Harvest Progress, EPA and A Warm Weekend
U.S. harvest has progressed at a pace ahead of the 5-year average. USDA estimates this week show that 38% of Iowa’s corn crop has been harvested vs 23% last week vs the 5-year average for Week 41 of 29%. In terms of total Iowa corn acres harvested per week, Week 41 has shown the largest jump with nearly 1.9 million acres. Over the past 10 years the highest amount of Iowa corn acres harvested in any single week was during week 44 in 2014 when 3.3 million acres were harvested across the state.
The U.S. corn harvest has also been proceeding at an above normal pace the past 2-weeks compliments of cooperative weather conditions. 45% or 36.4 million acres of the nation’s corn crop has been harvested vs the 5-year average of 40%. Nationally Week 41 has also been the top week for corn harvest thus far this year. That amounts to 11.3 million acres, the record was set during Week 44 in 2014 when U.S. producers harvested 15.8 million acres.
Current USDA estimates show 74% of Iowa’s soybean crop has been harvested, much above the 5-year average of 49%. There are a total of 7.4 million Iowa soybean acres harvested as of Week 41, the only other season that progressed this quickly was 2012 due to the hot and dry growing season that pushed crop maturity.
The U.S. soybean harvest is progressing at a record pace with 63% of the crop harvested vs the 5-year average of 52%, for Week 41 this is the highest percentage in the past 10 years. In terms of total U.S. soybean acres harvested Week 41, this year far surpasses the previous record of 53 million with an impressive 54.6 million acres completed.
Economic analysis provided by David Miller, Consulting Chief Economist, Decision Innovation Solutions on behalf of Iowa Farm Bureau.
A bipartisan group of 13 U.S. Senators sent a letter Wednesday to EPA Administrator Michael Regan on behalf of corn ethanol. The lawmakers are asking the EPA to set corn ethanol volumes above 15 billion gallons and restore year-round E-15 as part of the upcoming Renewable Fuel Standard reset rule. There have been reports that the Biden Administration is considering a change to the RFS to include and help with the expansion of electric vehicles with the use of RINS for EV’s as part of the current RINS system. With this possible change in mind the senators also asked the EPA Administrator treat biofuels equally with EV’s in the new RFS. (Source DTN)
As the war escalates between Russia and Ukraine there are rising concerns that Russian President Putin may not agree to extend the grain shipping deal that is set to expire in November. Moscow has sent a letter to the U.N. stating that the current deal does nothing to help facilitate fertilizer and grain exports from Russia. Russian Ambassador to the U.S. said, “If we see nothing is happening on the Russian side of the deal-export of Russian grains and fertilizers-then excuse us, we will have to look at it in a different way.” Ukraine’s foreign minister responded, “Russia is doing exactly what we warned: renewing hunger games and threatening the Black Sea grain initiative…I want every African, Asian, Middle Eastern family to know: Ukraine puts forward no additional demands, we want the corridor to keep working.”
Up to the point the shipping deal has been quite successful. Earlier this week Ukraine’s ag ministry reported that shipments in September totaled 6.9 MMT just slightly below the pre-war total for September 2021 when 7.1 MMT were shipped. Overall, this is a small percentage of the total bushels that have been unable to leave the country throughout the year following the Russian invasion. Going forward, exports are expected to decline as less acres are likely to be planted reducing acreage/production levels.
A large weather system has moved into the Pacific Northwest and is expected to make its way across the country bringing much needed precipitation to the Plains and Midwest. Rainfall is expected to reach the Midwest by late weekend and forecasts call for an inch of precipitation in many areas in the 7-day outlook.
While the rainfall will be a welcomed relief an official with NOAA cautioned this week, “Across the Mississippi Valley, we are favoring continuation of below-normal precipitation…that would certainly, if the prediction is realized, lead to continued low water levels and exacerbated drought conditions there.”
Water levels along the Mississippi River continue to fall and could reach record low levels within the next 10 days. The drought that has parched the western U.S. and Great Plains is quickly moving eastward into the Corn Belt, mid-south and southeast. Compared to May 31st U.S. crop areas experiencing drought now in October have grown substantially:
Corn Acres 62% vs 19% in May
Soybean Acres 61% vs 10% May 31st
Winter Wheat 70% vs 49%
Spring What 74% vs 25%
This weekend promises to be warm with temps expected to reach the mid 70’s to 80’s but expect winds Sunday in the 30 to 40 mph range. Rain is forecast to reach the Midwest by Sunday evening but that is not the last opportunity as the pattern is loaded with energy and several stronger disturbances are possible over the next 2 weeks. The seasonal changes are strengthening along with the jet stream and the short-wave energy within it so enjoy the weekend it may be the last of the really warm temps for quite some time.