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It rained, finally!

09/14/2012 @ 9:59am

It rained at my farm Wednesday night. It was not one of those windshield dampening showers. It was a real rain, coming hard and lasting for several hours. The total amount when it was all over was 2.10 inches. That is more rain than for the months of July and August combined. The real questions now are what effect it will have on the harvest. 

One affect for certain is that there was no harvesting on Thursday. By Friday afternoon, combines will be back in the corn fields. A second affect is that the rain was too late to help corn yields. In my area, corn harvest is about half completed. There is a possibility that some of the later planted and longer season beans will be helped. Several years ago, there was a late rain just as the plants were turning yellow after a dry summer. The result was that the beans were bigger than they would have been without the late rain. Yields were much batter than anticipated that year. 

Corn yields are better than guesses made a month ago. They will be well below long term averages. However, when price is taken into account the return per acre will not be too bad.  Test weights run from 52 to 56 lbs. Moisture now is low enough in almost all fields that the grain can be sold without discount.  

The government crop report released on Wednesday was initially bearish for corn and bullish for soybeans. Trade reaction following the report was about as expected. Whether there is follow through will be the key to prices for the next month. It is common to see soybean prices drop between now and the first week of October. As of today that does not look likely. However, there is always the possibility that the bullishness was already bid into prices.  With corn harvest in progress and soybean maturity ahead of schedule, we are already seeing the usual harvest time slipping of the basis. With the short crop this year that basis problem may not last long. 

I sold the corn that was harvested on the river bottom on Monday before the report. At this point, that appears to have been a good idea. I did not add to my soybean sales. I will wait until I know the actual yields before making more sales. When harvest is finished, I will use my tried and true 'dead cat bounce' strategy to sell the rest of this year’s soybeans. My corn is safely stored and dried, so there is time to wait for a rally before a decision has to be made.  

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