Both soybean harvest and USDA reports have resumed.
Late last night the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives voted to reopen the government and raise the debt limit. The bill funds the government through mid-January and raises the debt ceiling through mid-February. The 16-day shutdown has not been without its consequences, though.
Standard and Poor’s says the shutdown cost the economy $24 billion and will reduce fourth-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth from 3% to 2.4% as a result.
"The lack of USDA news has left us in limbo, trade volumes have been waning, and the markets have been quiet," says Ben Parks, risk management consultant for INTL FCStone, Kansas City. "We need news and market moving news to spur people back into action."
Parks expects volume to pick up, but it could take time to get back to the pre-shutdown level.
Federal workers returned to the office early Thursday, and USDA-NASS announced that it would not publish the October World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE). USDA also said it would cancel the October 7 and 15 Crop Progress reports. The next WASDE report is scheduled for November 8.
"While the lapse in federal funding has ended, NASS has not been able to engage in the necessary data collection and analysis over the past few weeks," the news release states. "NASS is assessing its data collection plans and evaluating the timing of upcoming reports."
Bean harvest interrupted, too
Two days of soaking rains from Mississippi to Minnesota delayed soybean harvest this week. But without the past two Crop Progress reports, which are now canceled, no one knows exactly how much progress soybean producers have actually made.
While rains have eased, weather forecasts call for freezing temperatures in much of the Midwest this weekend, which could end the growing season.
"Early soybean yields were highly variable, but as we get deeper into harvest—40% to 50% of the crop is likely now harvested—yields are generally better than expected," says Parks.
"Seasonally the market should remain weak for 30 to 45 days, but I don’t see prices reaching the July lows." Soybean prices were nearly $1/bu. lower in July that they are now.
Reports from the Upper Midwest indicate that soybean yields are much better than expected near 45 bushels to 65 bushels per acre.