Updated: Sep 13, 2021
Update for August 13th, 2021
The U.S. average yield estimates in the August USDA WASDE report is assembled from data received from farmers surveys and satellite imagery. Typically, only about 60% of the farmers return the survey and with little really known about the accuracy of the satellite data it’s unlikely that the yields predicted will be correct.
The national corn yield was lowered from 179.5 bushels per acre a month ago to 174.6 bpa, lower than the average trade guess of 177.6. The U.S. soybean yield was reduced slightly from 50.8 bushels per acre last month to 50.0 bpa, also lower than the average trade estimate of 50.4 bpa. The Brazilian corn crop outlook was reduced from 93 MMT in July to 87 MMT which was mostly in-line with trade estimates.
The two U.S. maps below illustrate the expected yield per acre by state and crop. Along with a few others the key states of North and South Dakota and Minnesota are forecast to pull down the national yield for both corn and soybeans.
CONAB (Brazil’s equivalent to our USDA) also gave their monthly crop report earlier this week. Their estimated yield for the second crop Safrinha fell from 66.97 MMT in July to 60.3 MMT pulling the projected total corn crop production for the year down from 93.8 MMT a month ago down to 86.7 MMT. Export numbers on corn were also lowered by 6 MMT to 23.5 MMT compared to a year ago when the country exported 35.2 MMT.
Brazil’s soybean planting season will begin in some regions in early September but the majority of acres are planted from late October into November. Farmers are expected to increase acres this season bringing the total to near 100 million acres, a new record. Currently, U.S. exports of soybeans are lagging about 30% off last year’s pace but China has re-entered the market with a confirmed sale of 131,000 MT last Friday which is our first flash sale to them since June 24. Currently new crop sales to China are off 50% from this time a year ago but we are entering the time of year when China typically returns to the U.S. market and begins making large new crop purchases.
U.S. drought levels remain high over a large portion of the country and if that isn’t bad enough now farmers in the North and West are having to deal with the added devastation caused by an invasion of grasshoppers. 98% of the West is covered in drought and the little pasture and crop land that survived the drought have been taken down to nothing by the insects.
State officials from the affected regions have examined the situation but have said that there is nothing they can do. Some of these areas had a similar infestation in the 1980’s but that time the federal government stepped in to help, so far there has been no offer of assistance.
One rancher from a hard-hit area in North Dakota , Trevor Steeke, explained, “You can see my 300 acres of barley; all you can see is they’ve eaten it to the ground. There is nothing left.” During a normal year he says we would get 1,500 to 3,000 bales off his 1,000-acre field but this year he baled 53.
The Parana River in South America is considered Argentina’s super-highway for the transportation of the country’s commerce. Roughly 80% of the countries crop exports use the river as a way to reach the Atlantic Ocean. This is becoming increasingly difficult as the river is now at a shallow depth not seen since the 1940’s.
This is forcing shippers to reduce the load size, which in turn increases the cost involved. Cargill Inc. and Glencore Plc told Bloomberg News that the current situation is now considered an “emergency situation” that they expect will continue through the end of this year. It’s important to realize the incredible impact this will have around the world. Globally Argentina is the #1 supplier of soybean meal for livestock and soy oil used for cooking and biofuels and they are ranked #3 in corn exports. The Argentine government has declared a water emergency in 7 of the riverside provinces which will allow them to step in to help reduce the impact of the drought in an effort to keep businesses and industry in the area going.
This map of Iowa shows the precipitation departures from normal since January 1. Significant differences can be found between some parts of southern Iowa that have received a surplus of 5-9 inches of rainfall and areas to the north that are behind normal by 8-11 inches. In just 100 miles from Cedar Rapids to Burlington there is a 20’’ difference in rainfall totals.
Temps and humidity levels will be much more comfortable this weekend. Enjoy it while you can, temps are expected to be on the rise again by Tuesday. In the meantime, we will see nights in the 50’s and daytime highs in the low 80’s.