Iowa Farm Outlook & News

Headlines
  • Sept. 2017 Hogs and Pigs: All Hogs and Pigs:
       U.S.: 73.549 million head, up 2.5% from last year
       Iowa: 22.900 million head, up 2.7% from last year
  • Sept. 2017 Hogs and Pigs: Breeding Herd:
       U.S.: 6.087 million head, up 1.2% from last year
       Iowa: 980,000 head, steady with last year
  • Sept. 2017 Hogs and Pigs: Market Hogs:
       U.S.: 67.462 million head, up 2.6% from last year
       Iowa: 21.920 million head, up 2.8% from last year
  • Oct. 2017 Prices for 2017/18 Crops:
       Corn $3.20 per bushel, steady with last month
       Soybean $9.20 per bushel, steady with last month
  • Oct. 2017 Yield for 2017/18 U.S. Crops:
       Corn 171.8 bushels per acre, up 1.9 bushels from last month
       Soybean 49.5 bushels per acre, down 0.4 bushels from last month
  • Oct. 2017 Yield for 2017/18 Iowa Crops:
       Corn 191.0 bushels per acre, up 4 bushels from last month
       Soybean 56.0 bushels per acre, down 1 bushel from last month
Livestock
Hogs and Pigs (10/8/17)

In surveys for the September Hogs and Pigs report, producers reported to USDA larger inventories than one year ago. The all hogs and pigs and market hog inventories were record large for the quarter, continuing the trend of the last two quarters. The breeding herd is the largest since 2008. But the rise in numbers and magnitude caused little market reaction as the trade anticipated the growth. The average of analysts' pre-report estimates went three for three on precisely pegging these headline numbers. The September 1 market inventory of hogs over 120 pounds was up 3.9% from a year ago, implying that between September and roughly mid-November weekly slaughter could set new records, topping 2.6 million head at times. Fall slaughter may encroach upon, but likely not breach, the increased packing capacity. The breeding herd is still growing. On September 1 it was up 1.2% from last year, and up slightly from the previous quarter. September-November farrowing intentions were up 0.8% and up 1.3% for December-February. Those numbers seem to be in line with the size of the breeding herd. The June-August average number of pigs saved per litter was record-high at 10.65. The pork industry continues to expand and this will keep prices in check in 2018.

Crops
The October Update (10/12/17)

The mid-harvest update from USDA found steady to rising crop production and usage. For corn, the projected production increase offset the reduction in beginning stocks and the increase in corn usage, leaving 2017/18 ending stocks basically unchanged. Corn harvested area was reduced by 400,000 acres, but the national corn yield was raised 1.9 bushels per acre. That hiked corn production by nearly 100 million bushels. But with beginning stocks 55 million bushels lower, feed usage increased by 25 million bushels, and food and industrial usage raised 10 million bushels, there were enough offsets to match. Thus, the season-average price range remained between $2.80 and $3.60 per bushel.

For soybeans, the acreage and yield adjustments offset each other, leaving the production estimate steady, at a record 4.43 billion bushels. Soybean planted area was increased to 90.2 million acres, just 200,000 acres below corn; but the national yield was reduced 0.4 bushels to 49.5 bushels per acre. Soybean demand was not adjusted, leaving crush at 1.94 billion bushels and exports at 2.25 billion bushels. So projected 2017/18 ending stocks drifted lower only because 2016/17 ending stocks were lower. But as with corn, the season-average price range did not move, holding between $8.35 and $10.05 per bushel.

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