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3 Big Things Today, August 25, 2022

Corn Higher, Soybeans Lower Overnight; Weekly Ethanol Output Rises Slightly

1. Corn, Soybean Futures Mixed in Overnight Trading

Corn futures were higher while soybeans were lower as the Pro Farmer Crop Tour rolled into Iowa and Illinois, the biggest producers of corn and soybeans in the U.S., showing mixed results.

In northwestern Iowa, corn yields were forecast by tour participants at 181.1 bushels an acre, down from 184 bushels an acre expected last year. That also was below the three-year average of 183.4 bushels an acre, Pro Farmer said.

In west-central Iowa, yields were pegged at 180.8 bushels an acre this year, down from 201.1 bushels a year earlier and missing the average of 188.7 bushels, the company said.

In southwestern Iowa, yields were estimated at 173.7 bushels an acre, down almost 10% year-over-year and 7.5% from the three-year average.

In Illinois, meanwhile, tour scouts projected yields at 190.7 bushels an acre, down from 196.3 bushels a year earlier but up from the average of 185.6 bushels, Pro Farmer said.

Soybeans were more of a mixed bag.

Pod counts in a 3-foot by 3-foot square in northwestern Iowa were reported at 1,089.7, little changed from last year but up 2.2% from the average, the firm said.

West-central Iowa pod counts were up 2.8% from last year to 1,258.9 in a 3-by-3 area. That was up almost 5% from the three-year average, tour data show.

In southwestern Iowa, pod counts plunged more than 10% to 1,223.9, while dropping 2.2% from the average.

Illinois soybean pod counts were mixed, falling 2.4% from the 2021 estimate to 1,249.7. The count, however, was up 6.4% from the average, Pro Farmer said.

Reports from the fields in Iowa and Illinois showed some areas of extremely good-looking crops and areas with some tipback in corn and dry conditions in some areas.

Corn futures for December delivery rose 5 3/4¢ to $6.63 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Soybean futures for November delivery were down 1¢ to $14.56 a bushel. Soymeal was down $2.80 to $426.50 a short ton, while soybean oil futures lost 0.05¢ to 65.93¢ a pound.

Wheat for December delivery fell 6 1/4¢ to $8.07 a bushel while Kansas City futures declined 3¢ to $8.90 ¼ a bushel.

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2. Ethanol Production Up Modestly Week-to-Week, EIA Says

Ethanol production rose slightly in the week that ended on Aug. 19 while inventories increased to the highest level in more than three months, according to data from the Energy Information Administration.

Output rose to 987,000 barrels a day, on average, from 983,000 barrels a week earlier, the EIA said in a report.

In the Midwest, by far the biggest producing region, output rose narrowly to an average of 928,000 barrels a day from 926,000 barrels a week earlier.

Gulf Coast producers pushed out 24,000 barrels a day, up from 23,000 barrels, the agency said. Rocky Mountain production increased to 14,000 barrels a day, up from 13,000 barrels a week earlier.

That was the entirety of the gains as East Coast production was unchanged again at 12,000 barrels a day, on average, and West Coast output remained at 9,000 barrels per day, government data show.

Ethanol stockpiles, meanwhile, increased to 23.807 million barrels in the week through Aug. 19.

That's up from 23.446 million barrels a week earlier and the highest inventory level since the seven days that ended on May 6, the EIA said in its report.


3. Strong Storms Possible in Nebraska, Iowa and Illinois

Strong storms are possible in parts of northern Nebraska late this afternoon or evening, according to the National Weather Service.

The biggest threat for severe weather is damage from strong winds, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

"Ordinary thunderstorms are possible elsewhere across Nebraska," the agency said.

Storms are expected to continue through Saturday, though the risk of severe weather is low in the area.

In eastern Iowa and northern Illinois, storms also are possible this morning, mostly along and east of the Mississippi River, the NWS said.

"Thunderstorm chances increase this weekend, especially on Sunday and could linger into Monday," the NWS said. "Lightning and locally heavy rain appear to be the main threats."

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