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Four Market Indicators To Watch

08:39AM Nov 12, 2014

Glean financial clues by moving beyond commodities 

When trying to predict market movements, producers can choose to watch a million different indicators, quotes or factors. Although watching daily corn and soybean price charts can be insightful, a handful of other monitors and gauges can also provide insight to the grain and livestock markets. 

Interest Rates: Not only do interest rates showcase the cost of borrowing money, they also affect investment decisions and the value of farmland. Overall, they are a snapshot of the health of the economy.

Bond Market: Although the stock market often grabs more headlines, the bond market is vital to the ongoing progress of both the public and private sectors. It is where debt securities are issued and traded. Because most farmers borrow money, watching the yield of 10- and 30-year notes can provide clues to long-term trends.

Ag Ticker Prices: Pick a handful of seed, machinery, fertilizer and chemical companies, and track their prices using the stock ticker of your choice. These will give you a high-level look at investments being made in agriculture and related industries. Also, try listening to a company’s earnings calls, which can provide a peek into its performance and future expectations. 

Durable Goods Report: This report, released by the U.S. Census Bureau around the 20th of each month, includes data on orders for durable goods, such as machinery, cars and trains—capital goods that are high-priced and normally last three years or more. It is the best single proxy of capital investments activity and confidence in business conditions. More than 85 industries are represented in the sample, which covers the entire U.S.  

Do You Have What It Takes?

The Tomorrow’s Top Producer Horizon Award will be given to a producer under the age of 35 who demonstrates excellence in the business of farming, including marketing, farm finance, family and employee relations and technology.

Entrants are judged on entrepreneurial originality (50%), financial and business progress (30%) and industry or community leadership (20%). Any farmer, rancher or partnership that gets at least half of their income from farming and farm-related ventures may apply.

Prizes include:

  • Trip for two to attend Tomorrow’s Top Producer conference Jan. 20, 2015, in Chicago 
  • Trip to spend two days with a Top Producer of the Year 
  • Free registration to Corn College or another Farm Journal Media event of your choice

Entry deadline is Dec. 15, 2014. For more, visit producer-horizon-award/ or contact Sara Schafer at (573) 581-6387 or