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USDA Report for 3/31/16

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Projected U.S.Corn Stocks Up 1 Percent from March 2015

Soybean Stocks Up 15 Percent

All Wheat Stocks Up 20 Percent

Corn stocks in all positions on March 1, 2016 totaled 7.81 billion bushels, up 1 percent from March 1, 2015. Of the total stocks, 4.34 billion bushels were stored on farms, down 1 percent from a year earlier. Off-farm stocks, at 3.47 billion bushels, are up 3 percent from a year ago. The December 2015 - February 2016 indicated disappearance is 3.43 billion

bushels, compared with 3.46 billion bushels during the same period last year.

Soybeans stored in all positions on March 1, 2016 totaled 1.53 billion bushels, up 15 percent from March 1, 2015.Soybean stocks stored on farms are estimated at 728 million bushels, up 19 percent from a year ago. Off-farm stocks, at 803 million bushels, are up 12 percent from last March. Indicated disappearance for the December 2015 - February 2016

quarter totaled 1.18 billion bushels, down 1 percent from the same period a year earlier.

All wheat stored in all positions on March 1, 2016 totaled 1.37 billion bushels, up 20 percent from a year ago. On-farm stocks are estimated at 320 million bushels, up 15 percent from last March. Off-farm stocks, at 1.05 billion bushels, are up 22 percent from a year ago. The December 2015 - February 2016 indicated disappearance is 375 million bushels, 4 percent below the same period a year earlier.


Statistical Methodology

Survey Procedures: The grain stocks estimates in this report are based on 

surveys conducted during the first two weeks of March. Separate surveys are 

conducted to obtain the on-farm and off-farm estimates. The on-farm stocks 

survey is a probability survey that includes a sample of over 83,000 farm 

operators selected from a list of producers that ensures all operations in 

the United States have a chance to be selected. These producers are asked to 

provide the total quantities of grain stored on their operations as of March 

1, 2016. This includes all whole grains and oilseeds stored whether for feed, 

seed, or sale as well as any stored under a government program.

The off-farm stocks survey is an enumeration of all known commercial grain 

storage facilities. This includes approximately 8,600 facilities with 

11.0 billion bushels of storage capacity. An effort is made to obtain a 

report from all facilities. Reports of stock holdings are normally received 

from operations covering about 90 percent of the capacity. Estimates are made 

for missing facilities to make the survey complete.

Estimation Procedures: On-farm and off-farm survey data are reviewed at the 

State and National levels for reasonableness, consistency with historical 

estimates, and current crop size. After estimates are made for on-farm and 

off-farm stocks, the totals of these two are combined and evaluated using the 

balance sheet approach. This method utilizes other sources of data to check 

the reasonableness of the stocks estimates. Estimates of production, imports, 

exports, crushings, millings, and all other recorded uses of grains and 

oilseeds are reviewed to make sure beginning stocks, production, utilization, 

and ending stocks are within reasonable balance and present the best possible 

estimate of stocks.

Revision Policy: On-farm and off-farm stocks are subject to revision the 

quarter following initial publication and again in the following December 1 

Grain Stocks report published in January each year. Revisions can be made 

when late reports are received, errors are detected in reporting and 

calculations, and production estimates are revised. Estimates will also be 

reviewed following the 5-year Census of Agriculture. No revisions to these 

years will be made after that date.

Reliability: Reliability of the on-farm and off-farm stocks must be treated 

separately because the survey designs for the two surveys are very different. 

The on-farm stocks estimates are subject to sampling variability because all 

operations holding on-farm stocks are not included in the sample. This 

variability, as measured by the relative standard error at the United States 

level, is approximately 2.0 percent for corn, 2.6 percent for soybeans, and 

2.7 percent for all wheat. This means that chances are approximately 95 out 

of 100 that survey estimates for stocks will be within plus or minus 

4.0 percent for corn, 5.2 percent for soybeans, and 5.4 percent for all wheat 

of the value that could be developed by averaging the estimates produced from 

all possible samples selected from the same population and surveyed using the 

same procedures. The relative standard errors for sorghum, barley, and oats 

are 11.4, 5.8, and 4.4 percent, respectively.

Survey indications are also subject to non-sampling errors such as omission, 

duplication, imputation for missing data, and mistakes in reporting, 

recording, and processing the data. Off-farm, as well as on-farm stocks, are 

subject to these types of errors. These errors cannot be measured directly, 

but they are minimized through rigid quality controls in the data collection 

process and a careful review of all reported data for consistency and 


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Currently a member of The Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) and registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) as a floor broker and a member of the National Futures Association (NFA). I started my career in 1973 on The Chicago Mercantile Exchange trading floor working for a major firm. Three years later I purchased my first membership and began what would become a thirteen-year commitment to trading soybeans for my own account on the trading floor. I began trading options on futures since their inception in Chicago about twenty years ago; doing so, I traded in various pits on the trade floor. 

One of the major lessons that I have learned from all my years of experience is that knowledge is an important condition for the possibility of successful trading. Knowledge gives you a better chance to succeed by eliminating obvious mistakes: with it, you will never find yourself shamefully uttering, “If I only took the time to learn”.  
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