Joaquin Could be Powered by Midwest Storm

The hurricane bearing down on the east coast of the United States may find new strength from a system in the middle part of the country.

Joaquin is a unique weather system as hurricane’s go. First, it has developed really fast. In less than three days its gone from nothing to really something says meteorologist Mike Tannura from t-Storm weather in Chicago, Illinois.

Quote Summary - This hurricane, at this point, is expected to have sustainable of 140 miles per hour. It would need to get to 155 miles per hour to reach a category five status.

Category five is the highest level possible. The key to it maintaining strength is the eye of the hurricane. If it stays in tact then Joaquin will be dangerous. Even if it doesn’t the system is going to move northward and interact with a different weather system already moving through the Midwest. If the two combine Tannura says a worst case scenario develops for the east coast.

Quote Summary - Then we would end up with a storm system similar to hurricane Sandy back in 2012. Now hurricane Sandy was a major storm. It was really big. We aren’t expecting that big, but something similar where you take a nontropical system in the Midwest and combine it with a tropical system in the Atlantic Ocean and striking somewhere along the east coast from North Carolina to Washington, D.C.

The other scenario has the two remaining independent systems. If this happens then Joaquin would run a parallel line to the east coast, but remain off shore. Either way heavy rains will fall, three to six inches, from South Carolina to New York City. Tannura says we won’t know until tomorrow, or maybe Saturday morning, if the storms will combine.

Limited Pork Expansion

The nation’s hog farmers have done a nice of job of not over reacting to last year’s record profits. They’ve limited their expansion plans and consequently should see a good bottomline again for this year, and maybe next.

For all of 2015, pork supplies are expected to be seven percent higher than in 2014. That year the price of pork averaged $76 mostly because the PED virus wreaked havoc on the industry. This years supplies have been farm more stable and supplies for 2016 should only be about one percent higher than in 2015. Hog prices are expected to average about $51 on a live weight basis for this year. Current projections for 2016 are for a similar average price and it means hog farmers will make money says Purdue Extension Agricultural Economist Chris Hurt.

After the record profits of 2014, there has been concern that the industry would over-expand. At this point that concern has not developed with supply and demand anticipated to be in balance for the coming 12 months. This also serves as a warning to the industry to make sure that further expansion plans remain moderate.

There seem to be growing threats in the future for the meats sector. Those include, says Chris Hurt, the continued expansion of total meat supplies into 2016 and 2017 with a rapid ramp up of poultry and increased beef production.

The large drop in finished cattle prices in recent weeks suggest that retail beef prices could begin to drop this fall and provide added competition for pork. In the longer run, beef supplies will continue to expand for multiple years. Potential weakness of meat and poultry exports is also a concern with slowing world economic growth and a strong U.S. dollar.

A strong dollar makes it more difficult to sell U.S. products overseas as they become higher priced. Speaking of price, feed prices will remain low for the next 9 months due to strong yields for 2014 and 2015 crops and weakened exports. Animal product producers will want to take advantage of harvest price lows this fall states Hurt. However, he thinks longer-term, managers need to remain aware that low feed prices are not guaranteed if weather should turn more adverse in some important growing areas.

Decreasing 2016 Cash Rents on Professionally Managed Farmland

Cash rents on professionally-managed farmland are set to decrease next year. That’s the conclusion of a survey in the state of Illinois.

Original Survey
Schnitkey Article

How to Read the FSA Acreage Dump

Wednesday (September 16, 2015) the Farm Service Agency released a new set of numbers. While these are preliminary figures of acreage and crops, they do offer a hint of things to come in future official USDA estimates.

First, it is really important to understand these numbers are raw and come with no explanation. They are simply a monthly dump of the aggregated acreage figures reported to the FSA by those participating in federal farm programs. Participation requires them to report the number of planted, failed, and prevented plant acres of each program crop. These numbers are updated by FSA from August to January. University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Darrel Good explains how the raw numbers make their way into the official USDA reports.

Quote Summary - NASS, the official estimator of major crops, basis their estimates on surveys of producers with the final estimated based on a very large agricultural survey in December, but they do use what they call administrative data, primarily this FSA data, to tweak their own estimates of planted acres. This is because theirs is based on a sample. They are not doing a census of acreage. Historically there has been a close relationship between the acreage reported to FSA an actual planted acres as reported by NASS. They use those numbers and so by definition they tend to come together at the end of the season.

Remember that’s not until January. So, it makes reading too much into the latest FSA numbers difficult, but it does offer what Darrel Good calls ‘hints’ as to what changes might be coming. USDA NASS will incorporate the FSA figures into the October 9 Crop Production report. However, that will be from an updated set of FSA figures that the public won’t actually see until October 14.

Quote Summary - At this juncture, I think there is a tendency to try and read too much into what the FSA reports are saying in terms of trying to anticipate how NASS is going to change final acreage. Having said that, we do see through September of this year that the difference between the estimated of planted areas by NASS (for soybean) and certified acres reported to FSA so far is a quite large margin. Whether it narrows considerably in October or not is the question. If it doesn’t then there is may be a bit of a clue there that NASS will have to lower its estimated of planted acres of soybeans this year. But again that is just a clue you are trying to read out of the data and we’ll see in October whether that happens or not.

Typically the FSA acreage for soybeans is 1.5 to 2 million acres lower than USDA’s final number. The current FSA figures are off by 4.6 million acres. The October 9 Crop Production report could change, but we won’t know exactly why or if it needs to change more until the FSA report is released five days later.