Weekly Crop Commentary - 5/24/2024

May 24, 2024

Wes Bahan
Vice President, Grain Division

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. On my travels this morning, I only saw one field that wasn’t planted, and it had the tractor and planter parked in it. There are some spots that are still behind, but for the most part, we can bring to end the thoughts of delayed planting. The corn that went in early looks absolutely fantastic and is just cranking right along. The markets seemed to hold up decent this week in the face of good planting progress, and most of the driest parts of the nation received some much needed rains. The latest drought monitor map sure looked much better. The funds have been liquidating the short position they have built, which can constitute the nice run we have seen in the markets. The cash markets have held fairly steady, but with planting wrapping up and the amount of unpriced grain, it does feel like it could move lower any time now. I hope everyone has a great extended weekend.

Will Gase
Grain Merchandiser, Upper Sandusky (Region 2)

Good afternoon, and happy Friday! Summer has officially arrived with Memorial Day weekend here! Personally, I think Memorial Day is an extremely underrated holiday. Grain markets are excited for the summer season too, as corn futures are up 10 cents for old and new crop compared to last Friday, beans are up 15-20 cents, and wheat is up 40ish cents! Trading weather markets and southern hemisphere harvest numbers can have this kind of affect on the market. Now while we are up double digits this week across the board, we could easily come down just as quick next week.

Planting in the county is getting close to that finish line, especially on the corn side of things. A lot of people are done, or will be done, with corn here in a day or two. Still a little bit to go on beans, but by the end of next week, I would guess we will be all but finished around here. Wheat crop appears to be looking good on the yield side of things. Hopefully, we don’t have any quality issues come harvest, after having a rather wet spring. Speaking of wheat… those that participated in the wheat average price program, the pricing ends a week from today so we will have the average futures price for everyone come June 3rd. Hope everyone enjoys the weekend!

Steve Bricher
Grain Operation Manager, Urbana (Region 3)

The weatherman kind of missed in our area, and most everyone was able to plant most of the week. In talking to customers, most are done or almost done. What was planted in late April and earlier this month looks great. It looks like a chance of rain over the weekend and into next week.

Corn and soybeans traded sideways for the most part this week. Planting progress on Monday did not give much to feed the bulls. We will see next week what progress has been made. Historically, the next month has been the most opportune time to sell new crop grains. We will have to see if the market can find a reason to rally in June. I still believe today 4.50 harvest corn and 11.75 to 12.00 harvest beans are going to be good sales. If you are planning to put your crop in the bin, you would want to price bin grain for J/F/M at the same time. Three out of the last 5 years, you would have been better to just sell your crop out of the field and not put it in the bin, so if you are planning on putting the crop in the bin, you need to look at getting some of it sold.

Wheat is moving along and looks like it will be harvested 7 to 10 days early. If you have not sold any wheat yet, we are seeing the best prices that we have had in the last 9 months.

Lisa Warne
Grain Merchandiser, Marysville (Region 4)

Happy Memorial Day weekend! The last half of this week has been a ghost town at the elevator, as you are all in the fields, hopefully making great progress. Since I last wrote three weeks ago, the corn market has rallied, dipped, and returned to a level it seems comfortable at, for the moment. The cash bean market gained about 30 cents in that time and wheat a whopping 75 cents. I’m a firm believer these rallies need to be rewarded, so if you haven’t sold anything in the last couple weeks, I recommend doing so – on both old crop and new.

On my commute, I see a lot of wheat fields already headed. I compared the USDA progress report to the average start of wheat harvest over the last dozen years. As of last Sunday, Ohio is at 70% headed. Only two of the last 13 years have we been further along (2012 and 2017). If we continue the same maturity path, we’re only 4 weeks away from harvest, which is two weeks ahead of last year. It will be here before we know it. Have a great holiday weekend, and take time to remember those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom.

Ralph Wince
Grain Merchandiser, Canfield (Region 5)

Good afternoon, it’s been a very good planting week for most of our area here in NE Ohio. A few folks did get some showers, but the majority of the area is still able to plant, and we are making good progress this week. The corn and bean markets continue to trade toward the top end of where they have been the last 6 weeks. The wheat market has not been this high since August of 2023. The drive behind the wheat market has been the dry weather in both Russia & Ukraine. That has driven wheat up very fast. The funds have nearly bought back all their short positions in the wheat market. Stay tuned as to how this story continues to develop.

I believe corn and bean markets have built in enough risk premium in my opinion for right now. It appears that the crop will get planted, so the risk premium now is to see where our weather goes from here. As I have said before, we need to see how quickly the El Nino – La Nina change over happens. If we see a high-pressure ridge set up over the heart of the corn belt in July-August, then we will probably see the market rally some. But if not, look for the markets to pull back some as we roll ahead towards fall.

I want to bring some attention to a situation continuing to warrant some watching. This story is not getting a lot of attention in the mainstream media today. Taiwan recently held elections, and the person that won the election is not who China wanted to see win. Taiwan’s new president recently made comments basically stating that they are an independent country and not part of China. That infuriates China’s leadership. Yesterday, China said it was running some military exercises and basically surrounded Taiwan and blocked all access to the island. Today, they are continuing to keep the blockade in place.

Even though our soybean imports continue to decline year over year to China, they still take a big chunk of what beans we do export. If China was to try to take over Taiwan, that would trigger a response from the United States, and it would not benefit our farmers. One of the first things that would probably happen would be to shut off bean exports. We will continue to watch this developing story.

Lastly, as we celebrate this Memorial Day, please take time to say thank you to both the current and former service members for the sacrifices they have made for the freedoms we so richly enjoy here in this country. Have a happy Memorial Day everyone!!!!

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 17, 2024
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.