Corn Marketing Challenges May Be Ahead

The March Grain Stocks Report from USDA showed a lot of old crop grain is in storage on farms across rural America. Joe Janzen, an agricultural economist with the University of Illinois, says farmers are holding a lot of grain.

“The quarterly grain stocks numbers for both corn and soybeans came in line with expectations, about 8.3 billion bushels of corn and 1.8 billion bushels of soybeans. That’s pretty much right in line with the average guess from the trade, but the difference was that those bushels are much more substantially than in the past being held on farm.”

That will make marketing more of a challenge in 2024.

“The corn stalks and soybean stocks were very much in line last year in terms of off-farm stocks, but on-farm stocks are growing by 20 to 25 percent relative to a year ago, at this time. That means the farmer has a significant marketing challenge ahead of him in what looks to be pretty challenging marketing conditions.”

Planting an estimated 90 million acres of corn this year doesn’t bode well for future corn prices.

“Even when you plug that 90 million acreage number into a balance sheet, you still get growing corn stocks at the end of the next marketing year.”