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Big in ag: Whale of a week for soybeans
Crop conditions at home and abroad -- and their corresponding market moves -- topped this week's list of big stories in agriculture. See what else is hot this week.
A shift toward more cool, wet weather capped corn planting progress in the last week, USDA showed earlier this week. But, that didn't stop farmers in Illinois from almost reaching the 2/3 point through corn planting. But, will Mother Nature 'throw the brakes' on planting progress?
The soybean market has had a whale of a week, trading to 3 1/2-month high prices on strong export demand and deteriorating crop conditions in South America. While there's plenty of support for increases down the road, $15+/bushel soybeans could shrivel export demand. What do you think?
The markets, in general, are a bit on the 'tired' side, says analyst Scott Shellady. And, spread-trading and positioning have sent soybeans higher while the corn market continues to trend sideways and wait for fresh direction.
A fast planting has many expecting an early 2012 harvest. As a result, weather premium is being taken out of the market and the nearby CME Group May & July corn futures contracts have lost some of their gains over new-crop December futures.
Back home, while the corn planters are rolling hard, some farmers are turning their attention to planting soybeans. But, is it too early to be worrying about beans yet? A lot of research shows there's not a lot of extra danger to planting in April and early May, but you also don't stand to lose yield potential if you have to wait until later than normal to plant.
But, planting could be slowing or stopping altogether in some areas while farmers await moisture in soils that may have as little as half their normal moisture levels. Planting when it's that dry isn't a crop-buster, but it puts a lot of pressure on summer rainfall, says one expert.
But, drought may not wind up being a widespread issue this summer if the shift toward El Nino continues. That weather system could mean cooler temperatures later this summer and as a result, improved corn and soybean yield potential, weather experts said this week.
In other news this week, a dairy cow in California was found positive for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease. The animal didn't enter the food or feed chain, but the news sent the live cattle market tumbling earlier this week. Futures rallied later in the week after USDA assured the food supply is safe.
There's a lot of uncertainty and volatility in the farm land market right now. That's why one expert said this week it's important to think and act long-term when you're look at your farm land purchases in the future.
Land's not the only hot commodity these days in farm country. Drainage tile has been flying off the shelves and keeping both farmers and tile installers busier than ever this spring.
Spring arrived early this year, and with it, so did the start to the hay and forage growing season. So, how is your alfalfa crop looking so far this spring? Here's a roundup of the latest hay/forage and alfalfa news and features from experts around the U.S. and Canada.
A big-time week for the soybean market's just one of a bunch of big stories in ag this week.