While inventory levels were at or near all-time highs, so too was implied consumption of corn and soybeans. Corn disappearance from March 1 to June 1 was a record 3.6 billion bushels, 193 million bushels, or 6 percent, above prior-year levels. Soybean disappearance was a record 888 million bushels, up 155 million bushels, or 15 percent, from 2017 consumption levels. Record consumption levels are not unanticipated as USDA projected corn use during 2017/18 to increase 1 percent to a record 14.8 billion bushels, and for soybean use to remain in line with the prior year's record of 4.2 billion bushels.
On- and Off-Farm Storage
The grain stocks report is the result of two separate surveys. The on-farm survey is based on a sample of approximately 70,500 farm operators. A subset of these farm operators are asked to provide the total quantities of grain stored on their operations as of June 1. 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 survey is based on all known commercial grain storage facilities and includes 8,500 facilities with storage capacity of 11.2 billion bushels. USDA uses both survey results to estimate total grains and oilseeds in storage.