USDA thinks acreage is a moving target, though financials suggest farmers could favor soybeans over corn. That’s the top takeaway from this week’s Agricultural Outlook Forum in Washington, says Jerry Gulke, president of the Gulke Group. Those conclusions aren’t particularly helpful to an anxious marketplace trying to sort out what producers will plant.
“The Outlook Forum didn’t do us any favors from a supply-and-demand standpoint, keeping ending stocks relatively high and kind of pushing off any decisions until we see planting intentions and then weather in the spring,” says Gulke, speaking to “Weekend Market Report” host Pam Fretwell for an episode airing Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017.
Although fertilizer prices are lower, Gulke points out, corn prices are not much better than last year, which could make the crop less attractive to farmers. USDA had a tough time finding a comparable year to explain this year’s corn-soybean dynamics.
“We have an economic tightness of our farm economy, tighter than the last time we made some switching decisions,” Gulke explains. “There may not be an analog year that is comparable to this.”