Iowa Farm Outlook & News

Headlines
  • June 2014 Marketings of Fed Cattle:
       U.S. 1,000+ Head Feedlots: 1.85 million head, down 1.8% from last year
       Iowa 1,000+ Head Feedlots: 70,000 head, down 4.1% from last year
       Iowa Less Than 1,000 Head Feedlots: 68,000 head, down 25.3% from last year
  • June 2014 Placements in Feedlots:
       U.S. 1,000+ Head Feedlots: 1.46 million head, down 6.2% from last year
       Iowa 1,000+ Head Feedlots: 54,000 head, up 20% from last year
       Iowa Less Than 1,000 Head Feedlots: 40,000 head, down 46.7% from last year
  • July 2014 Cattle on Feed:
       U.S. 1,000+ Head Feedlots: 10.13 million head, down 2.4% from last year
       Iowa 1,000+ Head Feedlots: 620,000 head, up 6.9% from last year
       Iowa Less Than 1,000 Head Feedlots: 530,000 head, down 11.7% from last year
  • August 2014 Yield Estimates for 2014/15 Crops:
       Corn 167.4 bushels per acre, up 2.1 bushels from last month
       Soybean 45.4 bushels per acre, up 0.2 bushels from last month
  • August 2014 Price Estimates for 2014/15 Crops:
       Corn $3.90 per bushel, down 10 cents from last month
       Soybean $10.35 per bushel, down 15 cents from last month
Crops
Record Crops, But Somewhat Smaller Than Expected (8/12/14)

The USDA's WASDE and Crop Production reports were released today. These reports were heavily anticipated by the markets as they represent the first set of estimates based on objective data from the field. The pre-trade expectations were for both crops to reach record production levels. And on that count, the reports agreed. But the production levels projected by USDA are slightly smaller than expected. For corn, the adjustments actually start with the 2013 crop. As we finish up the 2013 marketing year, corn demand has continued to build. In these latest numbers, USDA increased ethanol demand by 45 million bushels and export demand by 20 million bushels. Those changes cut ending stocks to 1.18 billion bushels, which was outside the range of pre-trade expectations. For the 2014 corn crop, there were a number of shifts on both the supply and demand front. The national yield was estimated at 167.4 bushels per acre. That's up 2.1 bushels from USDA's original estimate and up 8.6 bushels from last year. Given that yield, production is pegged at just over 14 billion bushels, topping last year's record. However, the trade was looking for production in 14.2 billion bushel range, so the corn crop is a little lighter than anticipated. Feed, ethanol, and export demand were all increased, raising total demand to 13.435 billion bushels. Carryout stands at 1.8 billion bushels. The midpoint of the 2014/15 season-average price range was lowered to $3.90 per bushels, down 10 cents from last month.

For soybeans, the shifts for the 2013 crop basically offset each other, leaving ending stocks at 140 million bushels and a season-average price of $13 per bushel. For the 2014 crop, the yield was increased by 0.2 bushels per acre to a national average of 45.4 bushels per acre. That puts production at 3.816 billion bushels. Demand for the 2014 crop was left unchanged, so the production increase was absorbed into ending stocks. Carryout was raised to 430 million bushels for the 2014/15 crop and the midpoint of the 2014/15 season-average price range was lowered 15 cents to $10.35 per bushel.

Livestock
Cattle (8/1/14)

USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service released the mid-year Cattle report on Friday, July 25. The Cattle report was anxiously awaited because, due to budget restrictions, the mid-year Cattle report was not released last year. That means year over year comparisons are not possible and comparisons must be with July 2012. The total cattle and calves in the U.S. as of July 1, 2014, totaled 95.0 million head, 2.9% below the 97.8 million on July 1, 2012. That is the lowest July inventory since the July series began in 1973. Beef cows, at 29.7 million, were down 2.5% from 2012, and beef replacement heifers, at 4.1 million, were down 2.4%. The 2014 calf crop is expected to be 33.6 million head, down 1.0% from 2013 and down 2.0% from 2012. The report confirmed that cattle supplies are tight, but there are indications that some herd rebuilding is taking place. Heifer slaughter in the U.S. has been down 7.0% from last year and down 14.4% from the 2008-12 average compared to steer slaughter down 2.2% from last year and down 6.8% from the 2008-12 average. Beef cow slaughter has been down 15.7% from last year and down 19.1% from the 2008-12 average. The July Cattle on Feed report indicated 4.6% fewer heifers on feed than last year.

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