Dec corn down 4 at $3.67
Nov beans down 6 ¼ at $8.625
The DOW is up
USD is stronger
Crude oil down $1.70 at $53.70
Corn bulls are battling improved moisture profiles, worries about U.S. ethanol, a strong U.S. dollar, and a hard to believe number of harvested acres. Bulls feel like either the harvested acre number is well overstated or the yield is being significantly overestimated. If the acres are zeroed out and left unharvested, which bulls believe there will be plenty of, then the USDA’s acreage estimate needs to come down significantly. The Pro Farmer Tour releases their results for Minnesota and Iowa last night. The tour estimated the Minnesota yield at 170.37 bushels per acre vs. 178.67 last year. The USDA estimated Minnesota’s final crop last year at 182.0 bushels per acre vs. 173 bushels per acre this year. Bears will argue that based on the Pro Farmer Tour results perhaps the USDA is a bit too conservative in Minnesota. The Iowa Pro Farmer Tour results showed an average yield of 182.83 bushels per acre vs. 188.20 last year. The USDA last year estimated the final Iowa yield at 196 bushels per acre vs. the current estimate of 191.0 bushels per acre.
Soybean traders continue to debate U.S. yield and finishing weather. Bulls continue to believe the crop is way too late, underdeveloped, and will struggle to meet the USDA’s projected yield estimate before the cold temps arrive. The tour released their Iowa results showing a pod count of 1106.91 vs. a 1208.99 pod count last year. The USDA’s final yield estimate for last year was 57 bushels per acre vs. the 55 bushel per acre current estimate.
Most inside the trade are expecting today’s Cattle on Feed report to show gains in all categories compared to last year. Cattle on Feed is estimated to be just over +11.1 million head as of Aug. 1 just slightly higher than last year. Traders are saying higher grain prices earlier in the summer along with good pasture ground let the calves stay at home longer and placed at heavier weights. That trend could certainly change with the collapsing of grain prices.
Today is the deadline (August 23) for farmers and ranchers with expiring Conservation Reserve Program contracts to re-enroll in certain continuous sign-up practices or, if eligible, select a one-year contract extension. CRP is one of the country’s largest conservation programs and run through the USDA’s Farm Service Agency. Officials say they’ll also be accepting offers from landowners who want to enroll for the first time. This year’s CRP continuous sign-up practices include grass waterways, filter strips, riparian buffers, wetland restoration and others. CRP contracts for these practices last for 10 to 15 years, with soil rental rates set at 90% of the 2018 rates. Sign-ups are also open for the FSA’s Market Facilitation Program (MFP), which helps certain crop and livestock producers who suffer from economic damages resulting from trade wars with foreign nations. That sign-up period runs through December 6. Through MFP, USDA will provide up to $14.5 billion in direct payments to impacted producers, part of a broader trade relief package announced late last month. The first round of trade aid payments has already started going out. If conditions warrant, the second and third tranches will be made in November and early January.