Pro Farmer's First Thing Today: USDA Crop Progress Report and More

Here are audio highlights from around the ag industry, courtesy of Pro Farmer. ( Pro Farmer )

Good Morning farm country. Davis Michaelsen here with your morning update for Tuesday May 12. From Pro Farmer’s First Thing Today, these are some of the stories we are watching this morning:

Corn futures held to a narrow range overnight as the market readied for USDA’s much-anticipated reports. Futures are currently fractionally mixed to lower. Soybeans faced pressure earlier in the overnight session, but the market has improved to trade fractionally to a penny higher in most contracts. Winter wheat is down 3 to 5 cents, while spring wheat futures are 2 cents lower. The greenback is under pressure, with crude oil futures notching solid gains.

Following are some highlights from USDA’s crop progress and condition update for the week ending May 10, 2020.

  • Corn: 67% planted, 24% emerged
  • Soybeans: 38% planted, 7% emerged
  • Spring wheat: 42% planted, 16% emerged
  • Cotton: 32% planted
  • Winter wheat: 53% “good” to “excellent” (G/E); 44% headed

USDA will unveil its initial 2020-21 balance sheet today, and there is far more uncertainty about these numbers than usual as the coronavirus pandemic has slashed demand for ethanol, textiles and other goods and tanked commodity prices. Uncertainty about the fate of the Phase 1 trade agreement with China adds to the cloudy outlook.

China has suspended imports of beef from four of Australia’s largest meat processors, citing issues with labeling and health certificates. This comes amid a push by Australia for an independent inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus.

More than 14,000 pigs have been killed by African swine fever in India’s northeast state of Assam. Against the advice of India’s central government, the state government has decided against culling the pigs, citing a lack of funding to compensate affected producers.

Prices strengthened notably for feeder steers at an Oklahoma City feeder cattle auction on Monday. This adds to ideas cash action will get underway at steady to higher prices this week. Last week, sales took place in a wide range stretching from $95 to $115, for a weighted average price of $104.50, up more than $6 from the week prior and sharply above June live cattle. Hog processing picked up notably as more plants reopened after Covid-19-related closures. Monday’s slaughter was estimated at 357,000 head, an 82,000-head surge from last week, but still just over 100,000 head below year-ago levels.