Weekly Crop Commentary - 5/17/2024

May 17, 2024

Lou Baughman
Grain Merchandiser, Kenton (Region 1)

Another week has gone by. The markets have perked up only to level back out to where we were two weeks ago. Wheat looks like the support for the markets right now because of Russia’s crop loss due to frost and the continuing conflict with Ukraine.

We have not put much in the ground in this area, but analysts anticipate that the Midwest should have impressive numbers in the Monday afternoon progress report. U.S. drought conditions have improved: only 12% corn-country, 9% bean-country, and 25% winter wheat-country remains dry. Many places have received too much. It looks like we will have a few days of sun here, but not sure if that will be enough to get our saturated ground dry enough to get back at it. Time will tell. Have a good weekend.

Will Gase
Grain Merchandiser, Upper Sandusky (Region 2)

Good afternoon, and happy Friday. Another dreary day here in Northwest Ohio. Depending on where you live, seems like everyone has had at least 5 tenths of rain since Wednesday in Wyandot and surrounding counties. Looking at the 10-day forecast, seems like there might be a chance to get some crop in the ground depending on field conditions between Saturday and Tuesday. Looks like after today there isn’t rain projected until Wednesday. Driving around the county, it looks like you can start to see plants coming out of the ground, for those that have planted. It'll be interesting to see if it pays to plant early this year.

Since last Friday, new crop beans and wheat are just about even for the week with corn down about 10¢. Crush report came back for beans this week, and it was not pretty. Crush numbers came way under expectations, and as a result, stocks dropped too. Monday afternoon will be interesting to see what the crop progress report says about the percentage planted throughout the country. There are still pockets throughout the country that are significantly behind, but then there are others that are ahead of schedule. To me it seems like it’s all “evening out,” and we are about average country-wide. It won’t take long now for those guys who are behind to get a crop in the ground. Have a good weekend, everyone!

Steve Bricher
Grain Operation Manager, Urbana (Region 3)

It has been a hit and miss for planting this week, mostly misses though. We had a good start, but now, we are at a bit of a standstill. The rain has slowed any progress here in my area. What is planted is up and looking good, now we just need to finish.

The corn, soybean and wheat markets are all now on the weather and planting progress roller coaster. It seems as though we are trading every 6-hour forecast. We did push corn and soybean prices to the best levels that we've seen since the first of the year, but since then, have backed off of those prices but are still much better than we were a month ago.

If we look at historical data, the next 8 to 10 weeks are the best time to sell new crop corn and soybeans. You will need to keep an eye on planting progress and the weather to help make those marketing decisions. As I wrote last week, 5.00 December futures for corn and 12.25 to 12.50 November futures for soybeans should be a decent price level to get some grain sold. Any rally needs to be sold, as we still have more than enough grain around, so unless we don’t complete planting, or we have a big weather problem, rallys will be muted.

Ralph Wince
Grain Merchandiser, Canfield (Region 5)

Good afternoon. It's been a week since the USDA released its May update and the first look as to what our carryout’s look to be for the 24-25 marketing year. Today, both this year and next year’s carryout’s look to be okay. The market rallied to some degree after the report last week, not off of what our U.S. numbers looked like but what the world numbers came in at. But since then, we have pulled back some. As we move forward with planting and into the growing season it will be the weather that will have to do something if the markets are to rally substantially, in my opinion. The weather driver is going to be how quickly the changeover happens from El Nino to La Nina. I have been following a number of meteorologists, and I pretty much hear the same opinion from all of them. If the cool water off the west coast in the equatorial Pacific warms up quicker than they think, it could set the Midwest up to have a high-pressure ridge form, and a lot of the precipitation would miss the heart of the grain belt. If that were to happen, then I believe corn and bean prices would rally. But today, that is what we are hanging our hats on.

So I leave you with this thought for today: don’t put all your eggs in one basket. It’s hard to hit the highs, and very few people are able to sell all their grain even in the top 10%. As we get this crop into the ground, let's be looking at getting some of it priced at these levels to be able to cover our cost. Give us a call here at Heritage, and let’s talk through a plan that fits your needs. If you're successful, then we are successful. Have a great weekend!!!

Read More News

Jun 10, 2024
Good afternoon. This week was yet another wild one in the grain markets. We worked our way lower for the majority of the week, and then Thursday came and we won back most of those losses.
May 31, 2024
Good afternoon. Hard to believe we are at another month's end, but here we are. Scattered rains since the weekend have kept field activity this week at a minimum.
May 24, 2024
Good afternoon. Hard to believe we are on the Memorial Day weekend. Another month has absolutely flown by. Planting progress made great strides this week.