KARS GREENESS MAPS REFLECTS INCREASED CROP STRESS OVER IOWA... The Kansas Applied Remote Sensing (KARS) "GreenReport" map that compares vegetation measured by satellites from early August to late August notes a sharp reduction across Iowa during the period. The image reflects a mix of conditions across central Illinois, with most of Indiana and Ohio showing increased greenness. Click here for related maps.
BIG DROP IN KAZAKHSTAN'S GRAIN EXPORTS TO START MARKETING YEAR... Kazakhstan's grain exports fell to 760,700 MT between July 1 (the start of the 2013-14 marketing year) and August 20, from 1.273 MMT during that period last year -- a drop of more than 40%, according to the country's ag ministry. The ministry gave no reason for the decline. Kazakhstan's ag minister last month said the country can export between 7 MMT and 8 MMT of grain for 2013-14; the country is expected to produce a crop of 16.3 MMT. In 2012-13, the country's exports dropped to 7.1 MMT from 12.1 MMT the previous marketing year, due to severe drought in the region.
ARGY SOY CRUSHER STRIKES DISRUPTS PORT ACTIVITY... Soy crush workers started a two-day strike at Argentina's main Rosario port hub in protest to health care conditions today. Included in their demands is the establishment of health clinics. The demonstrations have blocked roads and cut truck entry into these ports in half, according to the Rosario grains exchange. The strike is supposed to end Thursday evening.
WEEKLY ETHANOL PRODUCTION DECLINES... The Energy Information Administration reports for the week ending Aug. 23, ethanol production slipped 24,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 820,000 bpd. Ethanol stocks, however, declined by 1.4% from the previous week to 16.3 million barrels.
NASS TO RESUME MILK PRODUCTION SURVEYS IN OCTOBER... USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will resume milk production quarterly producer surveys in the new federal fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1, 2013. NASS suspended the surveys in April of this year to meet the budget reductions required by sequestration. The agency uses information gathered in the quarterly surveys along with various sources of administrative data to establish the monthly milk production estimates. The program will resume with a late September mailing of the survey form to producers and the release of resulting data on Oct. 21.
ILLINOIS FARMLAND VALUES RISE MODESTLY... The value of Illinois farmland rose only modestly in the first half of 2013, according to a survey of farm managers conducted jointly by the Illinois Society of Professional Farm Mangers and Rural Appraisers and the University of Illinois. The survey indicates the value of excellent- and good-quality farmland rose 3%, the value of average-quality farmland increased 2.5% and fair-quality farmland rose 1.9%. The survey pegs the average value of each quality of farmland at: $13,200 an acre for excellent-quality farmland, $11,200 an acre for good-quality farmland, $9,000 an acre for average-quality ground and $8,300 an acre for fair-quality farmland. Click here for more from LandOwner Editor Mike Walsten.
PF MIDWEEK MARKETING GAME PLAN UPDATE...
CORN: Hedgers and cash-only marketers are 100% sold in the cash market on the 2012-crop. With the 2012-13 marketing year coming to an end, you should be current with that advice. For 2013-crop, hedgers and cash-only marketers have 25% of expected new-crop production sold via cash forward contracts for harvest delivery. While we believe the crop is going backwards amid the hot temps and dryness, funds are still short and looking to sell strength. As a result, be prepared to use the corrective bounce to increase new-crop cash sales and/or add hedge coverage.
BEANS: Hedgers and cash-only marketers are 100% sold in the cash market for 2012-crop. With the 2012-13 marketing year ending Aug. 31, you should be current with that advice. For 2013-crop, hedgers and cash-only marketers have 50% of expected new-crop production sold via cash forward contract for harvest delivery. Be prepared to increase cash sales and/or add hedge coverage when the corrective rally shows signs of stalling.
WHEAT: The wheat market is a follower, meaning it needs corn and soybeans to pull it higher. While that could take time, we are willing to wait on an extended correction before increasing 2013-crop cash sales.
COTTON: Hedgers and cash-only marketers have 50% of expected 2013-crop production sold via cash forward contract for harvest delivery. Hedgers also have 50% of expected production hedged in December cotton at 83.87 cents. Maintain that hedge coverage as futures are back in the bottom of the broad, sideways range.
CATTLE: The cattle market has put in a seasonal low. As a result, fed cattle producers should continue to carry all risk in the cash market. With much of the premium fall- and winter-month feeder cattle once held to the cash market now erased, feeder cattle futures should be prepared to add long hedge coverage unless the corn market signals an extended price rally is likely.
HOGS: Hog producers have 50% of expected 4th-qtr. production hedged in Dec. lean hog futures at an average price of $82.12 1/2. Be prepared to use the recent price strength to heavy up 4th-qtr. coverage and to add 3rd-qtr. hedge coverage in Oct. lean hog futures and 1st-qtr. 2014 coverage in Feb. lean hog futures.
FEED: Continue to carry corn-for-feed risk in the cash market until futures signal a low is in place. Soybean meal futures are at the point where we aren't willing to chase the market higher with long coverage.