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3 Big Things Today, Oct. 6

Soybeans Fall as Harvest Speeds, USDA Report Approaches

Soybeans declined after a government report yesterday showed farmers are harvesting the oilseeds much faster than they’re collecting corn, which was little changed in overnight trading.

About 42% of soybeans were collected as of Sunday, double what was harvested just seven days earlier, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in its weekly Crop Progress report. Corn harvest was 27% finished, up from 18% the prior week, according to the government.

In Iowa, only 13% of the corn crop was collected, well behind the prior five-year average of 24% for this time of year. Some growers are seeing stalk rot in fields. (

While it’s not much of a surprise that growers are trying to get their beans out of the ground quicker than their corn, the sheer amount of legumes harvested – more than a fifth of the U.S. crop in seven days -- is at the very least impressive.

Traders also may be squaring positions, which they’ll likely be doing all week, ahead of Friday’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report. Most analysts and traders believe the USDA will lower its outlook for domestic corn and soybean production, but some investors will probably want to eliminate any positions they have in the event the agency makes any unexpected moves.

The USDA last month pegged corn production at 13.585 billion bushels and soybean output at 3.935 billion bushels.

November soybean futures fell 3 ½ cents to $8.80 ¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. December soymeal futures dropped 20 cents to $303.60 per short ton. December soyoil futures declined 0.26 cent to $28.40. 

Corn futures for December delivery declined ¼ cent to $3.93 ¼ a bushel overnight in Chicago.

Wheat for December delivery fell ½ cent to $5.15 a bushel on the CBOT.


Soybeans Pressured by Harvest Speed Underpinned as USDA Report Draws Near

Harvest is rolling through the Midwest and Plains this week as farmers focus on getting their beans out of the ground.

Growers collected 21% of the U.S. crop in a week, a feat that even a decade or two would not have been imaginable, which helped cause bean prices to drop. While harvest speed certainly is a factor in declining prices, it’s likely the yields found by farmers as they collected their crops pushed down futures.

The USDA pegged soybean yields at 47.1 bushels an acre in a September report, the second-highest level in the country’s history.

While the agency is expected to lower that estimate in this week’s WASDE report, the amount of beans farmers will harvest this year is going to be sizeable. Add to that what’s expected to be a monster crop in Brazil, and soybeans could have limited upside, according to analysts.

Even farmers participating in’s Marketing Talk are wondering what’s propping up soybean prices. (

Tomm Pfitzenmaier, the president of Summit Commodity Brokerage in Des Moines, said expectation that the government will lower its yield outlook this Friday is going to underpin prices, as is the belief that residual rainfall in the eastern Midwest could damage crops, or at the very least, delay the harvest.

“Beans are trading lower this morning, but not with a lot of conviction,” he wrote in a morning report. “The expectation that Friday’s report will be positive for beans and that there could be some crop loss because of the hurricane continues to support prices. The momentum indicators turned lower at the end of the week, and it will be interesting to see if there is any carry-through selling from that negative signal.”


Midwest Remains Dry as Showers Bookend Corn Belt

While showers are flooding parts of the East Coast and threatening pockets of Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona, little rain is seen in the Corn Belt for at least the next two days. (

Only slight chances of rain are forecast in a region that extends from North Dakota southeast to Alabama, and Texas northeast to Ohio, according to the National Weather Service, a very large area in which farmers will be harvesting this week. Growers collected soybeans and corn at a rapid pace last week and likely will continue to do so as weather conditions remain favorable.

Winter wheat growers in the western Plains could see some much-needed rain this week, according to the NWS. That would soften ground in which growers are planting their crops. About 49% of U.S. winter wheat was seeded as of Sunday, slightly below the prior five-year average of 51% for this time of year, according to the USDA.

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