Weekly Crop Commentary - 4/14/2023

Apr 14, 2023

Ed Nienaber 
Vice President, Grain Division

We find ourselves this afternoon with corn markets trading a dime higher on the week and beans roughly unchanged. Since last week’s crop report the market has turned its attention to the excellent weather conditions for planting and the 11–14-day outlook for normal precipitation and temperatures. It will be interesting to see where Monday’s planting progress shows in the US compared to past years. Nearby basis continues to be pressured by board spreads weakening and cash bushels moving to market due to cost-to-carry in an inverted marketplace. With cash price levels and today’s interest rates we currently are in a hand-to-mouth, get your needs covered and wait and see market. Cash ownership is pretty much in the producer’s hands and they’re busy planting next year’s crop. The domestic buyer is pretty much covered for the spring; however, this market has a lot of work still ahead to get us to new crop. Please continue to be safe, enjoy the weather, and have a great spring planting week. 

Wes Bahan
Vice President, Grain Division

Good afternoon. I think everyone has a touch of spring fever after this week. As the week progressed, I saw more and more field work starting to happen. I have heard reports of some planting being done in the area, but I have not seen any of that in my travels. A lot of field prep going on though. Most are eyeing the weekend weather and if the rains don’t develop as advertised, it will be a big week next week. From what I can gather the 6 to 10 day forecast is calling for below normal precipitation and continued warm weather. Sounds like a good recipe for the last half of April. Local basis levels this week were on the steady to a touch stronger side. With farmers looking to do other chores besides hauling grain, receipts really didn’t stack up to a whole lot this week. Ethanol margins continue to be strong which will keep the local appetite alive. Crushing margins for soybeans continue to be the opposite, as they have struggled as of late and continue to shrink this week. This coupled with no real export business, and talks of Brazilian beans being imported in, have the bean market stalling out to end the week. Thanks and have a great weekend.

Will Gase
Grain Merchandiser, Upper Sandusky (Region 2
Happy Friday everyone! It sure was nice driving home these last couple of days and seeing tractors moving in the fields. As it currently stands around the lunch hour, we are very mixed since last week, with old crop corn and beans being up along with new crop corn, and new crop beans and wheat down.
Every Monday we will be receiving planting progress reports for the US and as of this past Monday, we were at 3% planted for corn. I have a feeling this coming Monday will be higher with the favorable weather that everyone is seeing across the country. As the weeks progress it will be interesting how the percentages correlate to new crop prices.
This is an important time to start thinking about new crop prices. With everyone getting in the fields and getting ready to go full go on the planting, keep in mind profitability for your operation. If new crop prices are above your break-even point, it would be wise to lock down some bushels for fall. You never know when the market can crash, and pricing bushels now can help minimize that risk. Don’t be afraid to call the office, we would be happy to help you come up with a marketing plan that is able to fit your operation’s needs. Have a great weekend!

Steve Bricher
Grain Operation Manager, Urbana (Region 3)

We are already to the middle of April, and we have had a great week of weather. Here at Urbana, we know it is spring as we have started to bring in our 400,000-bushel corn pile. That is a 3-to-4-week process as we work our way through it.

This week the markets have been quiet as we see planting start across the Midwest. The markets will now be driven by every 6-10- or 8-14-day weather forecast. The Upper Midwest is still snow covered so it will be a few weeks before they can get started. The Southern Plains are still dry due to the decrease in moisture level last winter versus the rest of the country.

As mentioned last week, rally’s need to be sold. If you see 15.00 cash beans or 6.50 cash corn, it is a good time to continue to clean up old crop. If you get the chance to sell 13.00 new beans or 5.50 new corn, let’s get started. If the weather does not slow us down this spring it will take a weather rally this summer to move prices higher.

Ralph Wince
Grain Merchandiser, Canfield (Region 5)

Good afternoon! What a wonderful weather week we have had. I’m sure that a lot of field work is getting done right now. Markets have been mixed this week. Weather will now move to the forefront going forward. We have talked about the snowpack in the Dakotas over the last month and how deep it has been. The snowpack is rapidly melting this week up there and if forecasts verify, it will be melted in the next 7-10 days. There is flooding going on right now and that is a problem, but we need to remember that it is only April 14th. There will be plenty of time for corn planting to occur over the next few weeks, so for today at least, the concern over not getting corn planted up there is not an issue for the markets.
Nearby corn has inched back up to within .20 cents of its February highs. I feel this is another opportunity for you to market your unpriced old crop corn you have left in the bins. Beans continue to stay in the 15.00 range and for them to work a lot higher than that I feel like it’s going to take a weather issue. Below is the latest 6-10 day forecast maps and it looks pretty good in the Eastern Corn Belt for planting progress to get off to a good start for the 2023 crop year. We will continue to watch how forecast maps develop in the weeks ahead. Thanks, and have a great weekend!

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