Trends in World Corn Production

by Brent Gloy

Following last week’s analysis of the trends in global corn consumption, this week we look at global corn production.  We examine which countries are the most important corn producers and how production area and yields have changed.  Much like corn consumption, a small number of countries dominate corn production.  This makes what happens in these countries particularly important to corn supplies in the short and long term. Continue reading

Pass the Meat: U.S. Meat Consumption Turns Higher

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by David A. Widmar

Growth in demand for agricultural products is an important step in improving the economic outlook for production agriculture, especially in light of abundant global inventories. Growth in demand, or consumption, is often slow as the key drivers – population and consumption trends- are themselves slow to change. This year the livestock sector received some good news as the USDA reported increases in per capita consumption for several categories of meat. In this week’s post, we take a look at the long-run trends in U.S. meat consumption.

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Tumbling U.S. Wheat Acres

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by David A. Widmar

Strong wheat yields across the U.S. are proving to be burdensome on wheat markets already struggling to deal with large U.S and global inventories. In many areas producers are facing the lowest cash prices they have seen in years.  These weak prices have left wheat production in the U.S. with a bleak economic outlook.

In many areas of the Great Plains cash bids are hovering near, and have sometimes below, the $3.00 per bushel barrier. (Here are some – rather depressing – Kansas and Nebraska bids).  It has gotten so bad that in some areas of the country cash wheat prices have reached levels that trigger the ability to collect payments from the USDA’s Loan Deficiency Program (LDP) (something few people seriously contemplated when the last farm bill was written).

The situation in the wheat market is symptomatic of many of the issues facing grain producers and we believe that it likely has many broader implications for the entire grain sector.  So over the next few months we are going to feature several posts evaluating the situation in wheat production. Internally we’ve been describing it as our “wheat’s woes” analysis. This week’s posts takes a look at trends in U.S. wheat acres. Continue reading