Welcome to day one of the 2016 U.S. Corn Belt Crop Tour, my name is Moe Agostino, Chief Commodity Strategist with Farms.com Risk Management. It is June 25th. I want to thank my sponsors, Pride Seeds and Penta Tillage.
We are in the state of Ohio. We are on Hwy 6 just travelling south. We are east of Hwy 75 and we’ve got a corn field behind us here and there is another wheat field over there that is about to be harvested although the harvest here is at 0% for the state of Ohio. We have some beans across the road – probably a bit behind, maybe planted a little bit later than usual. The corn looks ok a little bit of unevenness - stage 4 leaf. I don’t see any heat stress or any disease issues at this point.
2016 has started off interesting. We had some really good prices and all of a sudden we have taken away the weather rally, the demand rally, and now we have this Brexit where the UK has decided to leave the EU causing some global growth recession fears. So the questions on our tour are: Will be able to get some of these prices back? Can we add some weather risk premium back to the market? Weather is going to be an important role this year because everyone has been talking about La Nina. Some of the states that are important when it comes to weather are Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Indiana, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, and North Dakota.
With corn, the USDA has corn at 75% good to excellent. For the state of Ohio, we dropped 1% as of June 19th to 64. Poor to very poor stands at 4. The corn yield in 2015 was 153, the record 176. Corn acres stand at 3.55 million acres - unchanged from 2015. On the soy side, Ohio ranks 8th at 4.6. That’s about 5.6% of the total 82+ million - down 2% from 2015. We’ve got soy yield at 50, the record, that was last year, the record was 52.5. Wheat, good to excellent overall has dropped to 76%. Ohio has 0% harvested. Acres are up 15% to 0.6. Wheat yield in 15 was 67. It was down 7 from 2015. Then we’ve got Top Soil moisture 6% adequate to surplus. Sub Soil 66% adequate to surplus. So far not seeing any issues here in Ohio. It is a nice sunny day, no weather issues at all. We will continue with the tour down the road.
[Video clips of Ohio field conditions]
We are travelling further south into the state of Ohio. We are on Hwy 47 just west of Hwy 75 near Sidney, Ohio, we can see a bean field here. As we travel further south, the crops are a little further ahead than the north but U.S. farmers have been complaining about dealing with weeds. You can see in the distance that there is some weed pressure here in this field. We have a corn field across the road; a little bit if unevenness but overall not seeing any crop stress here. The grass is a little yellow, but it’s early in the growing season. Guys have been complaining about a lot of rolling corn from heat stress - it is a defence mechanism that the leaves start to curl up - but I’m not seeing it here. It is in other states like Illinois, Missouri, maybe some parts of southern Iowa. Overall looking ok.
We’re travelling south on Hwy 127, we are near Hamilton, Ohio. We are going to conclude our Day 1 of the state of Ohio - U.S. Corn Belt Crop Tour 16. As we have travelled from the north all the way to the south, we have visited with some farmers. Obviously the corn down here looks a lot better, it is some of the best we have seen travelling through the states. But after 5 years of doing this, the corn is behind. There have been some years where the very south of Ohio can tassel by either now or by July 4, so I am going to rank corn as a 6. A little bit behind – could be further ahead. Farmers are complaining that yes they did get some rain but they need a drink. This area was a little wet to start off with, and got a little bit behind. They finally got the heat units and the corn is looking better, but it could be further ahead. Over the next 2 weeks, I don’t see any rain in the forecast. That is a problem. This crop will probably start to pollinate about mid-July and that is when the extreme heat is expected to come in - so something to keep an eye on. As for the beans, the beans are probably a bit better shape than the corn. So we rank corn 6 out of 10 for this time of year. And a 7 out of 10 for the beans in the state of Ohio.