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Brazil crops suffer; Market bears lurk?

  • 01

    As thousands of farmers and ag industry members gather in Nashville, Tennessee, later this week for the annual Commodity Classic, U.S. farmers are starting to turn their full attention to preparing for this year's crop as Brazilian farmers take stock of drought damage. See what's big in ag this week.

  • 02

    It's been a big week for the soybean trade. Prices have surged based largely on massive export demand, which took a noticeably large chunk out of U.S. soybean supplies at the Gulf of Mexico this week, showing suppliers are dipping into reserves to meet the strong overseas demand.

  • 03

    Another reason for the big demand for U.S. soybeans is the ongoing crop stress in Brazil, where the La Nina-driven drought has farmers facing fields with light, misshapen grain, unfilled pods and more trouble. Tour the tough conditions here.

  • 04

    But, "are market bears lurking?" That's the question market analyst Ray Grabanski asks this week. Though the market's intensely focused on the stressful weather in South America, there are signs that some fundamentals could turn bearish, especially if good crop weather unfolds early this spring. What do you think?

  • 05

    187. That's a big number & the "upper end of possible yield trend line" for corn this year, says one farmer in a big discussion this week in Marketing Talk. But, some say that's a bit on the crazy side. What do you think?

  • 06

    Whether the crop hits that level depends on a lot on the soil. And, farmers are using some different tools this year to get their soils in shape. One's relatively new and one's been around a while. Are you doing anything new this year to improve your soils?

  • 07

    More than 80% of last year's crops were covered by crop insurance last year. Will that many be covered this year? And, what type of coverage will farmers choose for the 2012 crop? Illinois ag economist Gary Schnitkey outlines some of the more popular options and how they could work this year.

  • 08

    A growing factor to farmers' profitability is the increasing capabilities of precision ag technology. Research out this week shows a savings from just a few simple precision tools can net row crop farmers a savings of up to $9 per acre.

It's been a big week for the soybean trade & a week of planning ahead for spring, farmers say.

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