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CME: How Much Is The Corn Crop Damaged?

29 July 2011

US - How much damage have high temperatures done to the Cornbelt corn crop? That question will not be answered for a while though we will get some idea in the August WASDE report from USDA, writes Steve Meyer and Len Steiner.

Jerry Gidel of North American Risk Management highlighted some information from the Iowa Environmental Mesonet, a service of Iowa State University’s Department of Agronomy, today that puts July temperatures and humidity in some historical context.

The details can be found at the IEM site:
http://mesonet.agron. .

The average low temperature for the first to the 25 July this year was the second highest on record — second only to those of 1936 at the depths of the “Dust Bowl” years. Those high temperatures can damage a corn crop if there is not enough moisture available but humidity helps corn plants maintain moisture and keep growing. The chart at right shows that humidity this year, represented by the IEM’s mixing ratio, has been the highest on record, breaking the previous record set last year.

One useful way to get and idea of what the future might hold is to ask a lot of people who forecast the future all the time. There are a number of such “expert panels” that provide insight to the general economy but not many that compile predictions of the future levels of commodity outputs and prices.

One, though, is the annual survey of members conducted by the Extension Section of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (formerly the American Agricultural Economics Association) or AAEA.

Started 34 years ago by long-time Michigan State University Extension Economist Jake Farris, the survey has been done by Dr Ron Plain of the University of Missouri and David Miller of Iowa Farm Bureau for the past several years.

The results of this year’s survey for livestock and poultry appear in the table below. The 11 respondents for cattle/beef expect significant reductions in supply but no huge run-ups in the prices of either slaughter or feeder steers next year. The relative percentage changes of cattle prices and production imply some softening of animal demand. Eight forecasters expect broiler output to fall through Q2-12 and for broiler prices to also increase only lightly.

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