The following commentary does not necessarily reflect the views of AgWeb or Farm Journal Media. The opinions expressed below are the author's own.
Kevin Van Trump has over 20 years of experience in the grain and livestock industry.
Weather concerns continue to be the topic in the grain market. From everything I am hearing, it looks like we will remain wetter and cooler here in the US through April, then turn warmer and drier in early May and on into the critical stages of growth during June and July. One of the biggest questions obviously is in the Northwestern Corn Belt. Remember the USDA is looking for an extra 500,000 corn acres out of North Dakota this year. They are also looking for bigger numbers out of Minnesota. Unfortunately the forecasters are calling for more snow in many of these areas (over foot in some locations). Therefore you have to believe there will soon start to be talk and headlines circulating about corn seed cancelations.
The bears will try and argue that since there aren't many GGDU's during late April and early May (at least in the northwestern corn belt) the delays aren't really that big of a deal. What may be tougher for the bears to battle though is the fact producers in the Delta are now thinking corn acreage could be reduced by 500,000 plus. The word circulating is that some of the early planted acres in the South have failed to germinate. With many producers looking at an April 25th "final planting date" for crop insurance, I am starting to hear a lot more chatter about some producers simply taking "preventive plant." The point I am trying to make is that "near-term" we may see the market push higher as corn acreage to both the north and south are now being questioned. The key words there was "near term." Producers should continue using any rallies to reduce additional risk, and get hedges in place on any and all uninsured bushels.
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