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Planting season is here

Producers across Ohio and the Midwest enter the spring planting season with much anticipation. They welcome the end of a two-year cycle of higher than normal snowfall last winter as well as colder than normal temperatures this winter. Some would say those back to back events are following in a once every 20 years or “generation cycle.”

The prolonged cold has left wheat producers behind normal in applying spring nitrogen. Actually, the snow we had in February along with the three weeks of much colder than normal temperatures are the real culprits. Producers report being greatly encouraged by the condition of wheat as it exits dormancy and begins to green up. Many have guarded optimism for their 2015 wheat yields. Those still growing wheat have often seen yields of 80 to 100 bushels the past three years. In many cases, producers below I-70 continue to be following wheat with double-crop soybeans. This combination continues to be profitable in their eyes, especially when they can catch some late June and July rains, which are extremely important to boost double-crop soybean yields.

The time for planning, pushing pencils, and honing of spreadsheets is past. We will begin to see what the American farmer is really going to plant for 2015. Early planting reports from the Delta areas of Arkansas and Louisiana indicate corn is not getting planted in proportions as seen in the past. For that area, soybeans seem to be the choice.

The trucking strike of late February in Brazil has sharply lessened in its intensity and strength. At last report in late March, it appears there will not be a meeting between Brazil’s government and the striking truckers until April 22. At the strike onset, roads were blocked as arrivals of soybeans at ports were greatly reduced. Soybean harvest continues in Brazil and will be record breaking. The continued increasing supply of soybeans with record production from the United States and now Brazil contributes to the wall of soybeans the world is seeing. Normal weather for the U.S. growing season seems doomed to push soybeans down to the $8.50 level in coming months.

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