Grain markets going up


After posting near record low prices about a month ago the grain markets have surged substantially as a result of weather related planting delays. Local grain markets now have corn at around $4.25 per bushel compared to a month ago when it ranged from a bit under $3 to about $3.25 per bushel. The soybean markets have also increased from around $7 per bushel to a bit over $8 per bushel.

A key monthly report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed the damage done by heavy rainfall in the Corn Belt, reducing expected corn production to its lowest in four years. The wet weather this year has prevented farmers from planting the crop on time, and the Agriculture Department cut its corn-production estimate to 13.68 billion bushels, down nine percent from its May forecast. Crop yields per acre, were estimated at 166 bushels an acre for corn, down 10 bushels an acre from the Agriculture Department’s forecast last month. In addition, in part due to adversity in spring planting, acres were also reduced by three million, which could be revised on Friday, June 28. The World Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) data follows the June 10 crop progress report from the Agriculture Department, in which corn acres nationwide were 83 percent planted versus an average of 99 percent for this time of year, and soybeans were 60 percent planted versus 88 percent last year.


The WASDE is a monthly report released by the Agriculture Department that includes official statistics for supply and demand for crops grown in the U.S. and world-wide. Investors looked to the report for insight following the devastation from storms and flooding inflicted on the U.S. Midwest in the past month. Corn futures on the Chicago Board of Trade soared, with the July contract rising as high as 3.3 percent to just under $4.30 a bushel, close to a year-high reached May 29.

About 83 percent of U.S. corn was planted as of June 9, behind the prior five-year average of 99 percent for this time of year, while 60 percent of soybeans were in the ground, well behind the normal 88 percent, the USDA said earlier this week.

The increase in grain prices provide a bit of optimism for area grain producers; however, there must be a harvestable crop next fall in order to capitalize on the higher market prices. According to The Wisconsin Crop Progress Report, on June 10 corn planting was 78 percent complete, 14 days behind last year and 16 days behind the average. Corn emerged was reported at 48 percent, 13 days behind last year and 15 days behind the average. Sixty percent of soybeans were planted, 14 days behind both last year and the average. Twenty six percent of soybeans had emerged, 14 days behind the average.


In normal years we would be looking at corn fields that would be knee high by the middle of June. This year we have fields that might be six inches.