Iowa Farm Outlook & News

Headlines
  • April 2015 Retail Meat Prices:
       All Fresh Beef: $6.05 per pound, up 10.4% from last year
       Choice Beef: $6.40 per pound, up 9.0% from last year
       Pork: $3.77 per pound, down 4.6% from last year
       Broiler: $2.00 per pound, up 3.5% from last year
       Turkey: $1.49 per pound, down 7.6% from last year
  • June 2015 Price Estimates for 2014/15 Crops:
       Corn $3.65 per bushel, steady from last month
       Soybean $10.05 per bushel, steady from last month
  • June 2015 Price Estimates for 2015/16 Crops:
       Corn $3.50 per bushel, steady from last month
       Soybean $9.00 per bushel, steady from last month
Crops
Relatively Quiet Report for Corn and Soybeans (6/10/15)

There are only a few changes in the U.S. corn and soybean outlooks from USDA. For corn, the only change is a 25 million drop in corn usage for ethanol from the 2014 crop. All other supply and demand numbers remain the same. And the season-average price midpoints hold at $3.65 per bushel for the 2014 crop and $3.50 per bushel for the 2015 crop. For soybeans, demand is ratcheted up a little bit. On the 2014 crop, both domestic crush and export demand are raised 10 million bushels. On the 2015 crop, crush is raised another 5 million bushels. Combined, this lowered 2015/16 soybean ending stocks to 475 million bushels. But the price outlook holds steady at $10.05 per bushel for the 2014 crop and $9.00 per bushel for the 2015 crop.

Livestock
Forage (6/1/15)

The 2014 calendar year provided favorable growing conditions for forage production across much of the U.S. This has contributed to a general story in the forage complex towards normal stock levels, production, and prices. May 1, 2015 total U.S. stocks for all hay were up 28% compared to 2014. This is the largest May 1 stocks have been since 2005. Most major cattle producing regions in the U.S. recorded a year-over-year increase. Looking ahead to the 2015/16 crop year, forecasts suggest a slight decrease in alfalfa production and a slight production increase in other hay. Prices are expected to continue trending down towards the historical five year average for both sectors, to the low $100's per ton for other hay and $170-$180 per ton for alfalfa. The grazing situation is also much less precarious than in recent years. Nationally only 0.75% of beef cows reside in states with at least 40% poor or very poor pasture and range conditions; whereas last year 15.65% of beef cows were in this situation. Collectively current hay stock levels, hay production forecasts, and pasture and range conditions highlight the scope of improved setting many cow-calf operators are facing regarding forage and water supplies.

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