Old-crop Corn Marketing Strategies || An Early Spring Ahead?

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    The weather's warming up (though winter's likely far from over!) and it's got a lot of farmers sharpening their focus on this spring and the prospects of getting into the field to plant corn and soybeans earlier than the last couple of years. What do you think?

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    But, is an early, more favorable planting window the best possible scenario for production and, consequently, grain prices? Some say yes while others say a hitch or 2 -- and subsequent bullish fuel for the grains -- could be more beneficial in the long-run if production's not cut that much. What do you think? Keep your eye on this topic -- it's going to get even hotter in the next 2 months.

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    A big reason for all this early planting speculation lies in the weather; Forecasters said this week they expect the El Niño system that's been trying to develop in the last year to fizzle. If that happens, conditions could be warmer and drier than if El Niño came on strong.

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    The spring planting speculation will likely reach its zenith around late March, when USDA releases its annual Prospective Plantings report. There's been a lot of conjecture about whether corn or soybeans will "buy more acres" between now and planting. One analyst says it's easy to make a strong case right now for fewer corn acres.

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    Here's another big story to watch for a while. The hog industry's just getting back to full steam after the PED virus swept through the business, causing massive herd cuts and skyrocketing prices. Another mutated strain may be working its way around the herd, if a discovery in Minnesota this week is any indication. How will the industry react?

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    Back to the grains, just last year's supply. How are you handling your old-crop corn supplies? Do you have any left? Most farmers responding to a poll this week say they'll sell at least half of their old-crop stocks and store the rest, waiting for higher prices later on through this summer before selling the rest. What do you think?

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    One component of grain prices -- maybe -- moving through this year will be the farm program and what safety net program you select for your crop. There are some important dates coming up in the next few weeks as they pertain to farm program safety net selections. Get some ideas to help guide your farm's decisions.

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    Also on the policy front this week was President Barack Obama's annual State of the Union address, during which he laid out, among other plans, those to boost trade and technology and transportation infrastructure, both of which are critical to the future of agriculture. And, his ideas on the former were greeted with resounding applause from both sides of the political aisle as well as the ag community.

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    A big part of his trade push laid out Tuesday night is Trade Promotion Authority, a measure that will allow the President to bypass any congressional amendments to trade policy before striking it into action. It's a big positive for agriculture, American Farm Bureau FEderation president Bob Stallman told Agriculture.com's Dan Looker this week.

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    Here's one more policy move to watch: A couple of senators are trying to kick corn-based ethanol out of the Renewable Fuels Standard mandate.Will it survive? That's doubtful, some experts say, based on the questionable future of the entire Keystone XL pipeline bill.

What to do with last year's corn crop and how you'll get this year's crop started are major stories in agriculture this week.

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Most Recent Poll

Will you have enough on-farm storage for harvest?

I just want to see the responses
46% (26 votes)
Yes
39% (22 votes)
No, it’s going to be a bin-buster
7% (4 votes)
Maybe, depending on yields
5% (3 votes)
No, I am looking at new bins or temporary storage
4% (2 votes)
Total votes: 57
Thank you for voting.