Farmers Say They'll Store More Grain

Large portion of 2016 crop expected to be stored on-farm

USDA released its latest quarterly Grain Stocks report, which saw significant shifts in old crop wheat and grain sorghum and smaller movements for corn and soybean.

For corn, USDA reports stocks in all positions as of Sept. 1, 2016, totaled 1.74 billion bushels. This is up slightly from the same date in 2015. On-farm storage (627

million bushels) is 6% higher than 2015, but off-farm stocks (1.11 billion bushels) are down 2%.
For soybeans, all old crop storage totaled 197 million bushels. This is 3% higher than a year ago. On-farm storage (41.6 million bushels) is down 16% and off-farm storage (155 million bushels) is up 10%.

On-farm and off-farm storage of wheat is up significantly from 2015—a 21% total boost. Barley stocks are up 5%, while oat stocks are down 16%. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had expected Sept. 1 corn stocks to come in at 1.754 billion bushels, soybeans at 200 million bushels and wheat stocks at 2.438 million bushels.

The biggest changes in the Sept. 30 USDA Grain Stocks report were for old crop sunflower and grain sorghum crops. Sunflower stocks have shot up 74% from this past year, while grain sorghum stocks have risen 99%.

Meanwhile, a recent Farm Journal Pulse poll confirms farmers intend to put a significant portion of this year's grain into storage. According to more than 1,200 respondents, 19% of them will store all of their crops on-farm after this year's harvest. About half of respondents will store at least 50% of their crop.

When farmers were asked the same question in 2013, they reported similar storage intentions.

"I cannot say I'm extremely surprised by the responses of this poll," says Ted Seifried, chief marketing strategist with Zaner Ag Hedge. "With prices as low as they are, we expect producers to try to store as much of this crop as possible. At the same time, we know with likely record corn and soybean crops, we will not be able to store all of it, and many producers may need cash flow."


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