Market Analysis

Dollar drivers

A number of recent trading sessions have been marked by a frustrating pattern. Overnight, grains will start a brave little rally based on fundamental production worries like rained-out planting or flooded, sprouting wheat. At 7:00 a.m., they’ll be gaining a few cents to counteract the brutish losses of previous days, and then — wham! Something [...]

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Hedging to maximize farm profitability with tight margins

Soybeans Due to heavy rain, 6 million soybean acres in Kansas and Missouri are not yet planted. How many acres might end up in prevent plant? Two million acres, or about 100 million bushels, while significant would probably not have that large of an effect on the market. Even if none of these acres are planted, the [...]

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soybeans emerging

Soybean basis selling strategy

There was a small rally for the week in corn and beans.  While nice to see, it was probably caused mostly by a drop in the value of the dollar. Speculators bought grain to cover their short positions and pocketed a little profit. A few small bad weather pockets (i.e. frost in Manitoba, heavy Midwest [...]

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Sleep like a baby even with nightmare markets.

Tips for sleeping well when markets are a nightmare

The EPA released their ethanol and bio-fuel requirements last week and the estimates were close to expected results, so the market changed very little. Nothing else big happened, which made the market a little painful to watch as it generally drifted lower. Curious, I reviewed what I wrote a year ago to see if I [...]

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money dollars

Saving money to make money

Corn For corn, a significant rally will be difficult with the amount of unpriced old crop and another good growing year. End users tell me any board rallies will continue to shake some bushels loose. Many unpriced farmers continue to wait, because they don’t have an exit strategy. Some farmers (who don’t have marketing plans) [...]

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1255 Early Riser Planter with Precision Planting_0341_07-14

Precision grain marketing

While planting last week I looked at all the technology in the tractor cab, as auto-steer guided me down the field. It amazed me how sophisticated precision planting is. Farmers now use technology that puts the ideal number of seeds based upon field conditions with such precision to optimize yield. Despite how complex and complicated [...]

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Warren corn

Corn basis strategy

Corn The Tuesday USDA report didn’t hold any surprises last week. However, the Monday afternoon report showed farmers planted 40% of acres in one week. Some Chicago analysts say there is a downside to this quick corn planting. Weather within days of July 1 now becomes extremely critical for pollination across the Midwest. Weather variances [...]

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Three basic market factors behind understanding crop prices

There was no bullish news last week. Without a large-scale weather issue, Chinese analysts are expecting a 7% increase in corn production next year, which would lower demand overseas for our product.  In the U.S. weather so far has been the right mix of rain and sunshine, which will provide a good start to the [...]

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No, not call a cell, sell a call!

Selling calls can boost profits

The market is quiet this week. Farmers are busy. Planting started in the west, while farmers in the east and south are waiting for soil to dry and the weather to warm. As always there are many “levers” affecting grain prices. Arguments and estimates can be made regarding many factors towards prices.   Reasons to [...]

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$3 corn2

Are you speculating or hedging?

Corn There was another USDA report last week estimating usage and carryout. It had few surprises; corn carryout raised slightly (this was projected in the March 31st stock reports), which means there is more corn stored on the farm than the trade previously estimated. Expect little corn excitement in the next two months. With plenty [...]

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