Iowa Farm Outlook & News

  • Sept. 2016 Hogs and Pigs: Inventory of All Hogs and Pigs:
       U.S. 70.851 million head, up 2.4% from last year
       IA 22.0 million head, up 2.3% from last year
  • Sept. 2016 Hogs and Pigs: Breeding Herd Inventory:
       U.S. 6.016 million head, up 0.5% from last year
       IA 980,000 head, down 2.0% from last year
  • Sept. 2016 Hogs and Pigs: Market Hog Inventory:
       U.S. 64.835 million head, up 2.6% from last year
       IA 21.020 million head, up 2.5% from last year
  • Oct. 2016 Prices for 2015/16 Crops:
       Corn $3.61 per bushel, up 1 cent from last month
       Soybean $8.95 per bushel, steady with last month
  • Oct. 2016 Prices for 2016/17 Crops:
       Corn $3.25 per bushel, up 5 cents from last month
       Soybean $9.05 per bushel, steady with last month
  • Oct. 2016 Yield Estimates for 2016/17 Crops:
       Corn 173.4 bushels per acre, down 1 bushel from last month
       Soybean 51.4 bushels per acre, up 0.8 bushels from last month
Hogs and Pigs (10/1/16)

From producer surveys USDA tallied the September 1 all hogs and pigs inventory at 70.851 million, record large and up 2.4% compared to last year. The market hog inventory was pegged at a record large 64.835 million, up 2.6% from a year earlier. The 6.016 million head breeding herd was up 0.5% compared to a year ago and was the largest since December 2008. The combination of more sows farrowing and more pigs per litter has bolstered quarterly pig crops. Each of the last four quarters have been records for pigs per litter and pig crops. Iowa's inventories of all hogs and pigs and market hogs were both also record large. In Iowa breeding herd expansion remains restrained. The 980,000 head breeding herd was down 2.0% compared to a year ago. This is the third consecutive quarter that the Iowa breeding herd has remained under one million head. Lower hog and pig prices have likely raised the red flag on further expansion, at least for now. However, longer-term additional expansion is still possible. Low feed grain price projections for the coming year(s) and the expectation of increased packer competition for slaughter pigs as new packing plants begin coming on-line set the stage for possible growth. Ultimately, how large inventories can and will expand will largely depend on growth in domestic and export pork demand.

Yield Adjustments, but Still Record Crops (10/12/16)

USDA updated its projections for the 2016 corn and soybean crops. And while the national corn yield is reduced, the national soybean yield is increased and record production is still on the books for both crops. The national corn yield is set at 173.4 bushels per acre, down a bushel from last month, but still 2.4 bushels above the previous record set in 2014. With the yield this high, a 15 billion bushel corn crop is projected to be heading in from the fields during harvest. Combined with the 1.7 billion bushel carryover, total corn supplies for the 2016/17 marketing year stand at 16.85 billion bushels. Corn usage is also projected at record levels, but demand has not been able and is not projected to keep up with the supply surge. Corn export projections are raised 50 million bushels, bringing total usage up to a record 14.5 billion bushels. The end result is an ending stock level roughly 600 million bushels higher than we had for the 2015/16 marketing year, but slightly lower than last month's estimate. That slight tightening of ending stocks gave USDA a little room to raise their projected price range by 5 cents per bushel, with the midpoint now at $3.25 per bushel.

The national soybean yield is projected at 51.4 bushels per acre, up 0.8 bushels from last month and well above the previous record. With production approaching 4.3 billion bushels, the soybean market has never had more beans to work with. So again, it's a story of record supplies and demand, but demand growth lags behind supply growth. Soybean export projections are raised 40 million bushels, bringing total usage to 4.1 billion bushels. But ending stocks are projected to double and price projections are held steady, with the midpoint of the season-average farm price range set at $9.05 per bushel.