Iowa's Agricultural Situation: USDA’s year-end summaries show livestock contraction and unexpected increases in crop production
The start of a new year brings summaries of the 2002 agricultural year. These summaries have had a strong bearish impact on crop markets. Following the January 10 release of the USDA annual crop summary, soybean futures fell by 10¢ to 20¢ per bushel and corn futures fell 3¢ to 9¢. In both cases, though, the price drops have not been enough to revive loan deficiency payments. Prices remain 20¢ to 30¢ over county loan rates, a sharp contrast to this time last year when loan deficiency payments were positive for corn and over a dollar a bushel for soybeans. Even given the recent price drops, the state average corn price is 24¢ higher this year, at $2.15 per bushel. The state average soybean price is $1.30 higher at $5.45 per bushel. The market’s recent downturn was driven by the surprising increases seen in the USDA’s production estimates for 2002 corn and soybeans.