Market Commentary > Weekly Crop Commentary - 8/14/20

Weekly Crop Commentary - 8/14/20

Aug 14, 2020

The grain markets experienced the heaviest volume for the year on Thursday, post the latest numbers from the USDA. Corn prices rose from life of contract lows posting an 11-cent gain on the day, while soybeans rallied 16 cents higher for the session. The latest crop report was anything but bullish fundamentally to encourage the move but concerns over the Derecho in Iowa seemed to spark short covering in the market. The weekly crop condition report for Ohio showed a reduction in the good-to-excellent category of 4%, putting the state at 48% G/E. Soybeans dropped 3% for the week to 56% good-to-excellent. The USDA is estimating 175 bushels per acre for an Ohio corn yield this fall. Far less than the StoneX survey of 185 and more in line with the weekly crop rating of 48% G/E. The soybeans are currently being pegged at 58.0 bushels per acre which is similar to the StoneX Survey of 59.0, both of which would be an Ohio record. On a relative basis, beans do seem to look better than corn and a bumper crop does seem very possible depending on weather the next 30 days. For corn however, is the second highest production level for Ohio realistic? I guess time will tell. I’m sure my colleagues will cover the highlights of latest and greatest from the USDA report from Wednesday. I will save my thoughts on the big demand ideas next week. The next report from the government will be Friday, September 11, and actual field surveys will be used for bushel per acre updates. It’s been a busy week, hopefully you’ve taken advantage of the improvement in cash grain markets. Please continue to be safe and have a great week!


Well, this sure was an eventful week.  I’m sure everyone has seen pictures of the damage out west from the severe storms that tore through there.  It is quite a sight for sure.  The total assessment of crop damage will be weeks away, but the destruction of structures is in the now.  They will have some big logistical issues for sure.  Now let’s talk about the reports from the USDA this week.  They are estimating that corn production will be 15.3 billion bushels, some 12% higher than last year.  If realized this would make the national corn yield at 181.8 bushels per acre.  The soybean production estimate came in at 4.42 billion bushels, this is a staggering 25% increase from last year.  If realized this would make the soybean yield at 53.3 bushels per acre.  They also made adjustments to usage on both corn and beans to lessen the blow, but we are still looking at a 2.7 billion bushel corn carryout and 610 million bushel bean carry out for the crop year beginning next month.  If nothing bullish was released then why have the futures markets rallied since the reports released?  The grain markets had been on the defensive since the beginning of July, and the fact that we got a report that was neutral was enough to spark some buying interest. The fund position in corn has been short for quite some time, this has caused them to take some profits off the table and to wait for additional news.  We are seeing corn, soybean, and wheat futures pushing into some technical resistance points that are keeping a lid on things to finish out the week. Basis levels are a different story. Cash basis levels for beans are on the defensive and will likely converge with fall basis level in the near future.  Cash basis for corn will likely see the same fate but will take a bit longer to get there. I hope the weatherman is right for the weekend and we all get a good drink to help finish these crops off.

It has been a wild ride for the markets this week.  The report on Wednesday turned out to be what was expected.  Thursday was an exceptional day, seemed like it was more emotion driving the market more than anything.  Weather and purchases from China pushed the market, now it’s Friday and we are back in the same rut.  There is a chance of precipitation this weekend, keep your fingers crossed.


Good afternoon, this week saw a lot of updated news come out. USDA was out again with our Aug updated numbers. Old crop carry-outs were reduced slightly and not enough to make a difference. Some of the folks that I talk to think that the USDA will have to increase exports on old crop but that is yet to be seen. As far as 20-21 carry-outs go corn came in at 2.756 billion bushels and beans came in at 610 million bushels. Those are not bullish numbers so the questions become why did corn & beans so much higher on Thursday. I think there are a few things. First, on the corn side we had taken corn down to contract lows, and at some point, you run out of sellers and the only way to go is up. We saw that in the corn market yesterday. Also, you had beans running up strong as well and there have been 2 things to help them out as well. First, the 6-10- & 8-15-day weather forecast shows a big part of the Midwest having below-normal precipitation and we continue to have China coming to the table buying old and new crop beans. Those 2 things have helped the bean market and helped the corn. Here in the eastern part of Ohio our crops still look pretty good, but we need some rain to help our beans fill the pods. We have some chances this weekend for some rain but after that, it looks dry all next week. Corn basis levels have stayed strong and beans are starting to get weaker. I hope you all have a good weekend!!!


Well, it is 2020 so who knows what is going to happen any given week.  We had a report this week that should have sent the markets to new lows but instead, we rally corn and soybeans for the week and put them back to the highest point since late June. 

I am sure by now most have seen pictures from the damage across the Midwest from the windstorm that came through.  They are estimating 10 million acres were affected. I will be traveling through Iowa at the end of next week, so I hope to send some pictures back to put in place of my article next Friday. 

We have seen some farmer selling come to the market this week as we are getting cleaned up on some old-crop grain that is still out there to be sold, but also getting a little new crop sold.  None of us like the prices we are seeing today, and the farmer has sold as little new crop corn and soybeans that I can remember.  My question today is what do you do when you get to the field, do you have a plan what to do with your crop?  I already hear customers saying, “I am going to fill my bins and see what happens”.

That may be a plan but if we did that last fall, ask yourself how did that worked out for you?  There are not many good options today, but we can look at some things to try to improve what you are getting for your crop.  Talk with your grain buyer about different programs that may work for you.

We will need rain in the next week as I have started to see some soybean fields showing some dryness.  If we are going to have a good soybean crop, we need rain in August.  It is 2020 so who knows what is going to happen next.


Happy Friday! Ryan Martin stated that some parts of Ohio would see showers this weekend. Next week will be dry, starting off with cool temps and rising into the end of the week. We may have already seen the best showers that August has to offer. Markets rallied after the USDA released their report on Wednesday of this week. Today, the markets are down a bit. The USDA’s 2020 yield estimates came out at 181.8 for corn and 53.3 for soybeans. Those numbers were just shy to the StoneX report in which predicted 182.4 for corn and 54.2 for soybeans.

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