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Big in ag: Planting weather nerves rattle

  • 01

    The grain markets have ridden waves of fundamentals and macro-economic factors up and down this week as spring planting inches north and weather nerves rattle. They're just some of what's big in ag this week.

  • 02

    Farmers in the Corn Belt are preparing for this spring's planting rush, but many say they're not in as much of a rush as they were at this time a year ago, when conditions were much more conducive to getting corn into the ground.

  • 03

    While farmers are waiting for things to warm up before they start thinking too much about planting, anxieties about a possible long, drawn-out planting season because of cool, wet weather are starting to permeate the CME Group trading floor, says market analyst Scott Shellady.

  • 04

    There's another worry perking up for some farmers: Soybean seed supply. "I talked with my soybean seed supplier today. He had some bad news for me. Several varieties of beans are coming in at 80% germ," one farmer said in Marketing Talk this week. Is it just an isolated case?

  • 06

    Though there's been a lot of talk about the drought's end being near, there's still a lot of anxiety about it. But, it's not anxiety without action. See how some farmers have taken action to try to prevent too much recurring damage if the drought continues.

  • 07

    So, what does this variability in drought outlooks mean to grain market prices? That's a hot topic this week: The idea that, because of drought, "short crops have long tails." So, how will prices respond to the drought-shortened crop and ongoing demand?

  • 08

    Another part of the world crop picture right now is an increasing bottleneck in Brazil, where soybean harvest is underway and farmers are lining up filled trucks for miles trying to break the infrastructure malaise and get to delivery points. That's got some global buyers looking elsewhere for soybeans.

  • 09

    Back home, another big part of the farm income equation continues to catch the spotlight: A recent report explores which is a better place for investment money, the farmland or stock market. Most farmers still see land as a better investment. What do you think?

  • 10

    Did you sell cattle prematurely last year because of the drought? If you did, you may be eligible for a tax break. Producers have a couple of different options if they meet certain IRS requirements. See what they are and find out if you can trim your tax bill.

  • 11

    The mid-March issue of Successful Farming's hot off the presses! See some of the top features in the new issue, from drought outlooks and the new faces of farming, to how to manage profits for your cattle herd and getting a handle on today's volatile grain markets.

Worries about potentially wet, cool planting weather delays have made their way to the CME Group floor.

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