THIS WEEK ON U.S. FARM REPORT
EPISODE # 2040
SEPTEMBER 15-16, 2012
Hello and welcome to U.S. Farm Report, I’m John Phipps. Commodity markets trade on uncertainty. So it is that even as we get a clearer picture on 2012 crops during this harvest, more volatility spreads into the next season. Key growing areas remain in drought condition, with the worst areas shifting westward. Meanwhile, vendors and buyers are trying to find out how much of what we will grow in 2013. I can give them an answer: we don't know. More than ever, the acreage of major crops is in flux. Prices are competing with costs and agronomic conditions to make me think 2013 plantings will be decided at the last minute. This suggests the farmer survey industry could be in for its worst crop ever.
With a drought-impacted growing season like this, traders were watching closely as USDA released their latest estimates for this year’s crops. But generally speaking there were few noteworthy changes. Soybean production is forecast at 2.6 billion bushels, down 58 million - or about 2% from August. USDA pegs the average yield a little over 35 bushels per acre, down eight-tenths bushel from last month. Analysts say the only real surprise may have come from the grain ledgers. USDA lowered its new-crop carryout on soybeans - down to 115-million bushels...that's the lowest level in nearly a decade. And old crop corn was hiked by 160 million bushels from last month's guess. It now sits at just under 1.2 billion bushels. The AG Department lowered its forecast for this year’s cotton crop. USDA projects just over 17 million bales. That's down 3% from last month but up 10% over last year. Yield is down slightly from a year ago. Meanwhile, it's a big turnaround year for peanuts. USDA pegs production at just under 6 billion pounds, a 12% climb from August and a whopping 63% increase from last year. USDA says record high yields are expected in several states.
Crop watch this week takes us coast-to-coast.