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Are Corn, Soybean, and Wheat Production Hiccups on the way?

Are Corn, Soybean, and Wheat Production Hiccups on the way?
Jul 14, 2021
By Denise Faguy
Assistant Editor, North American Content,

What impact is weather having on crop yields?

Just past the mid-way point on the annual  U.S. Corn Belt Crop Tour which runs from June 29 – July 21, 2021 by Risk Management, Chief Commodity Strategist Maurizio Agostino held a webinar on Monday, July 12, to discuss observations he has witnessed thus far on the tour.  He also provided an analysis of the USDA crop report and an overall market outlook for the summer of 2021.  

During his presentation he indicated that the “USDA kicked the can down the road again on yield forecasts” but was not too surprised as they are not historically known to change yields in the month of July. He says that the USDA’s wheat ending number was bullish, and that overall for corn, soybean, and wheat yields he is expecting production hiccups “mostly from South Dakota and North Dakota, but Northern Minnesota is dry and the wet spots like Illinois remain wet and soybeans are tuning yellow with wet feet.”  

There have been 5-6 severe weather events, which Agostino called “mini-Derechos” that have brought heavy rain, hail and wind damage to Iowa and Nebraska in the last few months.

Agostino does not believe the production problems in some core states in the North/Northwest can be overcome by the eastern U.S. corn belt states, so he is predicting production will be down, “we just do not know by how much as we have the rets of the summer growing season to get through and also need a good long finish.”

Agostino cautioned famers that “Mother nature has a different plan than market experts and Chinese demand is expected to remain strong despite what others are forecasting.”  Hot and dry weather is expected, including a heat dome in the mid-west.

Here are some of Agostino’s state by state observations thus far:

Agostino rates Ohio a 7 out of 10, but indicated the state needs more timely rains through July and August to have a good finish to beat last year’s 171 bpa corn yield and soybean yield at 54 bpa.

Agostino indicates that Indiana is a tale of 2 crops in Southern Indiana and its East vs. West, where East is too wet, providing crops with too much moisture stress. “Corn and soybeans are behind and its an average to below average crop for this time of the year,” says Agostino.

Historically this region should have tasselled head high corn, but Agostino says its behind by 1-2 weeks as cool/wet weather took its toll early and now dry weather is setting in for the month of July.

Southwest Indiana was above average with great potential with corn tasseling and silking while soybeans were blooming with rows fully canopied.

Agostino says that when comparing 2021 Central/South Illinois crops to 2020 the crop looks to be on par despite some moisture stress, so farmers could break 2018 records (210 and 65 bpa respectively). It may not be hot enough, as it always appears to be cloudy.

2021 corn acres are down 0.89% or 100,000 from 2020 while soybean acres are up 39% vs. 2020 up 400,000.  The state has plenty of topsoil, adequate/surplus, and subsoil moisture at 83% (up 1% from 2020) and 82% (down 2% from 2020) respectively as of June 27, 2021.  

Agostino says crops are stressing from excessive moisture, but he indicates there is no disease pressure. If the weather cooperates and the state can finish strong it has great potential, but Agostino rates the state a 6.5 out of 10.

North Dakota
Agostino travelled through North Dakota on July 10th and says “it is not looking good.  It is a train wreck.” Crops were stressing and it was 84F degrees not 100! "The soil moisture tank is empty!" he concluded.

Remaining Tour
Agostino will travel through the following states in the coming days Iowa, Wisconsin, Northern Illinois and Indiana and Michigan.  Farmers can follow @FarmsMarketing on twitter throughout the tour or search using the hashtag #cornbelt21 to view his observations and as he travels through each state.

Farmers are invited to enter the 2021 Crop Tour Contest for a chance to win 1 of 5 prizes worth U.S. $2,692. Each prize package includes a free 1-year Risk Management Commodity Marketing Program Subscription (U.S. $600), 1-gallon case of Envita for 160 acres of corn (U.S. $1,592) and a 3-month free subscription to Empire Weather (U.S. $500).

Guess what you think Agostino’s final estimated U.S. corn and soybean yields will be at the end of the tour?  Also guess what do you think the high in U.S. corn and soybean futures prices will be by the end of the tour?  Enter your guess by visiting:


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