A new report from the Agriculture Department provides the first projections for the 2014-15 crop marketing year. But the more compelling story in today’s World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimate is in the old-crop soybean and corn stock numbers, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.
Ending stocks for old-crop soybeans were reduced by 5 million bushels to a projected 130 million bushels. This is a projected stocks-use ratio of 3.8 percent or about a 14-day supply of soybeans available at the end of the 2013-14 marketing year.
“If the projections are realized, we’re looking at a record-tight level of soybean ending stocks, which is cause for some concern,” said Todd Davis, a crops economist with AFBF. USDA’s ending stock projection for soybeans is slightly lower than anticipated by industry analysts.
Tempering the likelihood of tight ending soybean stocks is the fact that a record crop is projected to go into the ground – 81.5 million acres – based on USDA’s prospective plantings survey. A record production for the nation’s soybean crop, 3.635 billion bushels, is forecast, based on record yield of 45.2 bushels per acre.
The April report lowered 2013-14 corn ending stocks to 1.146 billion bushels because of strong demand in the export and ethanol markets. The 2014 corn crop is expected to come in at a record 13.935 billion bushels, slightly higher than the prior year. Strong demand from foreign markets coupled with continued steady use for feed and ethanol production is expected to consume about 13.39 billion bushels by the end of the 2014-15 marketing year.
Despite the abundant crop projections which illustrate great production capacity, Davis sounded a note of caution regarding Mother Nature.
“Farmers are still out there facing the reality of unpredictable weather as they work to get their crops in the ground, favorable weather during the growing season and then cooperative weather again at harvest time,” he said. “There’s still a long way to go before the crops are in the bin.”