Weekly Crop Commentary - 9/29/2023

Sep 29, 2023

Wes Bahan
Vice President, Grain Division

Good afternoon.  Harvest is slow to get going around here. Soybeans are not ripening very fast, and the corn isn’t drying down. It appears that the users of corn had enticed enough farmers to start harvesting corn as the basis for cash deliveries have backed off substantially this week. There is still a premium compared to the all-fall, but nowhere near what it was just 10 days ago. The quick ship premium for beans is also eroding at a fast pace, and with the weather forecast for next week looking nice, most will be at their all-fall bids.

Ending stocks report that came out at noon didn’t show any real hiccups from expectations. Corn stocks of 1.361 billion bushels compared to 1.429 estimate. Soybean stocks of 0.268 billion bushels compared to 0.242 estimate. Wheat stocks of 1.78 billion bushels compared to 1.778 estimate.  Once that report came and didn’t reveal anything bullish, the market sold off hard. End of the month and end of the quarter likely also played a part in the selling, but basically, we have no bullish news to gain anyone’s attention. Lack of exports and low water on the Mississippi River are making this a one-dimensional market, and it is getting run over with bushels. Please everyone have a safe and prosperous harvest season.

Lou Baughman
Grain Merchandiser, Kenton (Region 1)

Basis is fading fast as harvest gets underway. Markets are taking a punch after the Quarterly Stocks Report, wheat taking the big hit with a bigger crop and the larger soybean stocks than expected.

Looks like harvest will start as soon as these clouds go away. If you have not downloaded our new Heritage Portal App and need help doing so give your local elevator a call, they will be glad to help.

Will Gase
Grain Merchandiser, Upper Sandusky (Region 2

Good afternoon and happy Friday! What a weird weather week it has been. Fog, mist, cloudy and cooler has been the name of the game this week. As I am writing this I actually do not remember the last time I have seen the sun. This in turn has not helped drying out the beans or corn. Good news is that starting tomorrow we will be at or above 80 degrees and sunny until Wednesday. This will most certainly help dry down beans and corn.

Quarterly stock report numbers came out and lets just say they were not friendly to beans and wheat. We were at the top end of the estimated trade range for both, and as a result they are both down 20+ cents as I write this.

Locally, we have received some early bean bushels from farmers that planted in early April. The majority of farmers will start cutting fields either this weekend or sometime next week. Give us a call with any questions or concerns for harvest!

Steve Bricher
Grain Operation Manager, Urbana (Region 3)

Well, we turn to October on Sunday and harvest is getting started. I have seen a few soybean fields cut in the area before the wet weather this week. We have not received a quarter inch of rain this week but it feels like we are living in London with all the fog and misty weather we have seen. In talking to the farmers who have run some of the early soybeans, they are very happy with the yields they have seen. We have seen a little early corn run, yields are good but not record and it is wet. I have pulled several samples that are still well into the 30’s and have yet to black layer.

The markets are not doing much. We are grinding along as we head to heavy harvest. There is not much out here today to get the markets to move higher. Early corn yield results from across the Midwest are in line with what most farmers believed they would be, so no major surprises there. Export sales are dismal at best. The export markets are out of the bid for buying cash beans today. The river basis is 40¢ lower than it was two seasons ago as there is no demand for export soybeans today.

I see corn and soybean prices over the next 6 months sideways. Unless we have a weather issue in South America or China comes back to the market to buy corn we are looking today at a 2.0BB carryover. This type of carryover does not lend itself to 6.00 or better corn. Soybean carryout is tighter but without export demand soybeans see no reason to work higher.

We will have to see how harvest puts pressure on the futures markets as the farmer is well unsold going into this harvest. Does the farmer cash out what he hasn't sold or does he hold and wait for better markets? Have a great weekend and a safe harvest.

Lisa Warne
Grain Merchandiser, Marysville (Region 4)

October already. I can hardly believe it. Harvest is off to a very slow start, but we have received a little bit of new corn and beans here at Marysville. Corn moisture directly out of the field is 23-30%, with light test weight. Before the weather turned cloudy, we received some soybeans earlier in the week from half a dozen customers. Bean moistures were ranging from 12-15% and customers were satisfied with early yield averages in the 60s and 70s. The gravel knolls were notably lower with the minimal rain we’ve received in September. Speaking of rain, we received 1.5” here at the Marysville office on Thursday.

I don’t need to tell you how discouraging the market has been lately. With USDA’s Quarterly Stocks report today, there’s more fodder for the bear market. Soybean stocks were 26 million bushels higher than the average trade estimate, coming in at 268 million bushels as of Sept 1. This dropped the bean market 20¢ in the blink of an eye at noon. Corn stocks were less than the average trade estimate at 1.361 billion bushels, but the bulls couldn’t rally with the pull of the bean market downward.

As we expect harvest to ramp up next week, I encourage all of you to be safe and don’t take unnecessary risks and shortcuts. We want all of you to have a successful harvest with minimal issues. Don’t forget to download our new Heritage app to keep up to date with bids, scale tickets, contract balances, settlements, and more.

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