Iowa Farm Outlook & News

  • 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
  • September 2014 Yield Estimates for 2014/15 Crops:
       Corn 171.7 bushels per acre, up 4.3 bushels from last month
       Soybean 46.6 bushels per acre, up 1.2 bushels from last month
  • September 2014 Price Estimates for 2014/15 Crops:
       Corn $3.50 per bushel, down 40 cents from last month
       Soybean $10.00 per bushel, down 35 cents from last month
This Big Crop Got Bigger (9/11/14)

The word "record" continues to fly around agriculture as USDA released its WASDE and Crop Production reports. In August, USDA projected record corn and soybean crops. In September, USDA increased the size of those records. In both cases, crop acreage was held steady, going against some suggestions that acreage might be reduced, based on certified plantings from the Farm Service Agency. The national average corn yield was raised to 171.7 bushels per acre. USDA also raised the corn yield estimates in 24 states. Only one state (Pennsylvania) saw a reduction in expected corn yield. These yield estimates increase projected 2014 corn production to 14.395 billion bushels, roughly 470 million bushels more last year's record crop. The national average soybean yields increased to 46.6 bushels per acre, 1.2 bushels above last month's estimate. 20 state soybean yields were also increased. Soybean production is now pegged at 3.913 billion bushels, that's over 550 million bushels more than the previous record.

On the demand side, USDA put forward increases in feed and residual, ethanol, food, seed, and export uses for corn. The shifts brought corn demand to a record 13.605 billion bushels. But with supplies still outracing demand, corn ending stocks are projected to exceed 2 billion bushels. With the increased ending stocks, USDA lowered the midpoint of its season-average price range by 40 cents to $3.50 per bushel. Domestic crush and export demand increased for soybeans. But the general story is the same as it is for corn, higher ending stocks and lower crop prices. The midpoint of the season-average price range fell 35 cents to $10 per bushel.

Canadian Livestock (9/1/14)

On August 21, Statistics Canada released its July 1, 2014 estimates of cattle and hog numbers in Canada. These inventory estimates are important as Canadian imports of feeder cattle, slaughter cows, and feeder pigs make up a noteworthy portion of inventories in some areas of the U.S. The July 1 total cattle inventory in Canada was 13.330 million head, 1.4% smaller than in July 2013. The number of beef cows in Canada decreased 1.0% from last year to 3.922 million head. The number of beef heifers kept for replacement was down 3.6% to 616,000 head. The inventory of feeder steers and heifers, at 16.092 million head, was down 1.8% compared to 2013. The calf crop in Canada during the first half of the 2013 (which accounts for about 80% of the annual calf crop) was 1.4% lower than the previous year. Canadian inventory of all hogs and pigs on July 1, 2014 was 12.935 million head. This was up 1.3% from July 1, 2013. The breeding inventory, at 1.222 million head, was up 0.7% from last year. Market hog inventory, at 11.713 million head, was up 1.4% percent from last year. The semi-annual pig crop, at 13.439 million head, was down 3.0% from 2013.