Grain markets are mixed with wheat prices continuing to slide despite weather concerns farmers across North America are dealing with.
“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” – Confucius (Chinese Philosopher)
Weather Impacting Final Yields, Harvest
Grain markets are mixed with wheat prices continuing to slide despite weather concerns farmers across North America are dealing with. Cool, wet weather is expected to hit most of the Midwest through to next week’s WASDE report on Wednesday, September 12.
Further, parts of Western Canada – namely western Manitoba and eastern Saskatchewan – saw a frost come in this past Tuesday night, which likely did some damage to the crops.  Later-seeded crops are likely to see the most negative impact.
For Saskatchewan, most crops were mature as the crop is a bit early, but for Manitoba, this means canola, soybeans, and silage corn. For silage specifically, as Alberta Agriculture notes, when plants are stressed or injured, the nitrates that are transported from the roots up to the leaves aren’t being converted into protein, but just start to accumulate in said leaves.  Thus, the nitrate levels can be too high and too poisonous for cattle to consume.
Weather Has Final Say on Yields
With some of this cooler, wetter weather on the horizon though, there is certainly the possibility of late-season disease or insects. 
This in mind, a recent farmer survey by Allendale Inc. puts U.S. corn yields at 177.7 bushels per acre (BPA) and corn production at 14.529 billion bushels.  This is 0.7 and 57 million bushels below the USDA’s estimate in the August WASDE.
For soybeans, Allendale’s survey results suggested average US yields of 52.2 bushels per acres and production of 4.636 billion bushels (or 126.2 million metric tonnes if converting bushels to tonnes at GrainUnitCoverter.com). This would be 0.6 BPA and 50 million bushels above the USDA’s August WASDE estimate.
With a bigger US soybean crop in 2018/19 and trade issues impacting prices, do you have any ideas on 2019 acres?
My First Thought About Plant 2019
Last week, we got some evidence that farmers are already thinking about it as FarmFutures released its first acreage survey and we saw a noticeable decline in soybean planting intentions and an uptick in corn and winter wheat. 
The survey said that farmers will trim about 2 million acres of soybeans — from 89.6 million to 87.5 million acres. That would be a 2.3% decline from last year.
The shift favors corn acres and wheat acres. The survey projected an increase in U.S. corn acreage by 1.7 million acres to 90.8 million. That would be about a 2% jump from this spring’s planting.
Contrast this against Brazil, where soybean acres are projected to rise anywhere from 2 to 5%. Further, next door in Argentina, export taxes are being increased on everything but soybeans (which are already taxed), which means that corn acres are likely to go down for their 2018/19 crop. 
Meanwhile, FarmFutures pegged winter wheat acres at 33.6 million. That would be a 2.6% jump or 850,000 more acres than this year. Winter wheat is expected to increase by about 4%, while white wheat intentions dipped.
Finally, spring wheat and durum wheat are expected to decline by 2.5% to 12.9 and 1.8 million acres respectively.
While it’s easy to only think about getting Harvest 2018 done, there’s something to be said for thinking about you Plant 2019 when you have a few hours to yourself in the cab of the combine (or tractor if you’re the person charged with carting all day long!).