Set price targets for 2024 corn and soybeans

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

Last month I had the opportunity to attend the Fairfield County 4-H Endowment dinner. This was the 14th year it has taken place at farms or event venues across Fairfield County. Foreword thinking 4-H alumni and others had the wisdom for such an event to raise funds for an endowment to benefit the 4-H programs in Fairfield County. Because of this wisdom to aid our county, today it experiences a strong 4-H program led by a team of two 4-H educators and hundreds of passionate volunteers. It was also an opportunity to catch up with friends and shared about life events over many years. It was exciting and uplifting to see 4-H youth able to speak with confidence, just as producers have the confidence to see corn and soybeans off to a great start this growing season in parts of Ohio!

Numerous discussions with producers in early June often led to thoughts about this growing season and how fantastic corn fields look in central Ohio. Many were thrilled to experience corn plants reaching near knee high by June 4. Some mentioned that corn emergence was stellar and fast. Numerous university agronomic studies have revealed that above average corn yields have high probability when a large percentage of emergence takes place within the first 24-36 hours of the process. You could hear the excitement in their voices with the potential for high corn yields in 2024. I know that was not the same battle cry in northwest Ohio, as that part of the state was severely lacking in planting progress compared to central and southern Ohio into late May.

There were also discussions about how a dry June forces the corn plant to develop its root system much more extensively compared to frequent and plentiful moisture in June when the corn plant can become lazy in its search for moisture. Guess what? That scenario was rapidly developing as I penned this column the third weekend of June. Weather apps on my phone were already warning of severe weather detailed as an excessive heat watch. Ohio was set for the last half of June to experience seven days or more of daily highs reaching 90 degrees or higher. In addition, some of those days were expected to see winds reach above 10 miles per hour, which will dry fields even more rapidly than just the sole occurrence of above normal temperatures.

Additional weather developments continue to forecast that the transition to a La Niña pattern may not take place until this fall or later, a much slower transition pace compared to the past. Others would suggest that the La Niña pattern is not friendly to Ohio’s producers of corn and soybeans. During that weather pattern, Ohio often experiences hot and dry conditions which robs yields for both corn and soybeans. Conversely, the western U.S. Corn Belt which would includes Iowa and Nebraska, can experience more normal rainfall and temperatures, often resulting in above average U.S. yields. That scenario for those states easily suggests high corn and soybean yields for the U.S. Bottom line, Ohio’s producers could experience lower yields and lower prices, which is a disastrous combination for any balance sheet.

I am not trying to be an alarmist in detailing what is taking place. It is weather and the markets — both can quickly change. Fore warned is fore armed. Weather will easily dominate grain price activity into mid-July and later. Determine your selling targets before they take place in marketing the balance of 2023 corn and 2024 corn and soybeans.

In recent years, the U.S. and the world have seen much emphasis on electric vehicles (EV). Global concern over rising temperatures worldwide has produced two extreme camps of thought. One is the rapid push for much higher participation in utilizing EVs. Second, slow down and realize that EVs consume a large amount of effort to mine tons of dirt to gain only pounds of rare materials. EVs can often be twice the weight compared to the traditional vehicles.

Has Toyota offered an additional alternative in the heated EV debate? According to CarScoops on June 13, the Toyota ICE is a revolutionary design development as its engine can run on gasoline, biodiesel, synthetic fuels, and even hydrogen, which has been an alternative discussed for decades, without loss of performance.

Thought for the day. “When I feel the heat, I see the light.” Everett Dirksen.

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