Barge Movement Slowed and Favorable Harvest Weather Outlook - Thursday, 28 September 2017

The long range forecasts are indicating producers may have a cooperative stretch of weather on the way for harvest this season.  This is good news for field work but the lack of precipitation is troublesome for transit issues that have arisen this year.   Low water levels on some of the major rivers in the U.S. has reduced barge movement and the amount of inventory the barges can transport.  The timing of this couldn’t have come at a worse time with harvest underway.  With inventories building the less efficient and more expensive rail system will need to be used to help relieve some of what the barges are unable to carry.  Concern has also been increasing over demand for both corn and soybeans.  While soybean exports to China are up 16% for the year we still are running far behind Brazil which has exported 37 MMT this year to the Chinese, nearly double that of the U.S. Analysts look for the lack of robust exports and current supply levels of U.S. crops to keep a lid on prices this fall regardless of what yields do.


This week The Van Trump Report published these graphs that put into perspective the growth of corn and soybean yields over the years.  This visual aid shows us the year that the record yield was harvested and the percentage of growth from the previous decade.  The latest corn record was set last year, the percentage of increase from the previous decade was much smaller, makes a person wonder if the large, consistent gains are tapering off or getting ready for another large leap up. Soybeans have seen similar scenarios in the past but as you can see 2016 delivered a significant resurgence to soybean yields.

Corn maturity and harvest are all running behind normal pace.  The graph shown below shows that most everyone’s harvest progress across the Midwest is running behind when compared to the 5 year average. Kevin Van Trump of the Van Trump Report continues to receive harvest yield reports from across many states and he reports, “I’m hearing more talk of “better than expected” yields. A few folks are talking about perhaps record setting production, but certainly not very many.  In fact most are still seeing the top-end off a bit, but just not as bad as they thought a month ago.  I am starting to hear more talk of “quality” concerns from some of the production down South.  From what I understand there’s some fairly stiff penalties being handed out on corn being delivered with mold and toxin issues.” Listed here are where states seem to be grouped according to corn conditions:

Above Average Corn Conditions

  • Kansas
  • Kentucky  
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Wisconsin

At or Near Average Corn Conditions

  • Iowa
  • Indiana

Below Average Corn Conditions

  • Illinois
  • Michigan
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota


Overall the soybean harvest is moving along at a pace near normal.  A graph comparing this year’s soybean to the 5 year average is shown below.


Brazil producers continue at plant at an extremely slow rate.  According to AgRural overall planting progress for soybeans in the country stands at 0.3% due to the dry and hot conditions.  Corn planting is further along with 40% of the crop planted in the southern regions according to AgroSouth. 

The map below is a Drought Monitor map for the country of Brazil and shows the dry conditions affecting several areas.  The latest forecasts are beginning to show more opportunities for widespread rainfall during the next few days.

NOAA has published their short term forecast for October and long term forecast for October through December.  The October outlook predicts warmer than normal temps for the Plains and upper Midwest and near normal temps for the southern Plains and western and central Corn Belt. They have also issued a La Niña watch for this winter but whether or not this weather pattern will develop or not is unknown at this time.



© 2015 Ag Performance | All Rights Reserved.

Home | About Us | Services | Products | News | Contact Us |