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May 2011 Archive for Chip's Chore Time

RSS By: Chip Flory, Pro Farmer

Chore time for me isn't what it used to be when I was growing up on our eastern Iowa farm. In fact... I don't even have horse chores to do any more!

May 31 Monday Morning Wake Up Call

May 31, 2011

Chip Flory

Every Monday morning, Pro Farmer editors record the "Monday Morning Wake Up Call." It's a recorded message available by clicking here.
 

But... if you'd rather read the report instead of listening, each Monday morning I'll update the copy from the call here to help set your agenda of key issues that will be impacting the grain and livestock markets in the week ahead.

Monday Morning Wake Up Call

Good morning ... this a Tuesday morning edition of Pro Farmer’s Monday Morning Wake Up Call. We hope you had a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day weekend. And to all the veterans and active military that might be listening, thank you for your service.

Grain futures were mixed in overnight trade as the markets are looking for direction coming out of the three-day weekend. While Friday’s gains in the corn market were impressive, traders will refocus on planting progress and demand for the week ahead. The primary concern on corn is the northwest Corn Belt where Prevented-Plant dates passed last week. After another shot of rain over the weekend, North Dakota is likely losing corn acres. The second area of concern is the eastern Corn Belt. Ohio is an absolute mess with water standing around the weeds in most fields. Prevented-Plant dates start in Ohio June 5.

The weather forecast is warmer and drier for the eastern Belt this week, adding a plate-full of uncertainty to the decision making process for growers in eastern Indiana and Ohio. The trick for those growers will be to balance a Prevented-Plant payment against revenue potential on late-planted corn. And – as is usually the case – Mother Nature won’t make the analysis easy.

Russia will lift its ban on grain exports on July 1 this year. The ban will have been in place for 11 months, following a drought-dominated growing season. Russia also says it is looking to get back into the grain export business very soon for the 2011-12 marketing year.

Also, China says it is looking at a “bumper wheat crop” for the 2011-12 marketing year.

There is plenty on tap for agriculture in Washington this week. First, legislation that would allow states to opt-out of corn-based ethanol use has been introduced. The bill does not appear to have widespread support, but it underscores the push to restructure ethanol policy. Also, USDA’s spending plans for fiscal year 2012 will be debated this week, and Senate Ag Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow will hold a farm bill field hearing in Michigan today.

That’s your Pro Farmer Monday Morning Wake Up Call.

May 23 Monday Morning Wake Up Call

May 23, 2011

Chip Flory

Every Monday morning, Pro Farmer editors record the "Monday Morning Wake Up Call." It's a recorded message available by clicking here.
 

But... if you'd rather read the report instead of listening, each Monday morning I'll update the copy from the call here to help set your agenda of key issues that will be impacting the grain and livestock markets in the week ahead.

Monday Morning Wake Up Call

Good morning ... this is your May 23rd edition of the Pro Farmer Monday Morning Wake Up Call.

The dollar is trading sharply higher this morning and crude oil is trading lower. That’s likely to weigh on grain prices as we start the week. Equity futures are also indicating a lower open at the New York Stock Exchange and there is a general negative attitude ahead of the grain open. That’s a change from the start of Sunday evening’s grain trade that saw corn, soybean and wheat futures start the session higher.

Early strength in the overnight session was based on the weather forecast calling for another wet week in the wettest areas of the Corn Belt. The Northern Plains are expected to see another round of rains, causing further delays to spring wheat and corn planting. The planting window for both of these crops is quickly drawing closed in North Dakota. The other area of concern is on the far eastern edge of the Corn Belt. Planting progress in eastern Indiana and Ohio is expected to remain well behind the five-year average in this afternoon’s Crop Progress Report. For the U.S., look for corn planting progress to be about 80% complete as of May 22. Crop-watchers this week should be turning their attention to soybean planting progress, but that will be delayed at least another week.

Along with planting delays and concern over new-crop corn supplies, increased export demand  helped add to the upside momentum in the grain markets – and especially in the corn pit. Buying of both old- and new-crop corn emerged after the early-May sell off. After last week’s rally, however, don’t be surprised by a quite week of export demand.

Last Friday’s Cattle on Feed Report will be slightly negative for cattle trade to start the week. Heavy placements pushed total cattle on feed as of May 1 up 7% from year-ago. That will weigh on cattle prices, but certainly does not indicate a slowdown in domestic feed demand. The cold storage report will be mostly neutral for cattle, but should help support corrective gains in lean hog futures to start the week.

That’s your Pro Farmer Monday Morning Wake Up Call.

May 16 Monday Morning Wake Up Call

May 16, 2011

Chip Flory

Every Monday morning, Pro Farmer editors record the "Monday Morning Wake Up Call." It's a recorded message available by clicking here.
 

But... if you'd rather read the report instead of listening, each Monday morning I'll update the copy from the call here to help set your agenda of key issues that will be impacting the grain and livestock markets in the week ahead.

Monday Morning Wake Up Call

Good morning ... this is your May 16th edition of the Pro Farmer Monday Morning Wake Up Call.

Grain futures posted some moderate gains in the overnight session. Much of the credit for overnight gains is given to lower trade in the U.S. dollar. Traders will pay very close attention to the dollar’s value this week after South Korea – and possibly China – showed up to buy U.S. corn last week. Last week’s Supply  & Demand Report contributed to a big-time selloff in corn futures, but those lower prices seem to be uncovering some pent-up demand for feed grains in the Asian markets.

The biggest grain-market news from Washington this week will come this afternoon in the Weekly Crop Progress Report. Traders are looking for corn planting to be very close to the five-year average pace after planting conditions improved in Illinois last week. Indiana, Ohio and North Dakota will likely remain behind the five-year average, but traders generally expect most states to be on pace to wrap up planting very soon. Corn Belt rain chances this week are scattered and most of the week is expected to be dry – but very cool. Northeast Iowa has a chance of record lows tonight, but damage to any emerged corn should be minimal.

Outside of the farm world, the U.S. is expected to hit its debt limit of $14.294 trillion today. Instead of not borrowing more money, the U.S. Treasury Department is expected to announce some end-around maneuvers to meet financial obligations. That will keep the U.S. out of default until early August – or until lawmakers agree on a new debt limit.

On the Mississippi River, the Morganza Spillway has been opened to relieve flood risks further downstream in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. While it’s not much consolation, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said if growers in the flood plain that hasn’t been opened since 1973 bought crop insurance, those crops will be eligible for crop-loss payments.

That’s your Pro Farmer Monday Morning Wake Up Call.

Big reports for grains this week

May 09, 2011

Chip Flory

Every Monday morning, Pro Farmer editors record the "Monday Morning Wake Up Call." It's a recorded message available by clicking here.
 

But... if you'd rather read the report instead of listening, each Monday morning I'll update the copy from the call here to help set your agenda of key issues that will be impacting the grain and livestock markets in the week ahead.

Monday Morning Wake Up Call

Good morning ... this is your May 9th edition of the Pro Farmer Monday Morning Wake Up Call.

It’s a big week for the grain markets with two potentially market-moving reports coming our way. First is this afternoon’s Crop Progress Report. This report will feature a tale of two Corn Belts. In the western Belt, corn planting progress will be very significant. Most areas missed rains starting May 4 and while some scattered delays were likely in the western Belt after a May 6-7 shower, many areas rolled all weekend without delay.

In the eastern Corn Belt, delays were widespread. Illinois corn planting progress will be a featured number in this afternoon’s update, but don’t lose track of the snail-pace planting progress likely from Indiana, Ohio and Missouri.

North Dakota will also be a market-moving state as both corn and spring wheat planting progress is likely to be well behind the average pace.

Unfortunately for the eastern Corn Belt, the weather outlook holds near-daily rain chances this week. That certainly suggests planting delays will extend into the second half of May.

Wednesday, USDA will release its first official look at the 2011-12 marketing year. There are no survey-based estimates in the new-crop outlook, but USDA will project corn, soybean and spring wheat yields to generate the new-crop Supply & Demand projections.

This afternoon’s crop progress report will give us a good idea if USDA will trim any bushels from the 160.7 national average corn yield it projected back in February at the Ag Outlook Forum. USDA has shown a willingness to “tweak” yield projections based on planting progress and with slow progress in the eastern Belt, the “lean” going into this Wednesday’s report is to trim just a bit from the yield projection.

The livestock markets will pay close attention to the meat markets this week. Boxed beef trade is looking for a low and after a lower week last week, the cash hog market is expected to start this week with a soft tone.

That’s your Pro Farmer Monday Morning Wake Up Call.

 
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