1. The United States is the world’s largest producer of corn (2. China, 3. Brazil, 4. Argentina, 5. Ukraine)
2. The U.S. is the largest consumer of corn in the world.
3. The U.S. is the largest exporter of corn in the world
4. China and Mexico are the top importers of U.S. corn, followed by Japan and Colombia
5. The USDA reports exports in “Metric Tons”, 1 metric ton of corn equals 39.3683 bushels
6. One bushel of corn weighs 56 pounds
7. Although sizes and weights vary a great deal, an average ear of corn weighs between 1 and 1.5 pounds.
8. Corn is the largest crop in the United States, accounting for about 90 million acres.
9. The bulk of corn planting in the United States takes place from April through May
10. Majority of the corn acres in the U.S. are planted in 30-inch rows (distance between rows)
11. Brazil corn planting takes place from October through February
12. Argentina corn planting typically starts in mid-September and goes through November
13. Corn is usually planted 1 ½-2 inches into the soil but varies depending on the field.
14. Corn row’s are typically between 1/4 and ½ mile long.
15. Some important stages of corn growth include Emergence, Silk-Tassel, Blister Kernel, Dough, Begin Dent, Full Dent, Maturity.
16. Iowa produces the most corn in the United States (2. Illinois, 3. Nebraska, 4, Minnesota, 5. Indiana).
17. The national average corn yield for 2022 was 172.3 bushels per acre.
18. Total corn production in the US for 2022 was 13.93 billion bushels
19. The current world record corn yield for all practices is 616.2 bushels per acre, set by Dave Hula of Charles City, Va., in 2019
20. The bulk of corn harvest in the U.S. takes place from September through November.
21. Brazil’s corn harvest takes place from February through August
22. Argentina’s corn harvest takes place from the back half of March through June
23. A row of corn kernels or the circumference of an ear of corn will always have an even number of kernels.
24. Illinois had the highest yielding corn in 2022, with 215 bushels per acre.
25. The average height of a corn plant is about 8 feet.
26. Roughly 45% of corn used for animal feed
27. Roughly 44% of corn is used for ethanol
28. Roughly 10% of corn is used for food. About a third of the food use is for high-fructose corn syrup.
29. Corn futures are the most liquid and actively traded grain market, trading roughly 350,000 contracts a day (about 1,750,000,000 bushels)
30. CME Group offers corn futures and options for producers to help hedge and manage risk. One full sized contract is equal to 5,000 bushels. So for each $0.01 the market moves, it would be $50 +/- in a trading account. There are also “mini” contracts, which equal 1,000 bushels.
31. Corn futures reached their highest price during the drought of 2012, trading to $8.4375
32. Brazil is the world’s largest producer of soybeans (2. United States, 3. Argentina, 4. China, 5. India)
33. Soybeans are the second largest crop in the United States (behind corn), at about 88 million acres.
34. Majority of soybean planting in the United States takes place from May through June.
35. Brazil’s soybean planting typically goes from October through December.
36. Argentina’s soybean planting typically goes from mid-November through the first half of January
37. Soybeans are generally planted 1-1 ½ inches deep but vary depending on the field.
38. Some important stages of soybean growth include Emergence, Beginning/Full Bloom, Beginning/Full Pod, Beginning/Full Seed, Maturity
39. The USDA reports exports in “Metric Tons”, 1 metric ton of soybean equals 36.7437 bushels
40. One bushel of soybeans weighs 60 pounds
41. Illinois produces the most soybeans in the United States (2. Iowa, 3. Minnesota, 4. Nebraska, 5. Indiana)
42. The national average soybean yield in 2022 was 50.2 bushels per acre.
43. Randy Dowdy holds the soybean yield record in the US at 190.23 bushels per acre
44. Total production in the US for 2022 was 4.346 billion bushels
45. Majority of the soybean harvest in the U.S. takes place from September through October.
46. Soybean harvest in Brazil typically takes place from March through May.
47. Soybean harvest in Argentina typically takes place from the back half of March through June.
48. Just over 70 percent of the soybeans grown in the United States are used for animal feed, with poultry being the number one livestock sector consuming soybean.
49. The second largest product for U.S. soybeans is for oils that humans consume, accounting for 15%
50. 5% of U.S. soybeans are used for biodiesel.
51. China is the largest importer of U.S. soybeans, accounting for $14.12 billion worth. Mexico was second at $2.62 billion.
52. Soybean futures are the second most liquid and actively traded grain market, trading roughly 200,000 contracts a day (about 1,000,000,000 bushels)
53. CME Group offers soybean futures and options for producers to help hedge and manage risk. One full sized contract is equal to 5,000 bushels. So for each $0.01 the market moves, it would be $50 +/- in a trading account. There are also “mini” contracts, which equal 1,000 bushels.
54. Soybean futures reached their highest price during the 2012 drought year, trading as high as $17.89.
55. China is the world’s largest producer of wheat (2. The EU, 3. India, 4. Russia, 5. United States)
56. The world’s top wheat exporters are Russia 17%, EU 16%, Australia 14%, United States 11%, and Ukraine, 10%.
57. Wheat is the third biggest crop in the U.S.
58. The USDA reports exports in “Metric Tons”, 1 metric ton of wheat equals 36.7437 bushels
59. One bushel of wheat weighs 60 pounds
60. Kansas and North Dakota produce the most wheat in the United States (3. Oklahoma, 4. Montana, 5. Washington)
61. Wheat is the primary food grain produced in the United States.
62. There are three primary varieties of wheat grown in the U.S.: winter wheat, spring wheat, and durum wheat.
63. Winter wheat varieties are sown in the fall and usually become established before going into dormancy when cold weather arrives. In the spring, plants resume growth and grow rapidly until the summertime harvest.
64. Winter wheat production represents approximately 70 percent of total U.S. production
65. Spring wheat typically constitutes about 25 percent of total U.S. wheat production
66. Spring and durum wheat are typically planted as soon as soil conditions permit in mid-March through May
67. Spring and durum wheat are harvested in the late summer or fall of the same year.
68. Durum wheat is the smallest of the 3 major wheat categories and typically accounts for less than 75 million bushels, or 2-5 percent of total U.S. wheat production.
69. The three categories of wheat can be disaggregated into five major classes: hard red winter, hard red spring, soft red winter, white, and durum. Each class has a somewhat different end use and production tends to be region-specific.
70. Hard red winter (HRW) wheat accounts for about 40 percent of total production and is grown primarily in the Great Plains (northern Texas through Montana). HRW is principally used to make bread flour.
71. Hard red spring (HRS) wheat accounts for about 25 percent of production and is grown primarily in the Northern Plains (North Dakota, Montana, Minnesota, and South Dakota). HRS wheat is valued for its high protein levels, which makes it suitable for specialty breads and blending with lower protein wheat.
72. Soft red winter (SRW) wheat accounts for about 15 percent of total production and is grown primarily in States along the Mississippi River and in eastern States. Flour produced from milling-grade SRW is used for cakes, cookies, and crackers.
73. White wheat (both winter and spring) accounts for approximately 15 percent of total production and is grown in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Michigan, and New York. Its flour is used for noodle products, crackers, cereals, and crusted white breads.
74. Durum wheat accounts for 2-5 percent of total production and is grown primarily in North Dakota and Montana. Durum wheat is used in pasta production.
75. There are three major wheat exchanges: Chicago Board of Trade, Minneapolis Grain Exchange, and the Kansas City Board of Trade.
76. CME Group offers soybean futures and options for producers to help hedge and manage risk. One full sized contract is equal to 5,000 bushels. So, for each $0.01 the market moves, it would be $50 +/- in a trading account. There are also “mini” contracts, which equal 1,000 bushels.
77. Chicago wheat futures reached their highest price in 2022, trading as high as $13.6350, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
78. The USDA reports exports in “Metric Tons”, 1 metric ton of wheat equals 36.7437 bushels
79. The World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) is prepared and released by the World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB). The report is released monthly
80. Railroads originate approximately 24 percent of U.S. grain shipments.
81. The Port of South Louisiana is the United State’s is responsible for exporting majority of U.S. grain shipments, accounting for approximately 60% of all exports.
82. The majority of the grain that leaves the Port of South Louisiana makes its way there via the Mississippi River via barges.
83. The Mississippi river is 2,340miles long and starts at Lake Itasca, Minnesota.
84. An average grain barge holds 12,500 tons or 52,000 bushels of grain
85. The average farm size in the U.S. in 2021 was 445 acres.
86. During 2016, 47,646 farms used futures or options contracts, and more than 93 percent of these farms traded corn or soybean futures or options contracts. More than 300,000 U.S. farms grew corn or soybeans in 2016, and most of that number grew both crops.
87. The United States on-farm grain storage capacity totaled 13.5 billion bushels in 2021
88. Capacity of off-farm commercial grain storage in the United States totaled 11.8 billion bushels in 2021
89. About 54% of farms in the U.S use some form of irrigation. Nebraska had the most irrigated farmland in 2017, at 8.6 million acres, accounting for 14.8% of irrigated cropland. (2. California, 3. Arkansas, 4. Texas, 5. Idaho).
90. CME Grain futures have daily price limits that are variable and reset every 6 months in May and in November. There are no price limits in the current month contract on or after the second business day preceding the first day of the delivery month
91. Grain futures trade on weekdays from 8:30am CT to 1:20pm CT. Then reopen at 7pm CT and trade to 7:45am CT.
92. Grain futures open Sunday night at 7pm CT
93. April 3, 1848 – The Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was founded as a cash market for grain. Forward or “to-arrive” contracts begin trading at the CBOT almost immediately.
94. It’s estimated that 82 to 94 percent of most crops are grown in some sort of rotation. So, if a field was corn one year, it may be soybeans the following year.
95. Cover crops are plants that are planted to cover the soil rather than for the purpose of being harvested. Cover crops manage soil erosion, soil fertility, soil quality, water, weeds, pests, diseases, biodiversity, and wildlife in an agroecosystem—an ecological system managed and shaped by humans. Cover crops may be an off-season crop planted after harvesting the cash crop.
96. In the spring, summer, and fall, the USDA reports weekly planting pace, crop conditions, and harvest pace. Released every Monday afternoon
97. Basis is the difference between a local cash (or street) price and the futures market price for that commodity. Basis is calculated as cash price minus futures price
98. There are over 5,608 Grain Elevator Operators in the United States (as of 2022)
99. Iowa and Illinois have the most off-farm storage facilities in the U.S. (grain elevators)
100. It’s estimated that 383 million tons of grain are transported in the US by truck at some point.
101. Where’s your #1 place for all things grains? Blue Line Futures!!!!
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