels)

 
USDA Nov. 
Avg. Estimate
Range of Estimates
USDA Oct.
Corn
2.008
2.135
1.850 – 2.282
2.081
Soybeans
0.450
0.442
0.403 – 0.513
0.450
Wheat
0.644
0.660
0.634 – 0.682
0.654

World 2014/15 Ending Stocks (In million metric tons)

 
USDA Nov.
Avg. Estimate
Range of Estimates
USDA Oct.
Corn
191.5
190.77
185.60 – 194.18
190.58
Soybeans
90.28
90.37
89.50 – 92.55
90.67
Wheat
192.9
192.15
189.79 – 196.40
192.59

 

Corn & Soybean Harvest, Winter Wheat Conditions

The US corn harvest is now reported at 80% complete and back on pace with the 5-year average.  Some of the bulls are talking more about “weather” concerns, primarily those concerns that pertain to the 1.0 billion plus bushels of corn that still remain out in the fields of: IA (approximately 435 million bushels still in the fields); MN (about 125 million); WI (about 245 million); and the Dakota’s (about 225 million). The bears on the other hand seem content adding little if any “risk-premium” to the remaining harvest concerns, especially now that we are no longer “behind.” 

WeeklyHarvestedCorn11.10.14(580)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

90% of a record US soybean crop is out of the field now, compared to the 5-year average of 91%.

WeeklyHarvestedSoybea11.10.14(580)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

US winter wheat crop appears to have improved a bit from last week as the overall condition rating jumps from 59% to 60% now rated “Good-to-Excellent.”  The crop is also right on track in regard to planting pace and is slightly ahead of schedule in regard to emergence.

WeeklyHarvestedWheat11.10.14(580)

Corn & Soybean Yield Estimates

USDA expects yields to average 173.4 bushels per acre, down 0.8 bushel from their previous forecast. Many seasoned traders will tell you this was clearly unexpected and somewhat bullish news.  They will also tell you when a market fails to rally (as it did yesterday) on a bullish headline, it’s a market that may be headed for more downhill price action.

November1CornYields(580)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The USDA raised the yield by 0.4 bushels per acre. There were really no major changes in state estimates to speak of. We still have record high yields forecast for AR, IL, IN, OH, MO, SD, TN, etc..

November1SoybeanYields(580)