USDA Report for 3/31/15

Published on: 16:20PM Mar 31, 2015



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Corn Stocks Up 11 Percent from March 2014
Soybean Stocks Up 34 Percent
All Wheat Stocks Up 6 Percent

Corn stocks in all positions on March 1, 2015 totaled 7.74 billion bushels, 
up 11 percent from March 1, 2014. Of the total stocks, 4.38 billion bushels 
were stored on farms, up 13 percent from a year earlier. Off-farm stocks, at 
3.36 billion bushels, are up 7 percent from a year ago. The 
December 2014 - February 2015 indicated disappearance is 3.47 billion 
bushels, compared with 3.44 billion bushels during the same period last year.

Soybeans stored in all positions on March 1, 2015 totaled 1.33 billion 
bushels, up 34 percent from March 1, 2014. Soybean stocks stored on farms are 
estimated at 609 million bushels, up 60 percent from a year ago. Off-farm 
stocks, at 725 million bushels, are up 18 percent from last March. Indicated 
disappearance for the December 2014 - February 2015 quarter totaled 
1.19 billion bushels, up 3 percent from the same period a year earlier.

All wheat stored in all positions on March 1, 2015 totaled 1.12 billion 
bushels, up 6 percent from a year ago. On-farm stocks are estimated at 
279 million bushels, up 17 percent from last March. Off-farm stocks, at 
846 million bushels, are up 3 percent from a year ago. The 
December 2014 - February 2015 indicated disappearance is 405 million bushels, 
down 3 percent from the same period a year earlier.

Statistical Methodology

Survey Procedures: The grain stocks estimates in this report are based on 
surveys conducted during the first two weeks of March. Separate surveys are 
conducted to obtain the on-farm and off-farm estimates. The on-farm stocks 
survey is a probability survey that includes a sample of over 84,000 farm 
operators selected from a list of producers that ensures all operations in 
the United States have a chance to be selected. These producers are asked to 
provide the total quantities of grain stored on their operations as of March 
1, 2015. This includes all whole grains and oilseeds stored whether for feed, 
seed, or sale as well as any stored under a government program.

The off-farm stocks survey is an enumeration of all known commercial grain 
storage facilities. This includes approximately 8,700 facilities with 
10.7 billion bushels of storage capacity. An effort is made to obtain a 
report from all facilities. Reports of stock holdings are normally received 
from operations covering about 90 percent of the capacity. Estimates are made 
for missing facilities to make the survey complete.

Estimation Procedures: On-farm and off-farm survey data are reviewed at the 
State and National levels for reasonableness, consistency with historical 
estimates, and current crop size. After estimates are made for on-farm and 
off-farm stocks, the totals of these two are combined and evaluated using the 
balance sheet approach. This method utilizes other sources of data to check 
the reasonableness of the stocks estimates. Estimates of production, imports, 
exports, crushings, millings, and all other recorded uses of grains and 
oilseeds are reviewed to make sure beginning stocks, production, utilization, 
and ending stocks are within reasonable balance and present the best possible 
estimate of stocks.

Revision Policy: On-farm and off-farm stocks are subject to revision the 
quarter following initial publication and again in the following December 1 
Grain Stocks report published in January each year. Revisions can be made 
when late reports are received, errors are detected in reporting and 
calculations, and production estimates are revised. Estimates will also be 
reviewed following the 5-year Census of Agriculture. No revisions to these 
years will be made after that date.

Reliability: Reliability of the on-farm and off-farm stocks must be treated 
separately because the survey designs for the two surveys are very different. 
The on-farm stocks estimates are subject to sampling variability because all 
operations holding on-farm stocks are not included in the sample. This 
variability, as measured by the relative standard error at the United States 
level, is approximately 2.1 percent for corn 3.0 percent for soybeans, and 
2.6 percent for all wheat. This means that chances are approximately 95 out 
of 100 that survey estimates for stocks will be within plus or minus 
4.2 percent for corn, 6.0 percent for soybeans, and 5.2 percent for all wheat 
of the value that could be developed by averaging the estimates produced from 
all possible samples selected from the same population and surveyed using the 
same procedures. The relative standard errors for sorghum, barley, and oats 
are 14.2, 4.6, and 8.2 percent, respectively.

Survey indications are also subject to non-sampling errors such as omission, 
duplication, imputation for missing data, and mistakes in reporting, 
recording, and processing the data. Off-farm, as well as on-farm stocks, are 
subject to these types of errors. These errors cannot be measured directly, 
but they are minimized through rigid quality controls in the data collection 
process and a careful review of all reported data for consistency and 


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