Ag Market Outlook, January 15, 2024 with Chad Hart, Iowa State University Extension Economist

The January report is usually a big one, as it contains the “final” estimates for the 2023 crops. Beyond that, this report is also the one where they adjust the 2018-2022 data based on the Census of Agriculture. There was a lot going on, with the punchline being, USDA found even bigger crops and stocks, pressuring the markets down.

For 2023 corn, planted and harvested acreage was reduced, but the national average yield was increased by 2.4 bushels per acre, leading to a 108 million bushel increase in production. Feed and residual use was boosted by 25 million bushels, and there was a 50 million bushel increase in ethanol. Putting everything together, 2023-24 ending stocks increased by 31 million bushels, approaching 2.2 billion bushels. USDA lowered its 2023-24 season average price by five cents to $4.80 per bushel.

For 2023 soybeans, it was a similar tale: acreage down, yield up (0.7 bushels). Production increased by 36 million bushels with minimal changes were made to usage. So 2023-24 ending stocks moved up 35 million bushels (to 280 million) and USDA lowered its 2023-24 season average price to $12.75 per bushel (down 15 cents).

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