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Drought pains & market moves

Jeff Caldwell 08/10/2012 @ 3:14pm Multimedia Editor for Agriculture.com and Successful Farming magazine.

Crop conditions are the worst they've been in decades. USDA recognized at least part of that likely slash in crop output in its August 10 crop production and grain supply/demand reports that showed corn yields will likely be around 120 bushels/acre and soybeans below the 40-bushel mark. But, some farmers think those figures are still way too high. Even if they're not, though, numbers like those raise some major supply/demand concerns for the global corn pipeline and have many farmers wondering how high grain prices will go.

Here are a few of our editors' latest features and farmers' latest discussions on the current grain scenario, from the agronomic side to the latest market moves and more.

Coming in slightly below earlier analysts' estimates, USDA pegged this year's drought-shortened corn and soybean crops to yield 123.4 bushels/acre and 36.1 bushels/acre, respectively.


While U.S. corn and soybean yields have been slammed by the drought -- where right now, corn's pegged at 123.4 bushels/acre and soybeans at 36.1 bushels/acre -- grain usage for livestock feed and ethanol have also been lowered.


Leaders of the national crop insurance industry said Friday their industry will be able to shoulder the burden created by the massive number of indemnity claims that will be coming from the field as harvest nears.

With the current stocks-to-use ratio well below the low mark set in 1973 -- adjusted for inflation, of course -- those are the prices corn and soybeans could be worth based on the current U.S. drought scenario and resulting world grain supply situation.


The broken record keeps on playing the same tune. The corn and soybean crops have taken another step south in overall crop conditions. Now, only 23% of the country's corn crop and 29% of the soybean crop are rated in either good or excellent condition.


The corn and soybean crops are facing long odds as the summer winds down toward harvest. Take a quick field tour and see some specific issues this year's drought is spawning in the field now and could spawn toward harvest.

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