Weather & Crop Conditions - Wednesday, 07 June 2017

The weather is beginning to take center stage. Dry conditions across the Plains and particularly in the Dakota’s are beginning to impact crops and market prices.  Advances in prices have been limited though, due in part to the fact that the U.S. is already one of the highest priced sources in the global market at this time.  In addition, many local grain buyers have been increasing their basis which is also limiting the benefits available to producers. Dry conditions are expected to remain in place over a large portion of the western Corn Belt, some of these areas haven’t seen rainfall for over two weeks.  It is much too early to get overly concerned about the lack of rainfall but if it continues over the next few weeks the markets are likely to take further notice. 

The USDA weekly crop reports showed that 96% of the U.S. corn crop is planted with the majority of key production states thought to be 98% planted or higher.  Some of the states that continue to run behind their typical 5 year average are:

  • Indiana and Ohio are both 91% planted compared to their 5 year averages of 96%
  • Wisconsin is also 91% planted compared to the 5 year average of 92%
  • Kansas has 90% of the corn planted compared to a 96% average

The corn crop condition report indicates that the crop has improved by +3% to 68% Good to Excellent.  Listed are a few of the states that are showing sizable differences in GD/EX conditions from a year ago.  (some are improved from a year ago some are worse than a year ago)

  • Iowa is rated +7% higher than a year ago, is now 77% GD/EX
  • Pennsylvania is rated +18% better than a year ago and is now 82% GD/EX
  • Indiana is rated -26% below a year ago and is now only 46% GD/EX
  • North Dakota is rated -19% lower than last year and is now 67% GD/EX
  • Ohio is -18% lower than a year ago with 49% of the corn crop rated GD/EX
  • Wisconsin is -18% lower than last year and is 69% GD/EX
  • Illinois is -17% off last year and is rated at 59% GD/EX

The USDA reported this week that soybean planting is now running ahead of schedule with 83% of the crop planted versus the 5 year average of 79% and 58% are emerged.  As with the corn crop there are states that are lagging behind their 5 year average while there are also states running ahead of average.  A few to note:

  • Ohio is currently -13% behind their average and have 26% of the bean acres to plant
  • Indiana and Michigan are both -10% behind their averages and have 25% left to plant
  • North Dakota is +13% ahead of normal pace and has only 6% left to plant
  • Minnesota is +8% ahead of average with 6% left to plant
  • Iowa is +7% ahead of normal with only 9% left to plant
  • Illinois is +4% ahead of normal with 15% left to plant

This week the proposed USDA budget was sent to Congress by the President.  This proposal asks for more than $228 billion in cuts including $38 billion of that from farm programs over the next 10 years. According to Vincent Duvall, President of the American Farm Bureau Federation, this proposed budget would fail agriculture and rural America and will not be supported by the American Farm Bureau for those reasons.  “We believe agriculture should do its fair share to get us back to fiscal discipline and a balanced budget.  But we’ve already done more than our fair share.”  In the 2014 farm bill the deficit was expected to be reduced by $23 billion over 10 years, Agriculture was the only sector that voluntarily offered savings in 2014 and Duvall feels that farmers should not be asked to sacrifice any further given current prices and falling farm income. In general the budget presented to Congress is a formality that “checks a procedural box” and these budget proposals are typically “dead on arrival” in Congress where ultimately the budget will be written and passed.  Duvall assures producers that, “The American Farm Bureau Federation will work with the appropriate committees in Congress to ensure that we maintain programs that help farmers manage risk and help rural communities survive.”

The forecast is indicating the chance for very little rainfall for the Midwest and northern plains for the next seven days.  Rainfall from early spring has supplied ample soil moisture for now but a dry pattern for the mid to long term is beginning to cause concern.  In contrast, a cool and wet pattern is expected over Eastern regions with rainfall totals of 1 to 3 inches predicted over the next 5 days.  The 6 to 10 day outlook for June 11-15th shows above normal temps for the central and southern Plains, Midwest and the East while below normal temps will be found in the Northwest and High Plains. Dry conditions will continue for the northern Atlantic Coast and central and southern High Plains, wet weather will cover parts of the Pacific Northwest to the upper Great Lakes and Southeast. 



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