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Corn planting pace picking up, but...

Agriculture.com Staff 05/20/2008 @ 9:07am

There is no doubt the corn planting season has been a struggle for many this year, but reality is that the planting pace has picked up significantly over the last 10 days.

Yet, there will be some of you reading this perspective who still have not turned a wheel. Whether or not acres will be abandoned or there will be much switch to short-day variety corn is still uncertain. The real problem, however, may not be so much late planting as it will be late emergence and replant.

Therefore, while planting progress did increase this week, the real issues for the 2008 crop may just be beginning. Cool spring conditions have contributed to slow germination. The majority of this year's corn crop will be growing and maturing at the same time. Summer weather could create dramatic price volatility. Ideal conditions could still create a large crop. However, the odds of a bumper crop yielding 160 bu or more, such as occurred in 2004, may already have been bypassed for this year. Poor weather could cut yield dramatically.

There is little reason to expect prices to stagnate. Downside potential certainly exists. If you do not believe prices can fall, one only has to look at the wheat market to see new crop Chicago futures, which traded over $12.50 per bushel, and are now trading closer to $7.50, or a change of 40%. That same 40% downside move on $6.50 December corn equates to a drop of $2.60 cents, or a target price of $3.90. Yet, adversity to weather could drive prices significantly higher. The ride for a wild market may just be beginning. Make sure that you are prepared. A catch-up in planting assures nothing for final crop size.

If you have questions or comments, contact Bryan Doherty at Top Farmer at 1-800-TOP-FARM ext. 129.

There is no doubt the corn planting season has been a struggle for many this year, but reality is that the planting pace has picked up significantly over the last 10 days.

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