By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile
U.S. corn planting progress as of May 22 was 81%, with Ohio corn at 66% planted. Both were ahead of last year and the 5-year averages. The total number of Ohio crop insurance replant claims for both corn and soybeans near the end of May were expected to be considerably below those of last year as well as the past 5 years. The past several years Ohio has ranked high on the list for crop insurance corn and soybean replant claims. The first U.S. corn ratings were to be released May 30. Those ratings were expected to be at or near historical highs. The first U.S. soybean ratings were expected to be released just one week later.
Planting conditions for corn and soybeans across much of Ohio was easily the best seen for years as some producers even used the single word, “decades.” Conditions described as “ideal,” were also a common thread. Numerous customers reported earliest ever date for the completion of planting corn and soybeans. One Fairfield county producer reported his first crop hay was completed in record fashion, all without any rain. He related with story with a beaming smile!
July 2023 CBOT corn closed on May 26 at $6.04, up 13 cents for the day as it made a new high for the month of May, closing higher for 6 consecutive days. Lest you think corn prices have been boring, note that the speed of a recent sharp decline is mind boggling. On April 18, July corn put in a multi week high at $6.47 ½, then dropping a dollar in just 30 days to $5.47 on May 18. Similar sharp declines have also taken place for July CBOT soybeans, high at $15.01 on April 18, declining to $13.05 on May 27. Note that with the closes on May 28, July corn was 57 cents above the lows during the month of May. Meanwhile, July soybeans on May 28 were only 32 cents above the lows of May. Some analysts will point out that steep declines have the ability to result in steep advances, but the not always is still an absolute.
The same dry weather which allowed for rapid planting of corn and soybeans in the last 3 weeks of May across much of the Midwest, could be putting stresses on corn and soybeans in the month of June. Weather forecasts on May 29 called for dry and warm conditions into June 10 for eastern Nebraska, southeast South Dakota, Arkansas, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Michigan. Already, some are beginning to remind us that this growing season could be compared to the drought of 2012.
While it is not new news, an alarming trend is gaining speed and traction across the U.S., as numerous communities and states announce bans on the use of natural gas and natural gas appliances. It can only be put in the category “the inmates have taken over the asylum.” For example, some communities want to ban or outlaw the use of natural gas stoves. One California community did acquiesce to some degree as they agreed to allow a world renowned chef to proceed with the scheduled opening of a 5-star restaurant with natural gas to be permitted as the original building plans from 2019 detailed a natural gas meter in his building.
Environmentalists continue to scream that natural gas production is harmful to the environment due to carbon generation. Already, some communities are not permitting natural gas heating systems to be installed in new residential and apartment buildings. The push for green electricity generated from solar arrays and windmills continues to be in front of us.
U.S. producers are considerably behind the normal levels of new crop corn and soybean sales at this time of year. Pay strong attention to corn and soybean prices for the next month as prices potentially rally on weather and production concerns.
Thought for the day. “Idleness is to the human mind like rust is to iron.” – Ezra Cornell.