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Mercaris Points to Bullish Organic Grain Prices, Uneven Growth in Livestock

Upcoming harvest and price volatility, key to understanding organic markets

Soybean harvest

As organic small grains harvest has nearly concluded following a troublesome summer, Mercaris released its monthly organic update today which encompasses trends in grain and feed prices, livestock inventories and organic imports. The report looks at the current organic market and gives a window of what to expect as the rest of U.S. organic production quickly approaches harvest.

“Through our organic price surveys, we saw increases in organic feed corn, organic feed wheat and organic feed soybeans since Q1. However, organic feed wheat was ultimately down $0.80/bu year over year,” says Megan Thomas, economist with Mercaris. “The story on organic feed soybeans continues to evolve as they maintained their upward momentum averaging $29.65/bu to begin Q3, $3.53/bu up from Q2 and climbing to $9.06/bu year over year.”

Outside of the grain markets, Mercaris observed organic livestock growth to be basically uneven with some sectors showing much more rapid growth than others. Organic broilers for meat production declined 2% from Q1 to Q2 and organic broiler volumes for July fell below the previous year, driving Mercaris to some key observations.

“Through July 2021, organic broilers are at up only 1% above 2020 volumes,” says Thomas. “For the fifth month this year, the broiler production is on a decline and that leaves in question where total production will end up for the year.”

Thomas also notes that organic fluid milk sales have displayed slow growth, while organic egg layer inventories have expanded 11% year over year and are holding steady at 17.5 million head. Organic turkey inventories also have displayed impressive growth, ending Q2 at a 7% increase over Q1 and up 12% year over year.

This month’s report wraps with a look at organic imports which were reduced year over year in the month of July, with the exception of organic corn imports. More specific details on the organic crop, livestock and imports markets can be found in the August Organic Market Update that is available on

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