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Farm Futures Daily AM

MAY 10, 2024


Good Morning!

Worries about Russia lifts U.S. wheat to nine-month high. Jacqueline Holland offers more information below.

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Jacquie Holland & Ben Potter

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Market Commentary

Plus – what to expect from today’s WASDE and Crop Production reports from USDA

  • Corn up 1-3 cents
  • Soybeans up 1-2 cents; Soyoil up $0.30/lb; Soymeal up $1.20/ton
  • Chicago SRW wheat up 11-12 cents; Kansas City HRW wheat up 14-15 cents; Minneapolis spring wheat up 11-12 cents

Prices updated as of 7:05am CDT.

Good morning!

Happy WASDE day! And just a quick reminder that it is the last day of Teacher Appreciation Week!

Yes, I am avoiding talking about the Colorado Avalanche’s loss to Joshua Baethge’s Dallas Stars last night. I’m still bitter a penalty wasn’t called on Dallas after Colorado’s Devon Toews was elbowed in the face during the first period.

Ugh. I don’t want to talk about it. So here is Josh’s latest update about ongoing trade conflicts between U.S. and Mexican dairy groups . The Stars come to Ball Arena in Denver on Saturday for Game 3.

Here are Josh’s (largely unwelcome) thoughts about last night’s game:

Last night things returned to form as the Stars pulled out the big win. It two great periods of hockey before 20 minutes of near heart attacks.  We may have given up three goals in the third, but as they say, a win is a win.  I never doubted them for a second (I think).

Now my trash-talking colleague Jacquie Holland knows a thing or two about sports. Possibly more than me or you.  That’s why I can’t comprehend how she fails to grasp the greatness of this year’s Stars. They have the drive of LeBron, the tenacity of Caitlyn Clark, and the swagger of Luka Doncic.

Speaking of Luka, how about that Mavs win? Despite Ms. Holland’s predictions, were no tears in Dallas last night!

Jacquie, I know you’re probably nervous about Game three. Maybe the
soothing sounds of Pantera will help get you through the day. Saturday is going to be a good one!

…well maybe not for you.

Spare me the dramatics, Josh! Let’s go Avs!

WASDE Preview

And since it is a WASDE morning, here is a brief rundown of what you need to know going into today’s reports. This series is a big one – it will provide USDA’s first look at global and domestic 2024/25 crop production, supplies, and usage estimates that will drive new crop price action throughout the coming months.

But markets will be closely watching USDA’s updates on South American crop harvest volumes, particularly after a rough month for Brazilian soybean and Argentine corn harvests. For real-time coverage and analysis, follow along at our website or on our social platforms later this morning after USDA releases the updated data at 11am CDT.

First and foremost, we get to see USDA’s first look at 2024 corn and soybean production today! I don’t expect to see many surprises here – it will likely be a combination of March 31 Prospective Plantings report acreage estimates and trendline yields published at February’s Ag Outlook Forum.

Farmer intentions in the Prospective Plantings report published in late March indicated that farmers would plant 90.0 million acres of corn and 86.5 million acres of soybeans this year. Annual corn sowings are expected to drop 4.6 million acres (5%) while their soybean counterparts are forecasted to rise 2.9 million acres (4%).

The pre-report trade estimates are bracing for the 2024 U.S. corn harvest to be the fourth largest on record, though trendline yields by the trade are hoping for a smaller yield that what USDA will likely publish.

This year’s soybean crop is expected to be the second largest on record, though this spring’s sluggish corn planting paces could potentially add a few more soybean acres into production by the time spring ends, especially if the weather continues its soggy trends over the next couple weeks.

The pre-report trade estimates for 2024 soybean production are within striking distance of setting a new record high. While it seems unlikely that USDA data will make that same conclusion today, the June 30 Acreage Report will provide us with more concrete information about the likelihood of a record-breaking soybean crop.

USDA will also be providing its first detailed look at 2024 winter wheat production in today’s report series. Even though the heart of U.S. wheat production – Western Kansas – is battling dry conditions again, market watchers still expect to see improved yield performance from hard red winter and white winter wheat crops this year.

Soft red winter wheat production is forecast lower on trimmed back acres. But those losses will largely be offset by the increase in production of hard red winter wheat in the Southern Plains this year.

It also means that U.S. wheat production will seen a 76-million-bushel increase in volume this year. With U.S. domestic wheat consumption – as well as export prospects – struggling this year, end users are going to need to get creative with ways to consume those extra bushels in 2024/25.

The bigger soybean and wheat crops expected to be harvested in 2024 will add more liquidity to the domestic balance sheets, which will likely be a bearish omen for those prices. I’m more worried about wheat here than I am for soybeans for a couple key reasons.

A smaller 2023 U.S. wheat crop (following consecutive years of weather-related struggles) created a lot of demand destruction for U.S. wheat over the 2023/24 marketing year.

Third quarter (Jan24-Mar24) wheat consumption for flour dipped slightly below the previous quarter, reflecting constricted consumer budgets amid rising food costs and preferences for lower carb food options. Exports are at their smallest volume since 1971 and the shrinking livestock herd means there are fewer grain-consuming animal units to absorb more wheat supplies this year.

But it isn’t all doom and gloom for the wheat balance sheet. Mexico was forced to import wheat cargoes from Russia over the past 12 months because of low U.S. supplies. Replenished U.S. hard red winter wheat stocks could bring Mexican export buyers back to the table in 2024/25.

And even though Q3 wheat milling volumes dipped from the prior quarter, it was only a minor shift, and they are still trending higher than the same time in the prior year, which is a remarkable trend considering that Q3 wheat milling volumes tend to be among the lowest in the marketing year.

Higher soybean supplies are likely to be consumed by the handful of new crush plants expected to come online either late this summer or in early fall that will be producing soyoil to feed growing renewable diesel production.

Corn supplies are already running high thanks to a bin-busting 2023 crop, but the lower acreage estimate will not likely be enough to trim supplies further in 2024, particularly if trendline yields prevail.

Markets are not anticipating USDA will make any major revisions to the domestic soybean and wheat balance sheets for the 2023/24 marketing year in today’s reports.

But the record-breaking 2023 corn crop has created more export opportunities over the past month than many had been expecting, so the markets are hopeful that USDA will trim old crop ending supplies for corn today, which would be a slightly bullish sentiment if the cuts are realized.

There are a lot of market items to be excited about in today’s series, but for old crop pricing, South American corn and soybean production estimates will continue to be the driving factor for price movement.

As we’ve chronicled extensively in previous newsletters, Argentina’s corn crop is facing leafhopper damage ahead of peak harvest activity and somewhere around 5% of Brazil’s soybean crop in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul has spent most of the last week awaiting harvest under a foot of water.

USDA tends to be conservative with their production revisions for South American production, opting to reconcile those figures with shipping data to ensure accuracy. But with export season heating up in South America, I am optimistic that USDA will have the intelligence it needs to justify changes to Brazilian and Argentine production estimates.

Changes to the South American harvests will be the key driver of declines in global corn and soybean ending stocks for the 2023/24 marketing year. Wheat stocks are also expected to decline.

There are going to be several items I will be closely watching in USDA’s first look at global grain and oilseed production and usage estimates for the 2024/25 marketing year.

First, I am vey eager to see where USDA projects Brazilian corn and soybean production for the upcoming year. Brazilian farmers have been battling higher input costs and lower revenues long before U.S. farmers felt the sting late this past winter.

But those tightened profit margins for Brazilian producers are likely to slow the rate at which Brazilian farmers are bringing more grasslands into production over the next year. Which makes sense, because why spend the capital to add more land if you’re only going to end up suffering a loss on it anyway?

Corn and soybean supplies are expected to grow, though bear in mind that many of those stocks haven’t even been planted yet. And with a La Niña weather pattern developing over the upcoming summer months, the South American crops are anything but a sure bet in 2024/25.

The big global story over the past couple decades has been the growing agricultural land utilized in Brazil. But are we finally seeing that expansion reach its peak? Today’s report will provide our earliest indications of that sentiment.

Second, the Northern Hemisphere’s wheat crop has had a rough go of it this spring. Canada’s dry (again), the U.S. Plains are dry (again), Russia and Ukraine are dry, Russia has faced frost damage, and the European Union has struggled with early emergence from dormancy, some dryness, and frost damage of its own that is suddenly throwing into question the stability of the global wheat balance sheet.

Russia continues to ship massive volumes of wheat out of the Black Sea, so the situation isn’t dire – yet. But Ukraine is expected to plant and harvest smaller grain acreages this year as well and global wheat consumption will continue to trend higher as the population increases, so it’s possible the 2024/25 global wheat balance sheet could tighten in today’s report.

Third, and maybe most importantly, is China. The world’s largest grain and oilseed buyer continues to grapple with population decline, worker shortages, property market nightmares, and weak consumer sentiments.

It’s oil import volumes picked up this week, suggesting that there is hope for an economic rebound, but I will be closely watching to see where USDA forecasts China’s grain and oilseed imports and consumption in 2024/25 to see if there is any optimism for China’s economic growth in the coming months.

China is on track to import record high soybean volumes this year, even though its hog market continues to face contractionary pressures. There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding China’s economic future, so I am hopeful we can glean more insights from USDA’s data today.

FFTF updates

Over the past couple weeks, farmers around the country have been frustrated by persistent showers, cool temperatures, and few opportunities for meaningful planting progress. Farmers are frustrated, but they aren’t factoring yield losses – yet.

“[It’s been] nothing, nothing, [then planting] 18 hours a day for five days in a row and then nothing, nothing [again],” a Northern Illinois corn grower explained.

“We've been waiting for ground to dry out, but planting has gone smooth so far,” a Northern Indiana producer’s comments perfectly summed up current farmer sentiment. “We were glad to get the rain as our subsoils were dry, but we were glad they quit for a while.”

For more comments and updated weather outlooks, check out our latest FFTF article on the Farm Futures website.

Will you have enough clear days this weekend to make meaningful planting progress? Are your alfalfa fields fighting off weevil pressures? Share your insights with us in our ongoing Feedback from the Field survey !

Feedback from the Field is an open-sourced, ongoing farmer survey of current crop and weather conditions across the Heartland. If you would like to participate at any time throughout the growing season, click this link to take the survey and share updates about your farm’s spring progress. I review and upload results daily to the FFTF Google™ MyMap , so farmers can see others’ responses from across the country – or even across the county!


Corn prices rose $0.02-$0.03/bushel overnight, deriving strength from the rally in the wheat market. An uptick in energy prices on a decline in U.S. inventories also supported the morning’s gains as traders await USDA’s WASDE data later this morning.


Soybean prices edged up a penny this morning as markets brace for larger 2024/25 supplies while also evaluating the extent of crop damage in Brazil following flooding in a South Brazilian state over the past week.

“Soy and corn harvesting in Brazil's Rio Grande do Sul state has progressed slowly, according to estimates by crop agency Emater on Thursday, which confirm fears that floods continue to disrupt field work and will impose heavy losses on local farmers,” wrote Nigel Hunt for Reuters this morning.


The wheat rally continued overnight after Russian wheat crops incurred severe frost damage. With up to 69% of the world’s exportable wheat supplies facing some sort of negative weather pressure in recent months, U.S. wheat prices extended their recent rally to a nine-month high this morning, climbing $0.11-$0.15/bushel higher along the way.

Yesterday, Russia’s state news agency, TASS, reported that frost damage over the past week has damaged wheat plants during peak grain-fill stages.

Russia is the world’s largest wheat exporter. A warm winter accelerated the speeds at which its winter wheat crop emerged from dormancy. Dry weather has also stressed Russian winter wheat crops and left it more susceptible to May frost damage.

Local Russian governments declared states of emergency in the country’s three largest wheat-producing states yesterday. The recent weather snafus will likely limit the 2024 wheat harvest, though the ministry of agriculture is committed to helping farmers to replant.

My latest E-corn-omics column dives into the negative weather impacts on Russia’s winter wheat crop and how other weather disturbances across the Northern Hemisphere this spring could take a toll on global wheat export supplies.

As recently as Monday, wheat prices have soared to nine-month highs on the news. For farmers tracking heading development on winter wheat crops and planting spring wheat progress in the U.S., this rally might be a lucrative chance for farmers to make profitable 2024 marketing decisions.



Warm temperatures and clear skies are on tap today for the Heartland, according to the National Weather Service’s short-term forecasts , which should help soils dry out and allow some farmers a chance to make planting progress over the next couple days.

Skies will remain mostly clear across the Heartland on Friday and Saturday, though the Eastern Corn Belt will see a chance of showers by Saturday afternoon. Showers will creep into the Southern Plains Sunday morning and inch into the Upper Midwest by the afternoon, so the clear weather window may be short lived until more moderated moisture forecasts settle in later next week.

If there is a silver lining to be had, it is that temperatures are going to remain warm throughout the extended forecast, which should help dry up wet fields when the skies do clear. NOAA’s 6-10-day outlook predicts above average chances for warm temperatures throughout the end of next week, with the Great Lakes region enjoying the highest probability of warmth.

Moisture outlooks during the end of next week continue to trend higher than average for key corn and soybean producing states in the U.S., with Southeast receiving the highest chances for showers. Skies will remain dry in the Pacific Northwest during that time.

Looking to next weekend, widespread warmth will continue to dominate the temperature outlook for the Western Plains, according to NOAA’s 8-14-day forecast . But temperatures will revert to seasonal averages across the rest of the Heartland, which could slow soil moisture evaporation.

Moisture probabilities in the Upper Midwest will revert to seasonal averages, though the Central Plains and Eastern Corn Belt forecasted will still battle above average chances for moisture during that time.

It’s been a rough start for some, and it seems highly likely that farmers will continue to dodge rain drops over the next week or so. But nevertheless, farmers are plowing through spring fieldwork as quickly as possible.


An uptick in jobless claims data yesterday indicates that high interest rates may finally be helping to cool off a hot labor market, indicating that the economy is finally starting to cool off. The markets rejoiced in the news, particularly after March 2024 inflation data came in much higher than anyone – particularly the Federal Reserve – had been expecting.

The Bank of England indicated that interest rate cuts were on the horizon yet this year, suggesting that its U.S. counterpart – the Fed – may consider interest rate cuts later this year as well IF inflationary pressures can be reined in.

The markets rejoiced at this prospect, with S&P 500 futures rising 0.32% overnight to $5,256.00 – just under a record high for the index. It was just the bump the stock market needed this week in the absence of economic data and as first quarter earnings season winds down.

The news has also been a boon for commodities markets, lifting oil and gold prices over the past couple days. Optimism for demand sentiment in the U.S. and China and ongoing conflicts in the Middle East continue to keep a floor under energy prices in the short-term.

Plus, a weekly draw-down in U.S. crude oil and natural gas inventories is keeping price gains alive. “The fall in prices is making it increasingly difficult for the OPEC+ states to allow the voluntary production cuts to be phased out at the end of June, as currently planned,” Commerzbank Research analysts said in a note, as reported by the Wall Street Journal .

What else I’m reading at www.FarmFutures.com this morning:

  • Naomi Blohm examines if we’ve hit the “spring low”   for corn prices.
  • My latest E-corn-omics column takes a quick look at major market factors for corn, soybean, wheat, and fertilizer markets.
  • Policy editor Josh Baethge summarizes the Biden administration’s new sustainable aviation fuel standards and shares some of the challenges farmers may face with the program.
  • Analyst emeritus Bryce Knorr is watching these four marketing items as peak planting season ramps up.
  • Just like in the NFL draft last week, AgMarket.Net hedging strategist Tyler Schau recommends farmers stick to their strategy when it comes to grain marketing plans.

Market Data



SRW Wheat

HRW Wheat

MN Spring Wheat