Weekly Crop Commentary - 10/20/2023
Oct 20, 2023
Vice President, Grain Division
Good afternoon. We seem to be stuck in a pattern of rain every four days. We managed to get one day of bean harvest this week so that is something. There were some starting to harvest corn and they are happy with the yields, but the corn is wetter this year than we have been accustomed to. We will likely be able to squeeze a couple more points out of this corn, but November is just around the corner and drying days are few and far between. Bean basis is beginning to rebound a bit since harvest delays are allowing space to be made. Corn premiums are still being offered to entice farmers to get some of the wet corn off. It sure feels like an old-fashioned harvest where we are going to be fighting mud, wet corn, and harvesting in the late days of November. Have a great weekend and dodge the raindrops.
Director of Grain Purchasing
Another week of harvest is in the books. The majority of our regions are well over 50% done with beans and saw some progress made on corn this week across the state before the rain hit yesterday. The corn market finally broke through the psychological $5.00 CZ mark yesterday but was unable to hold onto that strength into today’s close. We hit resistance at the 100-day moving average at $5.09 and have since tumbled back below $5 this afternoon. As for beans, they have slowly been moving up the past week but fell into the same “trap” as corn today and saw resistance at the 100-day moving average of $13.18 before barely closing over $13.00. The market is closely watching the Israeli conflict as tensions rise. In addition to the war premium, grain markets will continue to follow harvest progress and South American weather, especially in Argentina. I hope you all have a great weekend! Go Bucks!
Grain Merchandiser, Kenton (Region 1)
Harvest screeched to a halt when rains moved in Thursday and spilt over into today. Bean harvest is over the hump, maybe 35% to go. Corn doesn’t seem to be drying down much, we have a couple of guys shelling at 20-25% moisture. The scale system at Kenton seems to be working well for the customers and they are catching on quickly.
We now have two wars going on, but neither has had a big effect on the market this week. If the middle east situation continues, energy markets will be impacted and the grains will follow.
Grain Merchandiser, Upper Sandusky (Region 2)
Good afternoon and happy Friday! Yet again another rainy, dreary Friday. Driving around the area and talking with farmers I would say we are somewhere around 66% done with soybean harvest. This week has been a lot of sitting and waiting for the weather to clear and it does not look like we will get that until Monday. Sunday night might be our first frost of the year here locally and early next week looks good to cut beans and shell corn with highs pushing into the 70s! I love Ohio weather and the excitement of getting four seasons in three days.
Prices have been up and down this week across the board. Export sales have been decent, rainwater flowing into the Mississippi River, and guesses of lesser than expected yields in the west have all combined to lead the charge higher on prices. However, as today is showing, it is hard to rally during the Harvest season. Take advantage of up days in the market to make sales and contracts for new crop.
In the past couple of weeks, I have done quite a few contracts under what we call a minimum price contract. A minimum price contract sets a minimum cash price for delivery, which is the cash price minus the premium you pay for a call option. You purchase a call option for a futures month (say March or May) in hopes that the futures price goes up and you sell the option for a profit that gets added onto the minimum price. These work in 5,000 bushel increments and are a great alternative to delayed pricing while allowing you to continue to “stay in the market” and hoping for an upswing in prices. Give your local merchandiser a call if you are interested in this type of contract or to talk about other alternatives. Thank you and have a great weekend!
Grain Operation Manager, Urbana (Region 3)
It has been a few weeks since my last comments. We have seen soybean harvest start then stop. Yields in my area have been good as we are seeing many in the 60 to 70 range. This is a similar yield to what we had in the area for soybeans last year. Soybeans have rallied from their lows before the report almost 50 cents. Domestic supplies are tight but there are plenty of soybeans around the world. We will have to watch how the crop in South America develops and if China comes to the US for soybeans
Corn harvest has been slow to get going here in Ohio. If you have harvested any corn you already know this crop is wet. I have seen some of the highest harvest moistures coming across the scales in more than a decade. Corn prices saw a nice bump on Thursday as we pushed through the 5.00 barrier and the market saw follow-through buying come to the market. We are still looking at a very good corn crop and exports have been slow. You will have to watch for the weather in South America as well as what exports do. The 2 billion carryout is still a likely possibility. With that kind of carryout and a good crop in South America it will be hard to rally prices to levels we have seen over the last couple of years.
This corn crop is going to take time to harvest as drying 22 to 25 percent moisture corn slows down the process. Believe me, when I say we will do all we can to keep the dryers running and you harvesting, it will just take time but we will get done sooner or later.
Have a great weekend and a safe harvest.
Grain Merchandiser, Marysville (Region 4)
Good afternoon! Some customers were able to make a little headway in corn harvesting this week, but moistures are still struggling to dry down. We did see some in the 18-19% range, but most fields were running 23-25%. A handful tried soybeans before the rain, but moistures there were still 14.5-15.5%. As of this writing, we’ve received around a half inch of rain at the Marysville office with chances continuing through Saturday. There are a couple of 70-degree days next week, so hopefully we can see some more soybean harvest get done.
Speaking of soybeans, they’ve had better luck with the market this week, netting more than a 20¢ gain since last week’s close. The soy crush report released this week came in with the lowest soy oil stocks in 9 years. This gave the bulls enough news to get a rally going. Corn looks to close the week up a couple of cents, while wheat is up about a nickel. Have a great weekend and Go Buckeyes!