"If the USDA forecast is correct, use during the last half of the current year should be about equal to that of last year. Use during the final quarter of the year is expected to be relatively small due to the availability of more than the normal amount of new crop corn in August, and perhaps a little more summer wheat feeding than occurred last year."

So, what about third quarter use?

"On the surface, third quarter feed and residual use might be expected to be near that of last year," Good said. "Total red meat and poultry production during the second quarter of the calendar year was about 1.5 percent less than during the same quarter last year, egg production was almost unchanged, and milk production was up about 6.5 percent.

“In addition, the production of distillers grains was about equal to that of a year ago. However, implied use during the third (and fourth) quarter last year was extremely small and there is less than complete confidence in the accuracy of that estimate."

Good said that anticipating the June 1 stocks of soybeans is less difficult than for corn, but has been complicated by the discontinuation of the monthly Census Bureau estimate of the domestic crush. Quarterly crush estimates are now based on monthly estimates of crush by members of the National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA). The USDA no longer reports domestic crush by quarter, but reports total domestic use that includes feed, seed, and residual use.

"Based on NOPA estimates for the March- May quarter, we estimate total domestic crush at about 425 million bushels, 7.3 percent more than crushed in the same quarter last year," Good said.

Historically, quarterly feed, seed, and residual use varied widely from year to year, but averaged about 41 million bushels during the third quarter of the marketing year in the previous four years. Use during the first three quarters of the year averaged 197 million bushels for those same four years.

Good said based on estimated feed, seed, and residual use during the first half of this year, that average would also point to third quarter use near 40 million bushels. Total domestic use during the quarter was likely near 465 million bushels.

"Based on cumulative export inspections through May and Census Bureau estimates through April, soybean exports during the third quarter of the year were near 257 million bushels," Good said. "Consumption of soybeans for all purposes should have been near 722 million bushels, pointing to June 1 stocks near 650 million bushels."