Cola-Cola and two big reports

Ron Kern

On this date in 1886 Coca-Cola was invented. One of only a few iconic American Brands left and not owned by a foreign entity.

According to legend, Dr. John Styth Pemberton, an Atlanta pharmacist, produced the syrup in a brass pot in his backyard. It was first intended as a patent medicine. Today, Coca-Cola is one of the world's most popular soft drinks and one of the most recognized trademarks.

As I understand it the formula for Coke is kept secure in a vault. I suppose if Fort Knox can hold gold bars, Coca-Cola can hold liquid gold.

So, enjoy a Coke Today!


USDA released two big reports recently. Quarterly Grain Stocks addresses grain leftover from 2022. Prospective Plantings is an annual report that sets the tone for the new year by estimating harvest data and planted acres of principal crops at the state level. These two survey-based reports set the tone for the marketing year and can be used for a wide variety of purposes by farmers, market analysts and others.

The Quarterly Grain Stocks report is a survey-based document published four times per year. The survey addresses old crop stocks in two ways: location (state) and position (on-farm or off-farm storage). This particular report provided information on old crop U.S. grain stocks. Grain stocks reports are subject to revisions which typically occur in the following quarterly report. USDA’s annual Prospective Plantings is also a survey-based report but is published only once per year. This publication presents last year’s harvest data and anticipated planted acres for the marketing year for principal crops and tobacco.

Corn stocks on March 1, 2023, were estimated at 7.4 billion bushels, down five percent or 180 million bushels from March 1, 2022. This is about 69 million bushels below trade analysts’ average estimate.

USDA estimates farmers intend to plant four percent or 3.42 million more acres of corn than last year. This estimate comes out to about 92 million acres compared to trade analysts’ average estimate of 90.88 million acres.

Soybean stocks on March 1, 2023, were estimated at 1.69 billion bushels, down 13 percent or 240 million bushels from March 1, 2022. This number is about 57 million bushels below average analysts’ estimates of 1.74 billion bushels.

USDA estimates farmers intend to plant 87.5 million acres of soybeans. This is only slightly more than 2022 and unchanged in 15 of 29 states.

USDA estimates all old crop wheat stocks are 946 million bushels, down eight percent from March 1, 2022. This was 12 million bushels above average analyst estimates of 934 million bushels.

USDA estimates farmers intend to plant 49.9 million acres of wheat in 2023. That’s nine percent or 4.1 million acres more than 2022. Further, this number comes in higher than USDA’s February estimate of 49.5 million acres.

To further break down wheat estimates, USDA expects all wheat acres to include 10.6 million acres of spring wheat (down two percent from 2022), 37.5 million acres of winter wheat (up 13 percent from 2022) and 1.78 million acres of durum wheat (up nine percent from 2022).

This is a complicated time of year to evaluate crop markets. Traders, analysts and producers will spend time evaluating USDA WASDE numbers against Quarterly Grain Stocks, Prospective Plantings and global export situations to try to develop marketing plans and prepare for what lies ahead.

USDA’s Ag Outlook Forum estimated larger corn production for 2023 with a crop estimate of 15.085 billion bushels. If we use last year’s harvest percentage of 91.32. percent and multiply this by expected acres and a trendline yield of 181.5 bushels per acre, we have an estimated crop size of 15.25 billion bushels. If we add in grain stocks and imports from USDA’s Grains and Oilseeds Outlook, the crop size comes in at 16.54 billion bushels. Bottom line – this is a bearish number for corn.

Since USDA’s soybean acreage is largely unchanged, weather and demand factors will play a bigger role in directing soybean prices until spring planting wraps up. Soybean stocks on the other hand, came in much lower than expected. The 1.69-billion-bushel stocks number is 247 million bushels below March 1, 2022.

Wheat acreage was a surprise with planted acres forecasted 400,000 higher than USDA’s February estimate. This is substantially higher than analyst expectations that were much closer to last year’s 45.74 million acres.

With Mother’s Day approaching I leave you with this…Behind every Mom is a basket of dirty laundry.

Ron Kern is the manager of the Ogle County Farm Bureau.