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Corn Hovers Near Contract Lows

December corn futures have recently dropped from over $5.00 per bushel to under $4.50. If you have purchased $5.00 puts, you are now in no man's land. What does that mean? No matter what action you take, you can kick yourself for taking the wrong turn. In other words, you can view it as a lose-lose situation. Now it's just a matter of minimizing which "lose" you want.

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Understanding "Delta" The Marketing Term

A basic understanding of marketing tools is critical for any farmer. Options should be at the top of the list. Often, options are misunderstood and not used properly. One element of an option is called delta. Delta is simply a fraction; it explains the change in option value when there is a change to the price of the underlying futures contract. As an example, if the futures moves 10 cents and option changes value by 5 cents, the delta is 5 divided by 10, or 50%.

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Where's the Hole in Hog Marketing?

With PED a major event affecting the hog market this year and, more importantly, a major influence on individual producers' decisions to expand or contract the herd, the outlook for hog futures has been very mixed. PED (porcine epidemic diarrhea) is a virus that has affected a percentage of the hog herd for 2014. It looks like the bulk of this disease has affected the herd in the January and February window. Theoretically, this would suggest supplies will be tightest in mid- to late summer.

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Delayed Planting Not A Concern, Analyst Says

Where possible, corn planters are pushing hard to plant crop in a timely fashion to catch up after a cool, wet spring. Does it matter? It might. For now, it is not time for worry or concern. Early-planted corn is not necessarily indicative of across-the-board high yield, nor is late-planted corn necessarily indicative of across-the-board lower yield.

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Sell Corn and Defend, Analyst Says

Corn prices have continued to edge higher but have failed to make a significant push much beyond the $5.10 area on December new-crop corn. As for old crop, July's recent high of $5.21 is impressive, considering on January 10 this contract bottomed at $4.28-1/4. As prices move higher, it is easier to become friendly to prices, expecting even higher rally potential. 
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Fence Strategy For December Corn Futures

It is not unusual for corn prices to peak sometime in the winter or early spring months. December corn futures bottomed in January at $4.35 and are currently near $5.00. More importantly, it represents an opportunity for many farmers to lock in a floor for the 2014 corn crop. This can be accomplished in many ways. One strategy we will explore today is called a fence.

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Corn to Fall in the Next 30 Days?

On April 9, the USDA released its monthly Supply and Demand report. There was a friendly surprise for corn, and the initial reaction was higher prices. However, by day's end, prices ended on a sluggish note with futures losing five to seven cents. History suggests that prices have a tendency to work lower over the next thirty days. Why?

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