Sep 1, 2014
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Farmland Forecast

RSS By: Marc Schober, AgWeb.com

Marc Schober is the editor of Farmland Forecast an educational blog devoted to investments in agriculture and farmland.

Soybean Exports Increase 116% Week over Week

Aug 28, 2014

U.S. soybean exports increased, eclipsing its 10-week average for only the third time since the end of February. Corn and Wheat exports both saw nominal decreases. Soybean sales reported a reduction for the second consecutive week, an event that hasn’t occurred since April, 2013. Corn sales also reported a reduction for the second time in three weeks. Wheat sales increased after three weeks of decline.

Reports coming out of China are claiming a bumper wheat crop is expected. Earlier in the year reports had been citing extreme drought in many crop growing regions in China; expectations for Chinese crops were well below average. China has purchased less grain in recent weeks suggesting that drought claims may have been exaggerated.

Weekly U.S. net corn sales for the week ending August 14th in the 2013/2014 marketing year were a reduction for 32,700 metrics tons (MT). Increases were reported from Japan, Colombia, Canada, Mexico, and Jamaica. Decreases were reported from unknown destinations, South Korea, Taiwan, Costa Rica, El Salvador, and the Dominican Republic. Exports were 1,002,700 MT, a 12% decrease from the prior week, but a 1% decrease from the prior 10-week average. The primary destinations were Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Colombia, Peru, the Philippines, and Canada.

Weekly net soybean sales in the 2013/2014 marketing year were a reduction of 62,800 MT, the second consecutive sales reduction for soybeans. Increases were reported from Japan, Mexico, and Vietnam, Decreases were reported from China, Taiwan, and unknown destinations. Exports were 202,100 MT, a 116% increase from the prior week and a 73% increase from the prior 10-week average. Primary destinations were Mexico, Indonesia, Japan, and Taiwan.

Weekly net wheat sales for the week ending August 14th in the 2014/2015 marketing year were 403,600 MT, a 93% increase from the previous week, but a 7% decrease from the prior 10-week average. Increases were reported from the Brazil, Nigeria, Japan, Colombia, the Philippines, and Honduras. Decreases were reported from Panama. Exports were 466,700 MT, a 12% decrease from the prior week and a less than 1% decrease from the prior 10-week average. Primary destinations were the Philippines, Mexico, Taiwan, Colombia, Nigeria, and Brazil.

8 28 14 Sales

Source: USDA Foreign Agricultural Service

8 28 14 Exports

Source: USDA Foreign Agricultural Service

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August Weather Supports Crop Conditions

Aug 25, 2014

Crop conditions are at favorable levels not seen since the early 1990’s. Ideal weather throughout the growing season has provided enough sun and moisture to produce, what has been estimated by the USDA to be, record breaking yields for both corn and soybeans this year. The USDA estimates were supported by the in-field inspections performed by the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour scouts last week. Crop tour reports estimated larger corn yields in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Nebraska, and Ohio over last year’s crop. Soybean yields are also estimated to increase from last year in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Ohio, and South Dakota.

The USDA corn conditions were estimated 73% in "Good" or "Excellent" condition, a 1% increase from last week, but a 14% increase from last year. 20% was considered "Fair", unchanged from last week, while only 7% was considered "Poor" or "Very Poor." Of the Corn Belt states, Illinois had the most corn rated "Excellent" at 30%, followed by Iowa and Indiana with 24% and 22% respectively. Corn doughing was reported at 83%, a 13% increase from last week and 5% ahead of the five-year average. Corn dented was reported at 35%, a 13% increase from the previous week, but 8% behind the five-year average. Of the five largest corn producing states, Illinois reported the most dented corn at 48%, followed by Nebraska and Indiana with 44% and 41% respectively.

Soybean conditions were reported with 70% of the crop in "Good" or "Excellent" condition, a 1% decrease from last week, but a 12% increase from last year. 23% was reported in "Fair" condition, unchanged from the previous week, while only 7% was reported as "Poor" or "Very Poor." Of the five largest soybean producing states, Illinois and Iowa had the most crop rated "Excellent," at 23% and 22% respectively. Soybeans setting pods were reported at 90%, a 7% increase from last week and 1% ahead of the five-year average. Of the five largest soybean producing states, Nebraska had the most soybeans setting pods at 95%, Minnesota had the least at 92%.

Spring wheat conditions were reported with 66% of the crop in "Good" or "Excellent" condition, a 2% decrease from last week, and a 1% increase from last year. 28% was reported in "Fair" condition, a 2% increase from the previous week, while only 6% was reported as "Poor" or "Very Poor." The spring wheat harvest is under way, with 27% of the crop reported harvested. That is a 10% increase from the previous week, but 12% behind the five-year average.

September futures for corn closed the week at $3.60 per bushel, unchanged from last week. August soybeans ended the week at $11.25, a 0.9% increase from last week. September wheat ended the week at $5.42, unchanged from last week. Year-to-year corn prices are down 30.1%, soybeans are down 21.2%, and wheat is down 17.1%.

For daily articles on farmland and agriculture, visit http://www.farmlandforecast.com/

Rural Bankers Expect Weaker Farmland Values

Aug 25, 2014

The rural economy slowed for the first time in six months due to sinking crop prices. Farmland values are projected to decline over the next year, according to the majority of bankers surveyed for the RMI. This contradicts reports released by the Seventh and Tenth Federal Districts in the past week. Those reports, which surveys bankers across the same region as the RMI, predicted land values to stay consistent or increase slightly over the same time period.

Ranging between 0 and 100 with 50.0 representing growth neutral, the RMI decreased to 48.3 from 51.8 in July. This is the lowest the index has fallen since August 2012. RMI levels are short of where they were last year, but this should be expected with crop prices significantly lower than this time last year.

Ernie Goss, Ph.D, Economics Professor at Creighton University stated, "Agriculture commodity prices have plummeted for crop farmers in our region and are expected to move even lower in the months ahead. This decline has spilled over into the broader rural economy according to our survey. With record crop supplies anticipated by analysts, I expect readings to move even lower in the months ahead."RIM August 2014 Rural Mainstreet index

Source: Rural Mainstreet Index Creighton University

The farmland price index decreased to 41.4 from 48.3, falling to the lowest level since February. Lower expected farm incomes due to declining grain prices has driven farmers, the largest purchasers of farmland in the U.S., out of the marketplace. "Much weaker crop prices are taking the air out of agriculture land prices. This is the ninth straight month that the index has moved below growth neutral," said Goss.

RIM August 2014 Farmland Price index

Source: Rural Mainstreet Index Creighton University

The farm equipment sales index decreased to 25.5 from 33.4, a record low for the index. Goss said, "This is the lowest reading that we have recorded for the equipment index since we began the monthly survey in 2006. The rapid decline in agriculture commodity prices is causing farmers to become more cautious in their equipment purchase."

This month bankers were asked their outlook on farmland prices over the next year. Roughly 78% of the respondents believe that farmland values will decline. The average decline in farmland values was predicted at 4.8%. When asked the same question six months ago the average decline was 3.2%. "Clearly, bankers are becoming more pessimistic regarding the trend in farmland prices," said Goss. Bankers were also asked their projection on cash rent values over the next year. On average bankers responded with $285 per acre, a $27 increase from the average response six months ago. "This will place a financial pinch on the farmer renting land and selling at today’s slumping crop prices," said Goss.



Table 1: Rural Mainstreet Economy Last Two Months and One Year Ago: (index > 50 indicates expansion)

 

August 2013

July 2014

August 2014

Area economic index

55.8

51.8

48.3

Loan volume

70.5

79.8

73.4

Checking deposits

51.7

53.5

46.7

Certificates of deposit and savings instruments

43.5

37.8

32.5

Farmland prices

55.8

48.3

41.4

Farm equipment sales

49.2

33.4

25.5

Home sales

72.5

64.1

59.5

Hiring

59.2

59.7

56.8

Retail business

52.6

55.4

47.5

Confidence index (area economy six months out)

53.4

42.9

39.9

Source: Rural Mainstreet Index Creighton University

Survey

This survey represents an early snapshot of the economy of rural, agricultural and energy-dependent portions of the nation. The RMI is a unique index covering 10 regional states, focusing on approximately 200 rural communities with an average population of 1,300. It gives the most current real-time analysis of the rural economy.

For daily articles on farmland and agriculture, visit www.farmlandforecast.com

Corn Exports Increase to Highest Level in Six Weeks

Aug 21, 2014

U.S. corn exports increased over 50% from last week and reached their highest level in six weeks. Wheat sales also increased from last week and have increased seven out of the past ten weeks. Soybean exports decreased. Soybean sales reported a reduction this week for the first time since April. Corn sales rebounded out of the red following the sales reduction reported last week. Wheat sales declined. 


The Pro Farmer crop tour has made several stops this week, and estimates that have come in are at or above USDA estimations for both condition and production. As more information comes in it is beginning to look like the record breaking production estimates may become reality. With record breaking expected production this year the majority of the concern has been on grain prices, but as we get closer to harvest logistical concerns will also be a major issue.

Weekly U.S. net corn sales for the week ending August 14th in the 2013/2014 marketing year were 99,900 metrics tons (MT), reporting a net sales increase following last week’s reduction. Increases were reported from Egypt, South Korea, Colombia, Mexico, Japan, and Canada. Decreases were reported from unknown destinations, China, El Salvador, and Morocco. Exports were 1,144,300 MT, a 59% increase from the prior week and a 14% increase from the prior 10-week average. The primary destinations were South Korea, Mexico, Japan, Egypt, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Morocco

Weekly net soybean sales in the 2013/2014 marketing year were a reduction of 89,600 MT, the second sales reduction of the year for soybeans. Increases were reported from Japan, Indonesia, Taiwan, and Thailand. Decreases were reported from China, and unknown destinations. Exports were 93,400 MT, a 36% decrease from the prior week’s marketing year low and a 23% decrease from the prior 10-week average. Primary destinations were Mexico, Indonesia, Japan, and Barbados.

Weekly net wheat sales for the week ending August 14th in the 2014/2015 marketing year were 209,200 MT, a 38% decrease from the previous week and a 56% decrease from the prior 10-week average. Increases were reported from the Philippines, Nigeria, Japan, Ecuador, Mexico, and Honduras. Decreases were reported from Brazil, unknown destinations, and Peru. Exports were 532,000 MT, a 6% increase from the prior week and a 19% increase from the prior 10-week average. Primary destinations were the Philippines, Peru, Nigeria, Japan, Mexico, and Ecuador.
 
8 21 14 Sales
Source: USDA Foreign Agricultural Service
 
8 21 14 Exports
Source: USDA Foreign Agricultural Service

For daily articles on farmland and agriculture, visit http://www.farmlandforecast.com/
 

Land Values Increase Steadily due to Easing Drought Concerns in Great Plains

Aug 19, 2014

Double digit year-to-year increases in farmland values were reported in select regions of the Great Plains. The Tenth Federal District estimated that irrigated and nonirrigated crop land increased 6.3% and 6.9% respectively from the second quarter last year. Irrigated farmland in Kansas, Oklahoma, and areas of Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming all reported double digit increases.

Nonirrigated land in Oklahoma and areas of Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming also reported double digit increases. Nonirrigated land had not seen comparable increases over the past several quarters due to the drought across the district, but storms over the past few months have provided precipitation, easing drought conditions.

KC Q2 2014 pic1

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Tenth District Agricultural Credit Conditions Report

Credit

Credit conditions across the District were healthy despite low grain prices. Bankers surveyed believe that several years of strong profitability in the crop sector allowed farmers to financially position themselves to weather a decline in farm income in 2014/15. Farm income 2014/15 is expected to be lower than 2013/14 due to low crop prices and poor wheat yields. Normally, poor U.S. wheat yields result in higher global prices, but ample global supply due to increased production in Europe and Asia has significantly limited the crop’s profit potential in 2014/15.

Bankers reported that there was an ample supply of capital available for farm loans, and that they expect interest rates to remain steady through the third quarter. Collateral requirements went unchanged from last quarter.

Outlook

Falling farm income may provide some risk to credit conditions, but farmland values are expected to continue to increase through harvest. Record breaking yield expectations for corn and soybeans should be another factor when evaluating farm income in 2014. The decline in crop prices should be partially offset by the increase in expected bushels per acre, lessening the impact on overall farm income.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s second quarter survey of Farmland Values and Agricultural Credit Conditions Report is a summary of the Tenth District’s value of farmland, farm loan portfolio performance, and on-farm income. The Tenth District consists of Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Wyoming, the northern half of New Mexico, and the western third of Missouri.

For daily articles on farmland and agriculture, visit www.farmlandforecast.com

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