With the fall harvest getting under way, traders expect the USDA to trim its estimate of the U.S. corn crop by more than a quarter-billion bushels on Monday but to stick to its forecast of the largest soybean crop ever, at roughly 4.5 billion bushels. Dry weather in the western Corn Belt, including powerhouses Iowa and Nebraska, will lower corn production to just below 14.1 billion bushels, or 1 billion bushels less than last year, according to the average estimate from traders surveyed by wire services.
The U.S. soybean hit parade, with record production in 2016, 2017, and 2018, will continue this year with the largest crop ever, the government forecast on Tuesday with the harvest in full swing. A late-summer surge in likely yields per acre prompted the USDA to say the crop will be 2 percent larger than its previous estimate.
If all politics is local, the Senate race in Iowa was roiled by a profoundly local question last week: What's the break-even price for corn and soybeans? Sen. Joni Ernst, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, missed by a mile on soybeans and the reverberations continue. The Iowa Farm Bureau said on Sunday that Ernst "continues to have our full support" after a fake email suggested otherwise.
Farmers growing the three major U.S. crops — corn, soybeans and wheat — can expect a sizable decline in the average sales price for this year's harvest instead of the mild upturn that was forecast in late February, said the USDA. In its first projection of the fall harvest, the USDA said season-average prices for the three crops would be 8 to 10 percent lower than anticipated at its Outlook Forum.
With Trump tariff payments boosting Corn Belt farm revenue, farmer confidence shot to its highest level since last June, just before the trade war began against China, said the monthly Ag Economy Barometer published by Purdue University. Producers polled by Purdue said they expect ag exports to increase in the years ahead, an indirect sign they expect a beneficial resolution with China.
As a consequence of the Sino-U.S. trade war, Brazil is likely to ship nearly 60 million tonnes of soybeans to China this calendar year, a 9-percent increase from 2017, say USDA analysts. While the United States is effectively shut out of China because of high tariffs, "U.S. trade opportunities for markets outside of China would rise by nearly 13 million tonnes in the coming (trade) year, compared to 2016/17," according to the monthly Oilseeds: World Markets and Trade report.
For Iowa farmer John Heisdorffer, the math is brutal in the U.S.-China tariff war: "You tax soybeans at 25 percent and you have serious damage to U.S. farmers." China, the No. 1 customer for U.S. farm exports, canceled purchases of nearly $140 million worth of U.S. soybeans just before the two countries imposed tit-for-tat tariffs on each other's products. Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst said on Sunday the Trump administration was working on "a number of new free-trade agreements," but China "will be a much longer haul."
After a decade of robust growth, world production of soybeans will grow at a much slower rate of 1.5 percent annually in the years ahead, says two UN agencies in their annual Agricultural Outlook. Brazil, the longtime No. 2 to the United States in soybeans, will reach parity with America, said the report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Food and Agriculture Organization.
The United States is headed for a record-setting soybean crop and the third-largest corn crop on record, although the harvests will be marginally smaller than forecast by USDA, says the Pro Farmer crop tour of seven Farm Belt states that grow the bulk of the crops. The tour, conducted with the …
Purdue’s monthly survey of producers reported a small uptick in farmer confidence with the arrival of the spring planting season despite an undercurrent of pessimism about what corn and soybean prices will be at harvest time.