The grain markets were buoyed by another wild weather week—with snow and rain halting harvest progress—and USDA’s monthly Crop Production and World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates reports.
USDA slightly lowered U.S. corn production to 14.8 billion bushels. The national yield is pegged at 180.7 bu. per acre, which is down 0.6 bushel from the September forecast but up 4.1 bushels from 2017.
For soybeans, USDA forecasts 2018 production at a record 4.69 billion bushels. The national yield is projected at a record 53.1 bu. per acre, which is up 0.3 bushel from last month and up 3.8 bushels from last year.
The corn and soybean markets responded favorably to the report release. But for the week, soybeans finished slightly down, and corn prices were up only a nickel.
The USDA report held good and bad news, says Jerry Gulke, president of the Gulke Group.
“The good news was they didn't raise the corn yields like the trade thought they would, they actually lowered it a little,” he says. “The bad news is they once again lowered feed usage. It must be our feed usage getting better or feeding of DDGs.”
In soybeans, USDA lowered harvested acres, slightly increased yields and raised the carryout.
Harvest Delays: Hard on Farmers, Not Prices
The markets don’t seem to see slow harvest progress as a reason to jump, Gulke says.
“If we go back one year, we would have probably seen a 60¢ to 70¢ increase in the price of beans in one day had we had this kind of a problem with harvest,” Gulke says.
On his farm in North Dakota, fields are covered with snow, and Gulke knows a lot of other farmers are in the same boat.
“I did a quick analysis and about 6.5 million acres of soybeans in North Dakota and South Dakota that still needs to be harvested,” he says.
Listen to the audio for more analysis from Gulke about harvest progress, tariff payments and future market concerns.
Gulke will return with his weekly in-depth written commentary next week. Read it and listen to previous audio reports atAgWeb.com/Gulke.