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Patience, patience

Agriculture.com Staff 11/06/2009 @ 9:13am

Last weekend, I was about as depressed as I ever get. The problem was the weather that was causing planting delays worse than anything in recent history. I had some of my corn harvested but it was too wet for long term storage. I had no soybeans harvested. In my monthly newsletter I tried to be optimistic, but it was very difficult to do.

What a difference a week makes! As of yesterday, my soybeans are all in the elevator. Daily tests of the corn that I placed in three different bins shows that it really is drying, just not fast enough to be apparent to the naked eye. The corn in the bin with the big fan and Stirway is down to 15% from 18%. The corn in the bins with the smaller fans and no stirring ability is down about a point. Better yet, corn coming out of the field is now testing 16%. That is dry enough to store about any way desired, as long as the owner is not planning to store it through next summer.

Even with the better weather, the grain markets had a really good day on Tuesday. I kept wondering if the market was going to ignore the good harvest conditions. I got my answer to that question on Thursday. It was not before soybean prices had put in the new high on November 3. The soybean futures price dropped 25 cents, breaking out of a trading range that typifies the normal 'dead cat bounce'. Worse yet, the basis at the local elevator I watch dropped a dime on Friday's close. The rumor is that the big processor across the river in Iowa is full and not buying beans any more.

It is normal to see the basis rally at this stage of harvest. Seeing it go the other way is a bad sign. It is common to see several spikes in the soybean price at the top of the bounce. The one this week was the third for this year. It is rare to see the bottom fall out of the market when the bounce is over. It is more common to see it gradually inch lower as winter approaches. I hope that is the case this year.

I was reluctant to sell beans on this week's price peak because I did not have any harvested. The high price for the move was the day I started harvesting! I fear that this year's unusual weather will also cause unusual things to happen in the markets, even after a bounce that was much better than average. Time will tell. Meanwhile, I hope that my patience in the markets turns out as well as being patient with the harvest.

Last weekend, I was about as depressed as I ever get. The problem was the weather that was causing planting delays worse than anything in recent history. I had some of my corn harvested but it was too wet for long term storage. I had no soybeans harvested. In my monthly newsletter I tried to be optimistic, but it was very difficult to do.

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