USDA says spring farrowings were even with a year ago and forecast summer and fall farrowings to be down 0.9 per cent and down 1.3 per cent, respectively.
In general, USDA’s numbers are slightly more bullish than the pre-release trade forecasts.
Hot, dry weather continues across the country. USDA says only 56 per cent of the corn crop was in good or excellent condition on 24 June.
That compares to 63 per cent good or excellent the week before and 68 per cent a year ago.
The Crop Progress report says 53 per cent of the soybean crop was rated good or excellent on 24 June compared to 56 per cent a week earlier and 65 per cent a year ago.
Nationally, 34 per cent of pastures were rated poor or very poor on 24 June.
That compares to 28 per cent poor or very poor the week before and 26 per cent a year ago.
The prospect of lower yields per acre is being partially offset by more acres. USDA’s June Acreage report says farmers will plant 96.405 million acres of corn this year.
That is 0.6 per cent more than the March forecast, 4.9 per cent more than last year, and the most corn acres since 1937.
They are forecasting that harvested corn acres will be up 5.8 per cent from last year. USDA also raised their forecast of 2012 soybean acres by 2.9 per cent and wheat acres by 0.2 per cent in the Acreage report.
They now predict 2012 soybean harvested acres will be up 2.3 per cent from last year and wheat acres harvested up 8.4 per cent.
Corn futures traded sharply higher this week with the 2012 corn futures contract ending the week up 70 to 80 cents from the week before. December corn settled at $6.3475/bu.
Hog prices dropped this week. The national average negotiated carcass price for direct delivered hogs on the morning report today was $95.29/cwt, down $4.69 from last Friday.
The eastern corn belt averaged $95.08/cwt this morning. Neither the western corn belt nor Iowa-Minnesota had enough early morning sales for a price quote.
Peoria had a top live price this morning of $63 and Zumbrota had a live top today of $65/cwt.
The top for interior Missouri live hogs Friday was $71.25/cwt, down 75 cents from the previous Friday.
After four weeks of increases, USDA’s Thursday afternoon calculated pork cutout value was $96.15/cwt, down $2.31 from the previous Thursday, but 3 cents higher than this week last year.
After being below year-earlier for two weeks, hog slaughter this week totaled 1.999 million head, up 2.3 per cent from the week before and up 2.0 per cent compared to the same week last year.
Barrow and gilt carcass weights for the week ending 16 June averaged 202 pounds, down 1 pound from the week before, but up 1 pound from a year ago.
The average barrow and gilt live weight in Iowa-Minnesota last week was 271.4 pounds, down 0.7 pounds from a week earlier, up 3.2 pounds from a year ago, and above year-earlier for the 31st consecutive week.
Friday’s close for the July lean hog futures contract was $96.62/cwt, up $1.70 from the previous Friday.
The August hog futures contract settled at $94.77/cwt, up $3.40 for the week.
Source: Argentine Beef Packers S.A.
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