As usual, farmers and traders alike braced for the USDA’s latest World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimate (WASDE) numbers. Market corrections based on the monthly report’s numbers vary in intensity based upon how well they match up with pre-report, private estimates. While many question the impact of the USDA’s numbers for the longer term, the reports undoubtedly affect the grain markets for the short term, and whether the outlook is bullish or bearish.

The August report was released at 11 am on Tuesday, and the numbers reflect record production for both corn and beans. Farmers across the nation are estimated to grow 14 billion bushels of corn and 3.8 billion bushels of beans.

For corn, the record national average estiUSDA Reportsmate of 167.4 bushels per acre is still below the pre-report estimates. This brought ending stocks for 2013-14 corn to 1.181 billion bushels, and ending stocks for 2014-15 at 1.808 billion bushels, both below the range of pre-report estimate. Despite the record numbers, they were still slightly below trade expectations, and analysts are calling it slightly bullish for corn.

As far as corn yields are concerned, 11 states are expected to post new yield marks. The USDA also reported that ten key corn producing states have the highest number of ears on record so far. The estimated average cash price expectation for corn was lowered to 3.90 from 4.00. For soybeans, the WASDE report spelled bearish futures for soybeans and record-breaking production. Farmers will harvest 3.816 billion bushels of soybeans with a national average yield of 45.4 bushels per acre, the USDA said. This is 16 percent higher than last year.

As such, shortly after the report numbers were released, soybean trade numbers dipped double digits on news of the potential record crop. The report also indicated that the U.S. season-average soybean price for 2014/15 is forecast at $9.35 to $11.35 per bushel, down 15 cents on both ends.

The ending stocks estimate for 2013-14 soybeans was unchanged overall at 140 million bushels, although some numbers were changed in regard to supply and demand. As a result of the increased production estimates, the USDA increased ending soybean stocks for 2014-15 by 15 million bushels.

The report also indicated that Arkansas, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania could see record state soybean yields, and as of the end of last week, 71 percent of soybeans were rated in good to excellent condition, with development moving forward at a normal pace.

While these numbers are not good for beans, Al Kluis of Kluis Commodities cautions against making any rash decisions based upon quick market reactions after the report numbers are released. He reasons that the report’s estimates are not that far off of last month’s estimates, and the lower price trend has been underway for some time. Kluis notes, “If you’ve got hedges or crop insurance in place, there’s no reason to be panicking here. If we don’ t have an early frost, prices could bounce back in October.”

Do you have concerns regarding your land and the effects of the current report on the land rental rates? Let the experts at UFARM help.

United Farm and Ranch Management (UFARM) is a Nebraska-based company devoted to meeting landowners’ needs. UFARM offers a full range of Nebraska land management services, including real estate sales, rural property appraisals, consultations and crop insurance. UFARM has operated in Nebraska since the early 1930’s. Contact Us.


Sources consulted: Caldwell, Jeff. “Soybean Crop Size Flirting with a Record—USDA.” 12 Aug. 2014. Web. 12 Aug. 2014. Micik, Katie. “USDA Sees Record Corn, Soybean Crop.” DTN/The Progressive Farmer. DTN/ 12 Aug. 2014. Web. 12 Aug. 2014. “USDA reports record US corn, soybean production.” Reuters. 12 Aug. 2014. Web. 12 Aug. 2014.

Nebraska Planting ProgressFarmers across the nation are hard at work getting their crops into the ground as we head into the final two weeks of May. The latest USDA weekly crop progress estimates from Monday showed progress being made for both corn and soybeans over the last two weeks. In Nebraska, farmers have also moved forward and are slightly ahead of neighboring states despite various weather-related factors, chief among them being last week’s cold temperatures and some rainfall.

By the numbers, for corn, as of May 18 Nebraska producers had 91 percent of their corn in the ground, versus 78 percent for the same date last year. This is slightly ahead of the five year average of 89 percent for the state for this date. For the total 18 states that the USDA reports these statistics, as of May 18, the nation’s farmers had 73 percent of corn planted, versus 65 percent at this date in 2013. This is only 3 percent short of the overall five year average for this time of 76 percent. Overall, these numbers show that planting progress for corn is once again keeping pace, despite the previous week’s weather delays.

For soybeans, Nebraska farmers have 65 percent planted, versus only 29 percent as of May 18, 2013. This is 10 percent higher than the five year average of 55 percent for the state. Overall numbers show slightly less progress, however, with 33 percent of soybeans in the ground, versus 21 percent in 2013. The overall average is 38 percent by this time over the past five years.

Planting progress only shows half the story, however, and the USDA also reported the percentages of emergence for both corn and soybeans in this week’s numbers. For Nebraska corn, the report showed 43 percent emergence, up substantially from the previous week’s 18 percent, and only slightly behind the NE corn emergence average of 45 percent. Overall, corn emergence was at 34 percent. While this is a significant gain from the previous week’s 18 percent emergence, it is still lagging the five year average of 42 percent. Soybean emergence is close to the usual five year averages, with Nebraska reporting 13 percent emergence and overall numbers reporting 9 percent. The averages are 14 and 11 percent, respectively.

After last week’s low temperatures, where many parts of the state saw frost on three consecutive nights, farmers are concerned that their newly planted crops were affected, and are now in the process of assessing whether or not they will have to replant. Either way, crop growth and development was hampered by the cold temperatures. Farmers concerned with potential damage need to do some investigating. The University of Nebraska Lincoln CropWatch analysts advise the following:

To determine the need for replanting, first estimate stands. Then, estimate yield potential. The most important factor in deciding whether to replant is to calculate expected yield with the current stand versus what you could potentially have if you replanted. Lastly, estimate replanting costs.  Consider costs of tillage, seed, fuel, additional pesticides, and labor. Consider also that delayed planting certainly means higher grain moisture at harvest and the possibility of fall frosts before physiological maturity. You may want to consider planting a shorter season hybrid seed. Caution: Before replanting, contact your crop insurance agent, Farm Service Agency, and others with an interest in your crop.

The weather forecast for the coming week predicts near to above normal rainfall for a large portion of the Midwest, which could add more delays to the last stretch of planting. However, warmer temperatures will help alleviate potential delays to a certain extent. If you have planting concerns or questions about your farmland, feel free to contact us at United Farm and Ranch Management.

United Farm and Ranch Management (UFARM) is a Nebraska-based company devoted to meeting landowners’ needs. UFARM offers a full range of Nebraska land management services, including real estate sales, rural property appraisals, consultations and crop insurance. UFARM has operated in Nebraska since the early 1930’s.  Find out more at


“Time to Dig In and Assess Need for Replanting Corn.” Cropwatch. University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 09 May 2014. Web. 20 May 2014.
“Corn and Soybean Planting Maps.” Agweb. Farm Journal. 19 May 2014. Web. 20 May 2014.

USDA ReportsFour major crop reports were released on January 10th by the USDA. More bullish-than-expected data in the corn market came as a surprise to many market analysts after largely bearish predictions prior to the release of the reports. On the whole, the USDA reflected higher than anticipated estimated corn stocks, neutral bean stocks, and bearish wheat stocks.

The four reports—the Annual Crop ProductionGrain StocksWinter Wheat Seedings, and World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE)—are highly anticipated, as these reports set the basis for harvested acres from the previous growing season and set the tone for the grain and crop market outlook for the next growing season. The USDA’s monthly and annual reports are considered the most significant factors affecting the grain markets, and even slight changes in the reports’ numbers can have drastic implications on commodity prices and market reactions.

After higher than expected yields for corn and soybeans across most of the Midwest this fall, most analysts were anticipating the USDA to revise its numbers upward in its January report, and were expecting the corn outlook to remain bearish. The USDA’s downward revision of estimated corn bushels per acre combined with a higher demand number resulted in the lower corn stock estimates.

Looking at the numbers, for corn, the USDA estimates the 2013 U.S. average yield at 158.8 bushels per acre, which is down 1.6 bushels from the November forecast, but 35.4 bushels above the 2012 average yield of 123.4. The USDA said 6.38 billion bushels are stored on farm, while 4.05 billion bushels are stored in off-farm locations like grain elevators.

Area harvested for grain is estimated at 87.7 million acres, up slightly from both the November forecast and 2012.

In soybeans, the USDA increased its production estimate, boosting production to 3.289 billion bushels from its previous projection of 3.258 billion bushels. To get there, USDA upped harvested acres to 75.87 million acres from its previous 75.7 million acres estimate and adjusted the national average yield to 43.3 bushels per acre from 43.0 bushels per acre. The USDA set soybean stocks as of December 1 at 2.148 billion bushels, which is slightly smaller than the average pre-report estimate. Additionally, it’s the second-smallest soybean stocks figure since the 2003-04 marketing year. The USDA said 955 million bushels are stored on-farm, while 1.192 billion bushels are in off-farm storage.

In wheat, farmers planted 41.89 million acres of winter wheat this fall, down 3% from 2013, the USDA reported. Winter wheat seedings came in below the range of pre-report expectations. The USDA also reported that hard red winter wheat was planted on 30.1 million acres, which is up 2% from 2013. Soft red winter wheat was planted on 8.44 million acres, down 16% from 2013. White winter wheat was planted on 3.39 million acres, down 3% from last year. The quarterly Grain Stocks report said the U.S. has 1.463 billion bushels of wheat stocks, 399 million bushels stored on farm and 1.064 billion bushels stored off farm. (Micik, Katie. “USDA Reports Summary: USDA Trims Corn Crop.” DTN/The Progressive Farmer, 06 Jan. 2014. Web. 07 Jan. 2014.)

The January USDA numbers often yield unexpected data, and this year’s reports didn’t disappoint. If you’re a landowner looking for assistance managing the complexities of land ownership, please contact UFARM for a free consultation with one of our experienced land managers.