After challenging start, US feed crops reaching maturity

By Aerin Einstein-Curtis

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/valio84sl
© GettyImages/valio84sl

Related tags feed grains

Following a wet and delayed planting season, US feed crops including corn and soybeans are starting to reach maturity.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) released details​ regarding crop development on Monday [September 30], along with information on stocks​ on feed ingredients and other grains.

Overall, corn and soybean crops are starting to reach maturity and harvest has started in some parts of the country, the USDA reported. However, some crops, including soybeans, face high remaining stocks from last year’s harvest.

About 913m bushels of old crop soybeans were in storage as of September 1, the USDA said. The total is an increase of 108% from the amount available in 2018.

“Soybean stocks stored on farms totaled 265m bushels, up 162% from a year ago,” ​the department said. “Off-farm stocks, at 648m bushels, are up 92% from last September.”

Although crop disappearance from June to August of 2019 did reach 870m bushels, an increase of 11% from that window in 2018, the department said.

“Based on an analysis of end-of-marketing year stock estimates, disappearance data for exports and crushings, and farm program administrative data, the 2018 soybean production is revised down 116m bushels from the previous estimate,” ​the USDA said. “Planted area is revised to 89.2m acres, and harvested area is revised to 87.6m acres. The 2018 yield, at 50.6 bushels per acre, is down 1 bushel from the previous estimate.”

Stocks of old crop corn in storage reached about 2.11bn bushels as of September 1, the department said. The amount is a drop of about 1% from the same date a year earlier.

However, the June-August 2019 disappearance was down slightly at about 3.09bn bushels compared to 3.16bn bushels during that window in 2018.

Similarly, stored wheat declined slightly from the stock in 2018, the department said. This year about 2.38bn bushels are in storage.

Disappearance during the June to August window was 657m bushels – an increase of 11% from the previous year, the department said.

Barley stocks increased 10% from 2018 and disappearance declined, the department said. Total oat stocks fell 18% from previous years and disappearance rose to 30.8m bushels.

“Old crop grain sorghum stored in all positions on September 1, 2019 totaled 63.7m bushels, up 83% from a year ago,” ​the department said. “The June – August 2019 indicated disappearance from all positions is 53.8m bushels, up 76% from the same period a year ago.”

Corn progress

In the 18 states responsible for the majority of the corn crop about 88% of the crop has reached the corn dent stage, the USDA said. Last year at this time 100% of the crop had hit that level of development.

Full maturity also is trailing the pace set in previous years as only 43% of the crop has reached maturity, down from 73% on average and 84% last year, the department said.

States that have seen the most of their crop meet that level of development include Kentucky, North Carolina and Tennessee, the department said. States that have 25% or less of their crop reach maturity include Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin.

However, about 11% of the crop has been harvested with Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas reporting that more than half of the crop has been collected, the department said. Harvest has not started in Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota or Wisconsin.  

Crop condition also has fallen below the level established last year, the department reported. About 57% of the corn crop has earned a rating of good or excellent this year, while last year, about 69% did.

Soybean development

Across the 18 states accounting for the majority of the US soybean crop, slightly more than half the crop has reached the point of dropping leaves, the USDA said. On average, about 76% of the crop has his that point of development by this time and last year 81% of the crop had.

States that have not seen half of their crop develop to that stage include Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin, the department said. No individual states outperformed the pace of development they set in 2018.

Although all 18 states are reporting that soybean harvest has started, only 7% of the crop has been collected at this point, the department said. On average about 20% has been and last year 22% was.

With 68 and 46% of the crop collected, Louisiana and Mississippi have seen the most progress in this area, the department said. However, Illinois, Missouri, South Dakota and Wisconsin reported that harvest has only reached 1%.

Crop condition improved from earlier reports, with 57% earning a good or excellent rating, the department reported. However, last year at this time, 68% had that score.

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