USDA Reports Preview

USDA's quarterly Grain Stocks report for Sept. 1 will be released Friday, Sept. 30, at 11 a.m. CDT, along with the Small Grains Summary, a report on U.S. wheat, oats and barley production.

Ending stocks of U.S. corn and soybeans are apt to be near USDA's estimates from the September World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report, but a surprise is always possible.


If all goes well with Friday's quarterly Grain Stocks report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), we might not see much, if any, reaction from corn and soybean prices on the board. After all, for the new 2022-23 season, USDA is already estimating the lowest ending U.S. corn stocks in 10 years, the lowest ending U.S. soybean stocks in seven years and the lowest ending U.S. wheat stocks in nine years. It is difficult to imagine Friday's report topping those already-made announcements, but USDA's Grain Stocks reports do have a history of sometimes shocking traders out of their WASDE-induced comas.


Dow Jones' survey of 17 analysts expects USDA to find 1.497 billion bushels (bb) of corn on hand as of Sept. 1, 2022, up from 1.235 bb the previous year, but a little below USDA's September estimate of 1.525 bb. Corn basis has been stronger than normal all summer long and is the one factor that makes Friday's report interesting to see if corn supplies come in any less than expected. If Dow Jones' survey is correct, the 2021-22 season will finish with the second lowest ending corn stocks in eight years.


Dow Jones' survey expects USDA to confirm 247 million bushels (mb) of soybeans on hand as of Sept. 1, 2022, a little less than last year's 257 mb of ending stocks and a little more than USDA's September estimate of 240 mb. As with corn, the national basis for soybeans was stronger than normal most of the summer, thanks largely to active crush demand. Unlike corn, U.S. soybean shipments lagged USDA's estimated export pace at the end of the season and may have resulted in a last-minute increase in soybean supplies. If Dow Jones' analysts are correct, a 247 mb total would be the lowest ending soybean stocks in six years.


Unlike corn and soybeans, Sept. 1 wheat stocks are not ending stocks and will tell us how demand went in the first quarter of the new 2022-23 season. Dow Jones' analysts expect USDA to find 1.795 bb of wheat on hand as of Sept. 1, 2022, a little more than last year's 1.774 bb, but also the second lowest Sept. 1 total in 15 years. The more bearish side of the coin is that if the analysts are correct, first quarter wheat demand will have totaled 758 mb, the lowest in four years.


The Small Grains 2022 Summary will give us the latest production estimates from NASS for wheat, oats and barley. Dow Jones' survey of 15 analysts provided average estimates of 1.784 bb for all U.S. wheat production, similar to the 1.783 bb posted in the September WASDE report. Winter wheat production is estimated at 1.192 bb, down 7% from last year's 1.277 bb. Other production estimates show hard red winter (HRW) wheat at 573 mb, soft red winter (SRW) wheat at 379 mb, White wheat at 239 mb, other spring wheat at 517 mb and durum at 75 mb.

Of the classes listed, other spring wheat has the most potential for surprise as harvest is just nearing the finish line with 7% of North Dakota's acres left to bring in.

I don't have analyst estimates for oats and barley production, but as a source of reference, U.S. oat production for 2022-23 was estimated at 53 mb in USDA's September WASDE report, up from 40 mb in 2021-22. U.S. barley production for 2022-23 was estimated at 158 mb in the September WASDE report, up from 118 mb in 2021-22.

With investors clearly shaken by last week's rate hike and hawkish comments from the Federal Reserve, I can't guarantee Friday's USDA reports will have much impact on market prices, but I continue to say USDA's efforts to take regular inventory of grain stocks is one of the most valuable services they provide for helping us understand markets, and the reports help protect us from estimates that sometimes go astray in the WASDE reports.

Join us Friday for DTN's 12:30 p.m. CDT webinar as we look over USDA's numbers and discuss what they mean to markets. Register now at:…

QUARTERLY STOCKS (million bushels)
9/1/22 Avg High Low June Sep 2021
Corn 1,497 1,575 1,295 4,346 1,235
Soybeans 247 275 220 971 257
Wheat 1,795 1,950 1,663 660 1,774
U.S. PRODUCTION (Million Bushels) 2022-23
9/30/22 Avg High Low Aug 2021
All Wheat 1784 1,806 1,750 1,783 1,646
Winter 1192 1,205 1,165 1,198 1,277
HRW 573 590 555 576 749
SRW 379 390 365 381 361
White 239 250 225 240 167
Spring 517 540 503 512 331
Durum 75 76 71 74 37

Todd Hultman can be reached at

Follow Todd Hultman on Twitter @ToddHultman1

USDA Reports Preview
What we expect from USDA's quarterly Grain Stocks report for Sept. 1 and the Small Grains Summary, which will be released on Sept. 30.
EPA Rejects 2017 Treated-Seed Petition
The EPA rejected a 2017 petition filed by two environmental groups, asking the agency to regulate pesticide-treated seeds.
DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends
Fertilizer prices are evenly mixed for the third week of September 2022, with five of the eight major fertilizers slightly lower compared to last month while three were slightly higher. No fertilizers were up or down significantly compared to last month.
Court Strikes Down Iowa 2021 Ag-Gag Law
The state of Iowa has now lost legal cases on three of four of its agriculture trespass laws passed in the state dating back to 2012, as a federal judge struck down the state's 2021 version this week.
Ag Economy Faces Global Risks
Despite higher-priced inputs, interest rates and inflation, overall conditions for Midwest farmers right now are stronger than they were before the pandemic. Labor remains a driver of inflationary pressure, affecting several agricultural industries. The war in Ukraine continues to loom over supply chains.
DOJ Loses Case to Stop Sugar Co. Sale
U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika in Delaware on Friday ruled that privately held U.S. Sugar Corp. can move ahead with its acquisition of Imperial Sugar Co. from Louis Dreyfus Co. The Department of Justice sued last year to block the merger.
Rodeo Event Banned in California
A California county board of supervisors voted to prohibit wild cow milking events at rodeos but took out language in the ordinance that would have potentially limited, or banned, use of equipment such as ropes, straps and spurs.
Cover Crops Project in the Spotlight
USDA Undersecretary Robert Bonnie made a stop in Missouri on Wednesday to discuss how a $95 million project will help create a market for climate-smart commodities while increasing cover crop acres.
Funding Flows for Climate-Smart Grants
USDA on Wednesday detailed 70 grants totaling up to $2.8 billion in potential funding under the Partnership for Climate-Smart Commodities. The program was initially expected to cost $1 billion, but USDA increased funding after receiving more than 1,000 grant proposals. More projects will be announced later this year.