May 1 – US Crop Progress Supports Grain Markets

Good Morning!

Yesterday’s crop progress from the USDA shows that things are still behind and grain markets are starting to pay more attention.

“Progress lies not in enhancing what is, but in advancing toward what will be.” – Kahlil Gibran (Lebanese writer)


US Crop Progress Supports Grain Markets

Grain markets this morning are slightly in the red after a mostly positive day in the green yesterday on crop progress speculation.

Canola prices are back below $530 CAD /MT this morning despite the Canadian Loonie weakening below 78 cents USD (which is thanks to the US Dollar approaching levels of resistance). Also pressuring canola prices is soy oil, which is down 8.2% for the year, including losing more than 4% alone in April.

Make sure to check out the FarmLead Insights page later today as we’ll be publishing our recap of April grain markets activity for all of the 12 crops that we cover in GrainCents: corn, soybeans, canola, flax, winter wheat, spring wheat, durum, barley, oats, peas, lentils, and chickpeas.

While canola got a bullish StatsCan report last Friday, canola prices haven’t caught on to any of the bullish indicators to help push values higher. One argument that’s being made is that canola prices are already expensive relative to other oilseeds, like soybeans.

On that note, Argentina has bought two more boatloads of US soybeans for September delivery as they deal with a smaller crop. Almost 500,000 tonnes of US soybeans have now been bought by Argentina. Conversely, out of their expected 38-40 million-tonne harvest, soybean farmers in Argentina are reported to have forward sold nearly 16 million tonnes of the crop this year, which aligns with last year’s sales.

Chicago, Kansas City Wheat Prices Improve

As Garrett mentioned in yesterday afternoon’s Grain Markets Today post, wheat prices led grain markets’ mostly green day. Specifically, SRW wheat prices in Chicago was up 3%, while HRW wheat prices in Kansas City gained a little more than 1%. The main reason for the boost was crop progress concerns as we came out of another cold weekend with the US winter wheat crop still exposed.

Later this week, on Thursday, May 3, we’ll get the final numbers from the US Wheat Quality Council’s winter wheat crop tour through Kansas. This year’s issue isn’t so much snow and cold weather, but rather the drier conditions that the crop is dealing with. The drought in the Southern Plains is no 2011, but the lack of moisture could certainly impact the germination of the crop. [1] Historically speaking, if the region receives some rains in May, then the crop tends to turn out pretty good.

Yesterday afternoon, the USDA crop progress report showed us that the portion of the US winter wheat crop rated good-to-excellent (G/E) gained 2 points week-over-week to close at 33%. That’s still a far cry from the 54% G/E rating we saw at this point a year ago and the five-year average of 45%.


Although they’re in the red this morning, spring wheat prices also improved yesterday by more than 1% and are still technically in the green for the week. This is mainly to do with the US spring wheat crop progress or lack thereof regarding planting. Just 10% of the US spring wheat crop has been planted as of Sunday. Sure, that’s up 7 points week-over-week, but we were at 30% planted this time a year ago. Also, the five-year average is 36% of the US spring wheat crop planted by now. There’s some work to do.


Crop Progress A Bit Slow?

On that note, the USDA’s crop progress report showed us our first real look at US soybean planting. 5% of the crop has now been seeded, up 3 points from last Sunday’s activity. This is in line with the five-year average but yesterday saw a hotter start with 9% of the US soybean crop planted before the end of April.


For corn though, it echoes spring wheat progress in the field. The USDA crop progress report showed us that just 17% of the US corn crop had been seeded. That’s almost half of the 32% of US corn acres that were planted at this time a year ago, and well behind the five-year average of 27% planted by now.

Check the variable crop progress in the major corn-producing states below, especially those in the US corn belt and major fringe-acre player Minnesota:


Overall, as I mentioned in yesterday’s Breakfast Brief how acres planted will continue to get scrutinized, we’ll also start to see more attention paid to crop progress in the coming weeks in the US, namely emergence of the crop.

In Canada, air drills are rolling in a few areas but

Plant into dust and bins will bust?

Considering where grain prices are, it’s not exactly what would be the absolute best situation, but personally speaking, I’d rather have more grain to sell than less.

To growth,

Brennan Turner

President | CEO
TF: 1-855-332-7653
@FarmLead or @GrainCents on Twitter


At 7:05 AM CST in the North American futures markets (*not cash prices*):
(all prices in dollars per bushel unless otherwise indicated)
$1 USD = $1.2868
CAD, $1 CAD = $0.7771 USD)

Jul Corn: 0.5¢ (0.12%) to $4.013 USD or $5.165 CAD
Jul Soybeans: -3.8¢ (-0.36%) to $10.448 USD or $13.444 CAD
Jul Soybean Meal (per short ton): -$0.50 (-0.13%) to $393.30 USD or $506.086 CAD
Jul Soybean Oil (cents per lbs): -0.07¢ (-0.02%) at 30.55¢ USD or 39.31¢ CAD  
Jul Oats: 1.3¢ (0.53%) to $2.370 USD or $3.050 CAD
Jul Wheat (Chicago): -2.8¢ (-0.54%) to $5.078 USD or $6.534 CAD
Jul Wheat (Kansas City): -6.5¢ (-1.21%) to $5.310 USD or $6.833 CAD
Jul Wheat (Minneapolis): -4.0¢ (-0.65%) to $6.115 USD or $7.869 CAD
Jul Canola: -$2.60 (-0.49%) to $12.013/bu / $529.70/MT CAD or $9.336/bu / $411.651/MT USD

COMMODITY TRADING INVOLVES RISK AND MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR ALL RECIPIENTS OF THIS POST. Neither the information presented, nor any opinions expressed, constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any commodities. The thoughts expressed in this email and basic data from which they are derived are believed to be reliable, but cannot be guaranteed due to uncertainty about future events and complexities surrounding commodity markets. Those acting on the information are responsible for their own actions.

About the Author
Brennan Turner

Brennan Turner is the CEO of, North America’s Grain Marketplace. He holds a degree in economics from Yale University and spent time on Wall Street in commodity trade and analysis before starting FarmLead. In 2017, Brennan was named to Fast Company’s List of Most Creative People in Business and, in 2018, a Henry Crown Fellow. He is originally from Foam Lake, Saskatchewan where his family started farming the land nearly 100 years ago (and still do to this day!). Brennan's unique grain markets analysis can be found in everything from small-town print newspapers to large media outlets such as Bloomberg and Reuters.

Most Recent Posts
Aug. 19 – ProFarmer Crop Tour Goes Head-to-Head with USDA
August 19, 2019 Brennan Turner
As the 2019 ProFarmer crop tour starts its annual trek this morning through corn and soybean fields in the Midwest, grain markets are starting the week out in the red.
October 4: Corn Prices Edge Higher With October WASDE in Focus
October 04, 2018 Garrett Baldwin
Corn prices ticked higher Thursday as traders and analysts began to speculate on next week’s release of the October WASDE report.
Accounting for Weather Ahead of Corn & Soybean Plant 2019
March 18, 2019 Brennan Turner
While the trade war is still grabbing a lot of headlines, it's the recent volatile weather that is starting to help grain prices improve.