Corn prices may have jumped by a dollar and soybeans may have climbed $1.75, but you’d never know it by the lackluster farmer interest in selling grain right now.
“We’re up since October … and we supposedly have a big crop coming ... but we hear you still can’t buy beans in central Illinois or in North Dakota,” says Jerry Gulke, who farms in Illinois and North Dakota and also serves as president of the Gulke Group in Chicago. “Corn is a dollar a bushel a higher than it was on October 1 in an area that we know still has corn in the field ... and a lot in the bin, and the ethanol guys and the exporters can’t seem to get their hands on it.”
Listen to Gulke's full report here:
Why such reluctance? “I think what it says is that farmers aren’t interested in selling grain even at a dollar a bushel higher than the lows, because that’s still not exciting,” says Gulke.
He says now is the time for farmers to watch and wait as the market does its December dance. “By the end of next week, we’re going to be in holiday trading, where things get light ... and the money guys can push this around to make things look odd one day and worse the next, or vice versa. It's a good time to set your plans in motion and say either ‘I’ve done what I’m going to do’ or ‘I’m going to wait until the first of the year and see what the January 12 crop report says.’”
Of course, next week brings USDA’s Dec. 10 crop report, but Gulke expects that to be a “non-event.” The one caveat? Acreage. If the government lowers the harvested acreage for corn by 100,000 acres or more, it could point to additional shifts in January, he says.