Pro Farmer Midwest CropTour Aug. 20-23

August 17, 2012 01:34 AM

What Traders are Talking About:

* Crop Tour next week. I'll be leading the eastern leg of the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour next week. Therefore, I won't be updating this daily column with my market comments. However, you can read my daily comments and observations from Tour, along with those of the other tour leaders in "From the Rows" in the newsletter section on the home page. Also, you can participate in Tour next week by clicking on this Virtual Tour link and entering data from your fields. There will be specific directions on how to sample corn fields the same way we do on Tour.

* Supply concerns support wheat. Russia and Ukraine are fighting drought issues in key production regions, sparking speculation there could be a move by the respective governments to restrict grain exports. Government officials from both countries have denied they are considering grain export restrictions at this time, but even without government action, there's an expectation grain shipments from Black Sea ports will be very slow by fall. With Australia facing increased dryness as El Nino builds, especially in Western Australia, there are also some supply concerns there. And in Argentina, wheat seedings are expected to be down around 20% from year-ago due to dryness issues and concerns with government policy.

The long and short of it: Wheat fundamentals still aren't strong enough to spark an extended rally, but if supply concerns continue to mount, that could change. While corn and soybeans recently hit all-time highs, wheat futures are still WELL below their 2008 peak.

* Better-than-expected rains in eastern Belt. Rainfall totals were heavier and more widespread than expected across parts of Indiana and Ohio Thursday. A few showers are lingering this morning, but the event has most played out. Cooler temps are forecast for the Corn Belt into the middle of next week. The combination of recent rains and cooler temps will help filling beans and may even add some test weight to corn that hasn't dented. But there was also some heavy winds and hail that came with the rain event and caused lodging issues in some areas.

The long and short of it: Corn and soybean futures have gone into a holding pattern as traders are uncertain what impact the recent improvement in weather will have on crops.

Follow me on Twitter: @BGrete

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