World wheat production is headed for a record high this year, with a bumper crop in Australia providing the latest bump upward. Australia's crop forecasters, in an estimate adopted by the USDA on Tuesday, say the wheat harvest "is estimated to have increased by 120 percent in 2020-21 to 33.3 million tonnes."
U.S. farmers, who harvested some of their largest corn and soybean crops ever last fall, will reap the highest season-average prices for the crops since the heady days of the commodity boom that ended in worldwide surpluses seven years ago, said the government on Tuesday. Commodity prices are on the rise due to tightening global supplies and large purchases by China, the first country to rebound economically from the pandemic.
The USDA assessment of the condition of the corn and soybean crops nationwide took a beating from derecho damage in Iowa and droughty weather in the Midwest during August, said the USDA on Monday. The Crop Progress report listed 62 percent of corn and 66 percent of soybeans in good or excellent condition, compared to 72 percent of corn and 73 percent of soybeans in those categories at the start of month.
The agricultural sector will struggle over the next year because of the coronavirus pandemic, leading some farmers to quit or be forced out of business, said economist Allen Featherstone in a think tank paper released on Monday. (No paywall)
With production surging by 4.4 percent, corn will drive world cereal grain production to record levels in 2020/21, said the UN Food and Agriculture Organization in its first forecast of the new crops. It was the second forecast in a week of record global output as the planting season ends in the northern hemisphere.
World grain production will reach an all-time high of 2.23 billion tonnes, with record-setting wheat and corn harvests, said the International Grains Council on Thursday. The global inventory of all grains will rise for the first time in four years.
Low market prices will deter farmers from planting as much corn as they planned a month ago, but a record corn crop is still on the horizon, said two Purdue University economists on Monday. The mammoth crop would create the largest corn stockpile since the late 1980s while the already-large soybean stockpile grow bigger still.
In its first assessment since the coronavirus was declared a pandemic, the government forecast lower prices for U.S. crops and livestock as a worldwide economic slowdown, the result of aggressive efforts to squash the virus, weakens the global appetite for food. The notable exceptions are wheat and rice, where panic buying has driven up prices for the food grains, said the USDA on Thursday. (No paywall)
Corn and soybean plantings by U.S. farmers are sure to surge this spring, according to USDA and private analysts, but the coronavirus pandemic is creating uncertainty about whether there will be enough buyers for a bumper crops this fall. The economic slowdown is likely to reduce demand for corn ethanol, hitting corn growers in the wallet, but the alternative crop for many farmers, soybeans, faces a glut of its own.