3 Big Things Today, September 3, 2020

Soybeans Slightly Higher Overnight; Ethanol Production Drops to Three-Week Low.

1. Soybean Futures Slightly Higher in Overnight Trading

Soybeans were modestly higher overnight as mostly dry weather continues in much of the Midwest, threatening crops already facing declining conditions.

Little or no rain has fallen in much of Nebraska, Iowa, and Illinois in the past 30 days, according to maps from the National Weather Service.

Crop conditions have been declining with 66% of U.S. soybeans rated good or excellent at the start of this week, down from 69% seven days earlier, the Department of Agriculture said, and 8% was dropping leaves.

About 62% of the corn crop earned top ratings this week, down from 64% the previous week, the USDA said; 12% of the crop was mature.

Some precipitation is forecast for Iowa this weekend, though it’s unclear at this point how much rain will fall, the NWS said.

About 6.5% of Iowa, the biggest producer of corn and second-biggest grower of soybeans, is suffering from an extreme drought, indicating that crop losses are imminent, the U.S. Drought Monitor said on Aug. 27. The indicator is expected to update today.

Soybean futures for November delivery rose 3¢ to $9.65 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal gained $1.10 to $311.30 a short ton, and soy oil rose 0.31¢ to 33.84¢ a pound.

Corn futures for December delivery fell 1¢ to $3.57¼ a bushel.

Wheat futures for September delivery were unchanged at $5.58¼ a bushel, while Kansas City futures rose ¼¢ to $4.79½ a bushel.

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2. Ethanol Output Falls to Three-Week Low While Inventories Jump to Two-Month High

Ethanol production fell to the lowest level in three weeks while stockpiles increased last week, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Output of the biofuel averaged 922,000 barrels a day in the week that ended on Aug. 28, the EIA said in a report.

That’s down from 931,000 barrels a day, on average, a week earlier and was the smallest amount since Aug. 7, government data show.

In the Midwest, by far the biggest producing region, output averaged 877,000 barrels a day, down from 884,000 barrels a week earlier and also the lowest level in three weeks.

Gulf Coast production plunged to an average of 14,000 barrels a day from 19,000 barrels in the prior seven-day period.

East Coast output was unchanged week-to-week at 12,000 barrels a day, and West Coast production was steady at an average of 9,000 barrels a day, the administration said.

Rocky Mountain production was the lone decliner, falling to an average of 14,000 barrels a day from 19,000 barrels a week earlier.

Stockpiles of ethanol in the U.S. on Aug. 28 were reported at 20.882 million barrels, up from 20.882 million a week earlier.

That’s the highest amount since the seven days that ended on June 19, the EIA said.

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3. Storms Firing Over Parts of Southern Indiana, Rain Headed For Iowa This Weekend

Thunderstorms are rumbling over parts of southern Indiana and western Kentucky today as flash flood warnings, flood watches, and advisories are in effect in the area, according to the National Weather Service.

Radar is showing heavy rainfall in the region as 2 to 2.5 inches of precipitation has already fallen, the NWS said in a report early this morning. Flash flooding is already starting or will begin shortly, the agency said.

Farther west, strong winds are expected in parts of Iowa today with gusts of up to 40 mph in the forecast.

Storms are projected to move into the area Saturday night into Sunday morning over counties in central and northeastern Iowa. Some of the storms may be severe, the NWS said.  

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