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Right on schedule

Agriculture.com Staff 05/26/2006 @ 10:14am

Long-term seasonal price charts covering the years 1980 through 2006 show early summer lows for both corn and soybeans. For corn, the average date is May 24. For soybeans, the early summer low date is June 5. Market action this week should not surprise anyone who is familiar with seasonal trends.

There is nothing magic about these dates. They are simply averages of 27 years of futures price history. I do not put a lot of stock in the exact dates for the early summer lows because the timing of the weather rally that follows is dependent on growing conditions. Even more important is the market's perception of the severity of the problem.

As of right now, the weather conditions in my area could hardly be better. Dry weather in early April gave us time to get the corn in the ground. That was followed by two weeks of rain. At the end of April we were two inches above normal for the year. Subsoil moisture is short, but that is common for eastern Nebraska.

Soybean planting began around May 10 and was mostly finished up this week. A nice rain Tuesday night was enough to get all of the beans germinated but not enough to cause erosion except where farmers tilled up and down the slope.

I was concerned that some of the beans might have laid in dry soil too long and would not germinate when it did rain. Yesterday, I checked a field that was planted May 10 and another that was planted a week later. The earlier one showed a near perfect stand. Beans in the other one were just coming through, but it appears that the stands there will be good also.

When I was farming full time, my operation was scattered out over several miles. Some of the river bottom land tended to be too wet to plant early. I always figured it had been a good planting season if I finished by Memorial Day. Now that I am mostly retired, I have been done planting for 10 days. My stress level is much lower. I can attend Memorial Day services and spend time with the family without feeling guilty.

This is going to be an exciting summer. It is probably a good thing we do not know if the excitement will be good or bad. Regardless, I am going to enjoy this weekend and get my batteries charged for the months ahead. I hope you will do the same.

Long-term seasonal price charts covering the years 1980 through 2006 show early summer lows for both corn and soybeans. For corn, the average date is May 24. For soybeans, the early summer low date is June 5. Market action this week should not surprise anyone who is familiar with seasonal trends.

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