"Recent grain losses (corn futures down $1 in the last two weeks) are similar to the feeder-cattle price plunge through April and May in that values are dropping in the face of producers and analysts screaming that supplies will be less than expectations," analysts with the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) explained Friday. "Flooded and abandoned acres are sure to lighten this year’s corn crop but the market is falling over global and currency concerns that are expected to hurt exports."
The industry got its first official look at the potential damage wrought by this year's flooding and wet planting weather in this month's World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE). New estimates are for 1.5 million fewer acres planted to corn than originally estimated, plus 400,000 fewer acres less of harvested acreage. Consequently, the estimated 2011-2012 season-average corn price increased 50¢ on both ends of the range to $6-$7/bu.
"Planting delays through early June in the eastern Corn Belt and Northern Plains are expected to reduce planted area, more than offsetting likely gains in the western Corn Belt and Central Plains where planting was ahead of normal by mid-May,” according to the WASDE report. “Harvested area is lowered 1.9 million acres, to 83.2 million acres, with the additional 400,000-acre reduction reflecting early information about May flooding in the lower Ohio and Mississippi River valleys and June flooding along the Missouri River valley. Production is projected at 13.2 billion bu., down 305 million from last month, but still a record, and up 753 million from 2010-11."
At the time, the WASDE analysts noted, “Because spring planting is still underway in the Northern Hemisphere and remains several months away in the Southern Hemisphere, these projections are highly tentative.” That’s especially true given the fact that yield estimates remained unchanged in the most recent WASDE.
USDA pegs ending stocks for the 2011-2012 marketing year at 695 million bu., down significantly from the 900-million-bu. estimate in the May report.
“This is a very, very tight stocks situation, representing just 19 days of supply. We clearly need a big crop this year to build our supply reservoir,” says Todd Davis, American Farm Bureau Federation crops economist.
For the week ending June 20, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service:
Corn – 97% has emerged, 3% less than last year and 2% less than average. 70% is in Good or Excellent condition, compared to 75% a year ago. 7% is rated Poor or Very Poor, the same as a year ago.
Soybeans – 94% is planted, 1% more than last year and the average. 12% has emerged, 10% less than last year and 7% less than average. 82% has emerged, compared to 87% last year and 86% for average. 68% is in Good or Excellent condition; 69% was last year.
Sorghum – 86% is planted, the same as last year and 2% more than the average. 25% has headed, 8% more than last year and the average. 39% is in Good or Excellent condition; 73% was last year.
Winter wheat – 90% was at or beyond the heading stage, 1% less than last year and 3% behind the average. 31% has been harvested, which is 14% more than last year and 9% more than average. 36% is in Good to Excellent condition, 65% less than last year.
Spring wheat – 91% is planted, which is 9% behind last year and the five-year average. 83% has emerged, 16% behind year and the 5-year average. 72% is in Good or Excellent condition, compared to 84% a year ago.
Oats – 96% of the crop has emerged, 4% behind last year and the average. 41% has headed, compared to 64% last year and 55% for average. 59% is reported in Good or Excellent condition; 81% was at the same time a year ago.
Barley – 90% is planted, which is 10% behind last year and normal. 79% has emerged, which is 19% slower than last year and 20% behind the five-year average. 74% is in Good or Excellent condition, compared to 86% last year.
Pasture – 53% of the nation’s pasture and range is rated as Good or Excellent, 28% less than at the same time last year. 25% is rated Poor or Very Poor, compared to 6% a year ago. States reporting more than 40% of pasture as Poor or Very Poor included: Alabama (50%); Arizona (60%); Florida (50%); Georgia (67%); Louisiana (66%); Mississippi (58%); New Mexico (84%); Oklahoma (42%); South Carolina (48%); and Texas (83%).