The Journal article noted that, “That case was bolstered Friday when Pro Farmer, following a weeklong tour of farmland across seven states, assessed the national corn yield at 177.5 bushels per acre, and the national soybean yield at 52.5. That is slightly lower than earlier U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates but higher than 2019’s waterlogged crop.
For many U.S. farmers, the prospect of grain prices staying low is untenable. ‘It’s almost a day-to-day struggle to decide what to do next year,’ said Doug Sombke, president of the South Dakota Farmers Union and a farmer of 3,000 acres of corn and soybeans in Brown County, S.D.
Saturday’s article added that, “Mr. Sombke says his local grain elevator is paying $2.87 for a bushel of corn. That is nearly a dollar lower than what he would need to collect to break even. The same is true for his soybeans, for which the elevator is willing to pay roughly $8.50 a bushel.
“Prices for corn and soybeans haven’t risen since the start of the year, when the signing of the U.S.-China phase-one trade agreement stipulating China would purchase $36.5 billion of agricultural goods from the U.S. gave farmers hope that export demand from China would buoy prices. Instead, most-active corn futures on the Chicago Board of Trade are down 16% since the start of the year, while wheat has fallen nearly 6% and soybeans have shed nearly 5%.
“Chinese exports of U.S. corn, soybeans and wheat are 144% higher than they were at this point last year, according to data from the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. But the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. in March hobbled domestic demand for grains as restaurants and other institutions nationwide shut down.”
Coronavirus lockdowns served a serious hit to corn demand by delivering a knockout to the ethanol biofuel market.
“All that comes on top of years of stubbornly low prices and huge overhangs of inventory, which haven’t eased much under the administration of Donald Trump and his often-touted ‘love’ for farmers.”
Meanwhile, Tyler Jett and Brianne Pfannenstiel reported on the front page of Wednesday’s Des Moines Register that, “President Donald Trump promised Iowa leaders Tuesday that they would have the ‘full support of the federal government’ as they work to clear debris, restore power and recover from a massive windstorm that swept the state last week.
“‘Iowans have always been resilient and strong and tough and great people,’ Trump said in a briefing in Cedar Rapids.”
“Gov. Kim Reynolds, U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley and [Cedar Rapids Mayor Brad Hart] were on hand to greet the president and participated in the briefing,” the Register article said.
Wednesday’s article explained that, “Ernst urged Trump to work with the Environmental Protection Agency to support Iowa’s ethanol industry as it faces pressure both from the storm and from effects of the pandemic. Ernst has criticized the administration’s ethanol policy after it granted some oil refineries exemptions to the Renewable Fuel Standard [RFS]. She told Trump that new exemption requests should be tossed out.
‘It’s very tough right now,’ she said. ‘From COVID we saw a decrease in driving, and so the sales of ethanol have not been up where they should be. And we’ve seen that all across the industry, the impact. And now, after the crop damage, it just sets our farmers even farther back.’
“Trump said he’d speak to administration officials.
“‘I’ll speak to them myself,’ he said.”
Iowans are hurting. Our farmers have seen their crops destroyed from the #derecho & they can’t afford for the @EPA to be playing games—the “gap year” waivers need to be thrown out.
Just days after a Midwest lawmaker pleaded with President Donald Trump to order his EPA to deny requests for so-called gap-year small-refinery exemptions, the agency has posted updated numbers of the number of exemption requests now pending.
“The EPA has received 98 total requests for years 2011 to 2020, including now 67 for 2011 to 2018, according to the agency’s Renewable Fuel Standard dashboard.
The @EPA today announced it has received nine new gap-year small refinery exemption requests and three other waiver petitions. This new count brings the total of pending waiver requests to 98. … 1/5 pic.twitter.com/sikQ3xdU8j
Keith Good is the social media manager for the farmdoc project at the University of Illinois. He has previously worked for the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, and compiled the daily FarmPolicy.com News Summary from 2003-2015. He is a graduate of Purdue University (M.S.- Agricultural Economics), and Southern Illinois University School of Law.
In an update from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City earlier this month ("Larger Livestock Loans Boost Farm Lending"), Nathan Kauffman and Ty Kreitman stated that, "Demand for livestock loans grew in the third quarter, boosting agricultural lending activity at…
Bloomberg writers Kim Chipman and Elizabeth Elkin reported late last week that, "Skyrocketing fertilizer prices could lead U.S. corn profits to drop by about a quarter next year, potentially motivating farmers to shift millions of acres into less cost-intensive soybeans."
On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve Board released its October 2021 Beige Book update, a summary of commentary on current economic conditions by Federal Reserve District. The report included several observations pertaining to the U.S. agricultural economy.