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Wild weather & a huge hog deal
A lot of corn got planted up to about a week ago, when Mother Nature came back with a vengeance. Now, the planting window's starting to close for many farmers. And, that's just one of the big stories in ag this week.
What a difference a few months can make! A signature of the massive amounts of rain the western and central Corn Belt's seen in the last few days is because of a weather phenomenon called mesoscale convective clusters. Find out what they are and why they've had such a huge impact on the planter-stalling weather lately.
Though the weather turned to a mess in a hurry late last week, there was still some planting progress. But, for both corn and soybeans, USDA said this week it was less than traders expected, so it gave the grains a bullish jolt when USDA's weekly Crop Progress report was released Tuesday. See what other farmers say about USDA's numbers this week.
What if you planted your corn crop in less-than-ideal conditions and now you're facing a dilemma as to whether or not to replant? Here are a few tips and ideas to help you make that difficult decision.
The hard reality this year, though, is there are going to be a lot of acres that just don't get planted -- as many as 14 or 15 million acres for corn, some experts say. If you've got crop insurance and you plan on filing prevented or delayed planting, there are some key dates approaching for farmers in many locations.
All of what's happening with the weather and field conditions isn't going unnoticed by the grain markets. So, is it "rally time, or what?" asks one market analyst this week. The weather worries are vast and varied, and that could buck a long-term trend reaching back to last fall. Will it continue?
Rally or dive, both grain futures and cash basis levels have been on dizzying tracks the last few weeks, and that has market analyst Roy Smith weighing just how much volatility is going to pace the market moving forward.
One more huge story this week: Global pork giant Smithfield was acquired by a Chinese company Wednesday. Though the company's U.S. operations won't likely change, the merger -- if approved by regulators -- will see the company's output enter into a massive and growing new marketplace. It comes on the heels of shareholders' call to make big changes.
Another week of crazy planting weather and a huge pork industry merger top this week's big stories in ag.