Variability Is the Name of the Game

Grain Marketing

Harvest is well underway. Before the rain this week, soybean harvest was nearly complete for much of the Landus Cooperative area. Corn harvest has started in many Iowa counties. About the only way to define yields of both soybeans and corn is “highly variable.” 

Much of the early planted acres are reported as very good with some saying results are better than imagined. A lot of the later-planted acres are somewhat less than expected or as expected. We are hearing similar stories from most of the surrounding states. If we look forward to next spring, there are already thoughts of substantial increases in the March 31st corn acres planting intentions report. 

So, if the supply side of the equation is hard to define, what about the demand side? 

  • Economic woes in much of the world are limiting some demand.
  • Oil prices have softened, keeping pressure on the ethanol industry.
  • The on-again/off-again dance between the U.S. and China continues.
  • Fluctuating currency values are leading to confusion.
  • At times, things look positive for producers in various countries, then currency fluctuates, and things don’t look as rosy. In the U.S., we have seen a weakening dollar recently, which is normally a good thing for grain producers. But, at the same time, competing exporting countries are also seeing their currency weaken.

How Do We Forward Market?

So, what to do? We continue to encourage forward sales. If you have grain going to bins at home, start looking at those prices for February, March, and beyond. If we see a bounce in the next few weeks and cash corn prices start to approach $4 corn, or $9 soybeans, it would be good to have an offer to get some bushels sold. The concern here is that by the time we see that March 31st report, it may be too late to take advantage of these values. And while we are at it, please keep an eye on the October 2020 corn prices. We think there be some opportunity to lock in some advantageous cash prices, like $3.75 or so, in the next 30 days. After that, we may be playing catch up, depending on planting intentions and spring weather. 

Please reach out to your area Grain Marketing Advisor (GMA) if you would like to get an offer in place. Or dial 877-778-2226 to speak to a GMA.