Iowa Farm Outlook & News

Headlines
  • Apr. 2016 Prices for 2015/16 Crops:
       Corn $3.55 per bushel, down 5 cents from last month
       Soybean $8.75 per bushel, steady from last month
  • Mar. 2016 Stocks for 2015/16 Crops:
       Corn 7.81 billion bushels, up 1% from last year
       Soybean 1.53 billion bushels, up 15% from last year
  • Mar. 2016 Planted Area for 2016/17 Crops:
       Corn 93.6 million acres, up 6% from last year
       Soybean 82.2 million acres, down less than 1% from last year
  • Mar. 2016 Hogs & Pigs: All Hogs and Pigs
       U.S.: 67.644 million head, up 0.4% from last year
       Iowa: 20.200 million head, down 2.9% from last year
  • Mar. 2016 Hogs & Pigs: Breeding Herd
       U.S.: 5.98 million head, same as last year
       Iowa: 980,000 head, down 4.9% from last year
  • Mar. 2016 Hogs & Pigs: Market Hogs
       U.S.: 61.664 million head, up 0.4% from last year
       Iowa: 19.220 million head, down 2.8% from last year
Crops
April Demand Update (4/12/16)

The World Ag Supply and Demand Estimates update for April contained some modest changes for the crop balance sheets. For U.S. soybeans, the only changes were a 15 million bushel bump in export demand and a slight decline in seed demand, based on last month's Prospective Plantings report. Projected soybean ending stocks were lowered to 445 million bushels, but the midpoint of the 2015/16 season-average price range remains steady at $8.75 per bushel. For U.S. corn, the adjustments were mixed. Feed demand was reduced 50 million bushels, based on the quarterly disappearance pattern from the Grain Stocks report. Corn usage for ethanol was increased 25 million bushels as ethanol production has held near record levels over the 1st three months of the calendar year. Thus, corn ending stocks were raised 25 million bushels and the midpoint of the 2015/16 season-average price range fell 5 cents to $3.55 per bushel.

World corn production for 2015/16 was increased by 3 million metric tons, with 1 million of that going to increased imports for Mexico and Southeast Asia and 2 million projected to be held in stock. China's feed usage of corn is projected to rise by 2 million metric tons, but that increase is expected to be met by drawing down existing internal stocks. World soybean production for 2015/16 was lowered slightly as declines in Chinese and Indian production offset an increase from Argentina. Global soybean trade was raised, based on stronger exports to China, Japan, and Mexico.

Livestock
Hogs (4/1/16)

Imported feeder pigs work hand in glove with U.S. herd numbers to impact production and prices. Imports of Canadian feeder pigs surged 10.2% or 394,863 head in 2015. Through mid-March imports were up 104,409 head or 11.9%. The market is striving to determine implications of "more than normal" feeder pig imports on hog inventories, slaughter levels and prices. An extra 400,000 hogs are about one day's slaughter, which is not a lot. But when supplies are large, it doesn't take a lot to pressure prices. Several factors fuel the Canadian feeder pig import surge. One is demand. Low feed prices and profitable lean hog prices boost interest in finishing hogs in the U.S. A second reason is the strong U.S. dollar relative to Canadian currency. Canadian producers want to sell pigs to U.S. producers because of the favorable exchange rate. A third reason is the growing Canadian herd. The January 1, 2016 Canadian all hogs and pigs inventory was estimated at 13.260 million hogs (+0.7% compared to January 1, 2015), 12,022 million market hogs (+0.6%), and 1.238 million breeding hogs (+1.6%). Supply and demand fundamentals appear to be in place to keep pulling more Canadian born feeder pigs into the U.S. for the next few years.

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