The Department of Agriculture made few changes in the June World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report Thursday as traders and producers watch the weather with hopes of timely rains to fall on parched crops.

Government officials lowered new crop corn ending stocks from last month’s 1.5 billion bushels to 1.35 billion bushels. 

Officials raised corn used for ethanol 75 million bushels noting weekly ethanol production data indicates demand is moving closer toward pre-pandemic levels, according to USDA. Pointing to export inspection data for May, exports were also raised 75 million bushels as robust worldwide demand continues despite high prices.

Old crop ending stocks were lowered from 1.25 billion bushels a month ago to 1.1 billion bushels this month.

New crop soybean ending stocks were increased to 155 million bushels, a 15-million-bushel jump over the 140 million bushels estimated a month ago. Old crop soybean stocks were increased from 120 million bushels last month to 135 million bushels this month.

New crop wheat ending stocks were lowered by 4 million bushels from last month to 770 million bushels. Old crop wheat stocks were lowered by 20 million bushels from 872 million bushels last month to 852 million bushels this month.

Allendale Broker Mike Lung said USDA estimates roughly fell in line with what grain traders were expecting and attention has turned to the increasing dryness in Iowa as the growing season gets underway.

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“A lot of people have been making early cash sales with where prices have been, and (because of) the amount of bins being broken in the storm late last year,” Lung told Agri-Pulse.

If the dryness continues, he said farmers could start buying futures contracts to cover their sales.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor released Thursday, moderate drought and abnormally dry conditions expanded from last week in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa.

Most of northern Iowa is now in a moderate drought and parts of northwest Iowa are in a severe drought. The northern part of the Hawkeye state produces some of the highest corn and soybean yields each year, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

North Dakota has also been hit with an exceptional drought in the central part of the state over the last few months. Much of the state is experiencing an extreme drought with some of that dryness slipping into north-central South Dakota. This has caused producers there to cull cattle as water and pastures are drying up.

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