Jerry Gulke Talks Frost, SDS, and Big Crops

September 13, 2014 12:01 AM
Jerry Gulke Talks Frost, SDS, and Big Crops

There’s no shortage of subjects for farmers to discuss this weekend, as this conversation with Jerry Gulke, president of the Gulke Group in Chicago, shows. Extreme weather? Check. Plant disease? Check. New numbers on U.S. crop production? Check.

And they’re all vital topics for Gulke, who advises farmers on marketing strategies and also farms himself, in Illinois and North Dakota.

Listen to Gulke's full analysis here:


With soybean sudden death syndrome appearing in Missouri, Kentucky and beyond, Gulke cautions farmers not to become overly optimistic about their own soybean yields, no matter how good they look. "I don’t dig into the ground, but I will now," he tells Farm Journal Radio about the plant disease, which hit his own soybean crop this year. "I’m really disappointed in my bean fields, because I thought I was going to be in the 70-bushel camp, but I’ll be lucky to get 50."

He’s also watching the weather in Minnesota and the Dakotas, where farmers have already encountered their first frost, first hard freeze, and first snowfall. "In western North Dakota, there’s not a lot of corn, but there’s going to be a lot of silage," predicts Gulke, who also expects some frost damage in the bean crop in those areas.

Given the monster size of the corn and bean crop projected this year by the USDA, that might not be such a bad thing for prices. But Gulke is still thinking that while there might be big yields this fall, there just isn’t going to be the harvested acres that the USDA expects. "It could be real interesting when and if the market decides to look at these numbers or believe them or even deal with them," says Gulke. He believes there are a million fewer soybean acres and 2 million fewer corn acres than the USDA has projected, which could significantly reduce supply and boost the current low prices for both commodities. "Maybe there’s a chance for a dead-cat bounce after all," he says.

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