Iowa Farm Outlook & News

Headlines
  • Mar. 2018 Planted Area for 2018/19 U.S. Crops:
       Corn 88.0 million acres, down 2.14 million from last year
       Soybean 89.0 million acres, down 1.16 million from last year
  • Mar. 2018 Planted Area for 2018/19 Iowa Crops:
       Corn 13.3 million acres, steady with last year
       Soybean 9.8 million acres, down 200,000 acres from last year
  • Mar. 2018 Crop Stocks, as of March 1:
       Corn 8.89 billion bushels, up 3% from last year
       Soybean 2.11 billion bushels, up 21% from last year
  • Mar. 2018 Hogs & Pigs: All Hogs & Pigs:
       U.S.: 72.908 million head, up 3.1% from last year
       Iowa: 22.600 million head, up 4.6% from last year
  • Mar. 2018 Hogs & Pigs: Breeding Herd:
       U.S.: 6.200 million head, up 1.7% from last year
       Iowa: 1.020 million head, up 2.0% from last year
  • Mar. 2018 Hogs & Pigs: Market Hogs:
       U.S.: 66.708 million head, up 3.3% from last year
       Iowa: 21.580 million head, up 4.8% from last year
Livestock
Annual Estimates (5/4/18)

USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service compiles annual estimates of livestock inventories, output, and sales. Reports for 2017 confirm improvement in financial positions of many livestock producers. In 2017, Iowa was the number four state for cash receipts for cattle and calves ($4.059 billion) and number five state for value of production ($2.572 billion). Value of production removes the value of sales between producers leaving just net value added by producers. Compared to 2016, cash receipts increased 7.6% and value of production increased 4.7% for cattle and calves. Iowa continues to be the far-and-away leader in hog production, having 2017 cash receipts and production value of $7.119 billion and $6.177 billion, respectively. Those represent 33.8% of total U.S. cash receipts and 32.1% of total U.S. hog production value. Hogs and pigs cash receipts and value of production rose 9.3% and 8.9%, respectively from 2016. In 2017, Iowa ranked 12th with 2.4% of the total U.S. milk production. Iowa also ranked 12th in milk cash receipts at $933.236 million an increase of 12.0% from the year before. Iowa was the 7th largest turkey producer in 2017 with 12 million head raised, 484.8 million pounds produced, and $313.181 million in value of production. Turkey value of production decreased 17.8% compared to 2016. Iowa is the largest egg producer by a notable margin. Iowa produced 15.953 billion eggs with a value of production of $858.359 million dollars, a 54.6% year over year increase in value of production.

Crops
Acreage Shifts (3/29/18)

With the release of the Prospective Plantings report, USDA showed that US farmers intend to plant less corn and soybeans this year. The average market estimates going into the report were for 89 million acres of corn and 91 million acres of soybeans. The report listed 88 million acres for corn and 89 million acres for soybeans. Based on the news, the early reaction from the crop markets was positive, with corn prices lifting by 5-10 cents and soybean prices rising 15-20 cents. Spring wheat and cotton snagged some land from corn and soybeans, but there was also a drop in total planted area across the country. Iowa producers indicated they will plant roughly the same amount of corn, 13.3 million acres, and a few less soybeans, 9.8 million acres.

USDA also released the Grain Stocks update. The news there was less positive. Corn and soybean stocks are higher than a year ago. The numbers were at the high end of trade estimates. Corn stocks were up 3 percent, while soybean stocks were 21 percent higher. For both crops, disappearance during the December-February timeframe was below last year's pace. But for now, the markets are more concerned about potential crop production than remaining supplies.

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