Pro Farmer's First Thing Today: Yield Projections, CFAP and More

09:41AM Aug 04, 2020
Here are audio highlights from around the ag industry, courtesy of Pro Farmer.
( Pro Farmer )

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Good Morning farm country. Davis Michaelsen here with your morning update for Tuesday, August 4. From Pro Farmer’s First Thing Today, these are some of the stories we are watching this morning:

An unexpected uptick in soybean condition ratings and rising yield projections for both corn and soybeans weighed on both markets overnight. Soybean futures are 1 to 4 cents lower, while corn futures are down 2 cents in most contracts. Winter wheat futures are 2 to 5 cents lower, while spring wheat futures are down roughly a penny. The U.S. dollar index is slightly higher, but well within its downtrending pattern. Crude oil futures are under pressure.

Following are some highlights from USDA’s crop progress and condition update for the week ending Aug. 2, 2020. Note, the only time soybeans have been rated higher for the date was in 1994, when 80% of the crop fell in the top two categories. USDA also rated 73% of the crop “good” to “excellent” (G/E) in 1992. In both those years USDA hiked its average yield projection more than 5% in August. 

  • Corn: 92% silking, 39% dough, 72% G/E
  • Soybeans: 85% blooming, 59% setting pods, 73% G/E
  • Spring wheat: 5% harvested, 73% G/E
  • Cotton: 91% squaring, 54% setting bolls, 45% G/E 
  • Winter wheat: 85% harvested

Crop Consultant Dr. Michael Cordonnier added 1.5 bu. to his U.S. corn yield projection that now stands at 180.0 bu. per acre, pushing his production projection up to 15.12 billion bushels. Cordonnier also added 1 bu. to his U.S. soybean yield projection that now stands at 52 b. per acre, for a 4.31 billion bu. crop. His bias toward both crops is neutral to higher going forward.

Hurricane Isaias made landfall late yesterday. The Category 1 storm hit the Carolinas with strong winds and heavy rain late Monday, but weakened to a tropical storm around 2 a.m. CT. The threat of tornadoes began to spread into southeastern Virginia. No major crop damage is expected. 

With the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) signup to run through Aug. 28, payments moved up to $6.82 billion as of Aug. 3 with 500,000 applications approved for the program. Just $267 million in CFAP aid was delivered in the latest reporting week. Livestock payments still account for the largest share at $3.44 billion.

Live and feeder cattle futures got off to a strong start to the week, though buying in August live cattle was limited to some degree by its premium to the cash market. Cash cattle traded at an average price of $98.66 last week, up slightly from the week prior and more than $4 below where August live cattle settled on Monday. The pork cutout value climbed $1.47 to start the week amid solid movement of 393.09 loads. All cuts except hams climbed, with bellies leading to the upside. But the pork cutout value is still down several bucks from week-ago levels. Cash hog bids slipped 66 cents on Monday, as market-ready hog supplies remain plentiful.

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