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What to Know This Week: Soaring Grains and Looking Ahead
Spring weather, then winter weather. Bearish grain markets, then sharp movement higher. The last week's seen not just extremes like these, but also more farmers starting to look and plan ahead for this year's crop. Are you ready?
After a steady decline, then start to a move higher, the grains -- especially soybeans -- had a sharply higher week despite some late profit-taking. Exports and South American crop weather concerns remain supportive of higher prices, one analyst said this week.
There's less distinct direction in the corn trade, with price projections running the gamut looking ahead. Though they won't shoot the moon, a big crop this year won't be as bearish as some expect, one market-watcher said this week.
While the markets are getting a lot of attention lately, the cabin fever's kicking in for many, and that's got attention turning to spring and how conditions will shape up for planting and early fieldwork. So, will spring be as wild as this winter? See what these agronomists think.
One big story this winter has been the propane market and how short supply and severe weather have both driven rocketing prices. Though they're starting to slip, there's more behind the spike than earlier thought. And, it might not be over yet.
Meanwhile, while it's still the dead of winter in the U.S., temperatures are in the triple-digits in parts of Brazil, where ag officials are bullish on that nation's growing corn production capacity. See more in this interview with one of the nation's top ag leaders.
Land's just one of several high-priced crop inputs these days, a set of inputs that's not sliding as much as the grain prices supporting them right now. So, you may need to tighten your farm's belt. One way to do that might be through how you handle your machinery in the coming year.
Another way to protect your farm income this year may be through crop insurance. But, with the recent passage of the farm bill, the coverage levels and programs you select may be different than in the past. One economist suggested some new ways to look at the programs in the coming year.
Soybean prices shot higher this week, the weather bounced between extremes and farmers started looking ahead to spring.