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Roy Smith-Golden years, prices

The first full week of June has traditionally been a busy time on the Smith farm. In my days of being a full time farmer from 1969 to 2003, I was sometimes still planting soybeans when June 10 rolled around. A major reason for being somewhat behind other farmers is that I farmed several hundred acres on the Missouri River bottom that did not dry as fast as the fields in the hills. 

Going back even further, hectic times in early June trace to the fact that University of Nebraska graduation usually took place the second Saturday of June. That meant that jobs, ROTC summer camp and other summer activities started later than they do today. The year that Sharon and I graduated from college, we each had three final exams on Monday and Tuesday of graduation week. Sharon also had her 22nd birthday on Tuesday. Graduation and Army commissioning took place the following Saturday, June 10. 

Thursday between these two events we made time to get married. People ask us why we got married on a Thursday afternoon.  It was the only time open during a very busy week before our friends and classmates scattered to the four winds! 

I mention it now because that very busy week took place 50 years ago in 1961. While our situation today is much different than 50 years ago, it seems much less hectic. Our actual anniversary was Wednesday, June 8. We had our celebration on Sunday, June 5, at the park in Plattsmouth. We chose a picnic in the park over a church or meeting hall because, with my hearing problem, it is much easier for me to understand conversation in a setting where acoustics are not a problem.  

With all of the bad weather this spring, Sunday turned out to be sunny and warm with very little wind. We had enough food to feed the nearly 200 people at the picnic, plus leftovers to feed at the soup kitchen Thursday night. It was a great celebration!

With all of the distractions of the week, I still found a little time to farm and watch the markets. The crops are all in the ground and growing. Everything looks good except for the 13 acres on the river bottom which will probably end up being totally under water before the week is over. A lot of farmers are going to be hurt by the flooding. It seems ironic to have such a severe flood when the precipitation in my area has not been excessive. 

The crop report that came out this week was a real shocker for the corn market. It pointed out in a big way just how tight corn supplies will be at the end of this cropping year. The result was two days of cash prices being 22 cents and 27 cents higher. This put the cash corn bids solidly into historic new territory. The cash bid for current delivery is $7.59.  The anniversary celebration was not the only thing this week that involved gold! I keep wondering how any business can pay that much for corn and make a profit. A quick take on the basis of today, being 13 cents better than a month ago, tells me that someone is making it work or basis would be going the other direction. If the basis starts to go the other way it will probably indicate that the price top in corn is near. So far that is not happening. 

The report was not nearly as friendly for soybeans. Likewise, the basis for soybeans has dropped 15 cents in the last month. I wonder how much the fact that the Council Bluffs plant is in the flood plain of the Missouri River is weighing on the cash soybean market.  It is a factor to consider if you are thinking of selling cash beans for nearby delivery.  With most of the growing season still ahead, there is still time for new highs in the soybean market. As of today, the indications are that the summer high might not exceed the February high.  At this point, I am not making any bets.    

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