ERS Charts of Note
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Thursday, October 20, 2011
Per-acre operating costs are important for determining producer net returns, which influence farmers' cropping choices. Rice, corn, and cotton have the highest per-acre expenses for energy-related inputs. While rice and cotton have the highest per-acre costs for fuel, lube, and electricity, corn has the highest costs for fertilizer. Energy-related costs for soybean production are relatively low. This chart comes from the ERS report, Impacts of Higher Energy Prices on Agriculture and Rural Economies, ERR-123, August 2011.
Friday, October 7, 2011
The 2011/12 season-average farm price (SAFP) for U.S. long-grain rice is projected in September 2011 at $12.70-$13.70 per cwt, up 70 cents on both the high and low ends from last month. The upward revision was largely based on expectations of higher global trading prices in 2011/12. The 2011/12 SAFP for long-grain rice is well above the $11.10 estimated for 2010/11. In contrast with last year, U.S. long-grain prices in 2011/12 will be supported by smaller U.S. supplies, higher quality, and stronger world prices. This chart is found in Rice Outlook, RCS-11i, September 13, 2011.
Friday, September 16, 2011
The ratio of global ending stocks to total use can be a reliable indicator of market prices (the lower the ratio, the tighter the market and the higher the price.) Currently, the stocks-to-use ratios for corn and soybeans are near record lows. The stocks-to-use ratios for wheat and rice suggest reasonably comfortable stock levels, but the shortage of milling-quality wheat has put strong upward pressure on wheat prices. Stock-to-use ratios for cotton, total oilseeds, total coarse grains, and sugar are also low. These low ratios suggest strong worldwide competition among crops for acreage in the 2011 planting season. This chart is found in the September 2011 Amber Waves feature, Why Another Food Commodity Price Spike?
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
The 2011/12 U.S. rice production forecast (made August 12, 2011) was 188.1 million cwt (hundredweight, or 100 pounds), down 23 percent from the year-earlier record and the smallest crop since 1998/99. This month's revised forecast (up 1.1 million cwt) is based on higher expected yields. At 7,114 pounds per acre, the average field yield is up 55 pounds from last month's forecast, 6 percent above a year earlier and the second highest on record. This is the first survey-based forecast for the 2011 U.S. rice crop. On an annual basis, harvested area declined in all Southern States, partly due to severe flooding in the Delta this spring that prevented planting in some areas. Even prior to planting, growers in the South had indicated smaller plantings in 2011/12 due to stronger relative returns for alternative crops. This chart is found in Rice Outlook, RCS-11h, August 12, 2011.
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Despite rising costs, net returns to rice are expected to increase each year after 2012-mostly due to higher prices. Although rising rice prices more than offset the steady increase in costs, net returns are projected to remain well below 2007-09. From 2014 onward, net returns per acre to rice are expected to exceed other planting options by an increasing margin, encouraging a small boost in rice acreage in competitive regions. Strong competition in the global market-especially in the long-grain milled market-and only modest expansion in the U.S. rice market limit the increase in rice acreage. This chart is from the ERS publication, Consolidation and Structural Change in the U.S. Rice Sector, RCS-11d-01, April 2011.