Weekly Crop Commentary - 5/31/2024

May 31, 2024

Wes Bahan
Vice President, Grain Division

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. The USDA will likely show some progress being made this week, but that will be some catch up from the prior week. The cooler weather has allowed the moisture to stick around longer, which is great for the growing crops. Things may be dry enough this afternoon to do some fieldwork, but more rain chances are in the cards for tomorrow into Sunday. Corn this week tried to make another run in the futures markets, but ran into resistance and sold off to end the week. With the late planting possibility out of the way, and a great looking crop that is growing, it will be hard for the bulls to get real fired up. We will have some weather scares here and there, but it sure doesn’t feel like there is a run of hot / dry weather in the cards. Soybeans had the same fate, as they faded to end the week. Basis levels continue to fall heavy, and every week that goes by without a weather scare is one week closer to new crop, and those levels are much cheaper than the spot market. Wheat is coming fast, and it sure looks good, so we are making preparations to handle that crop here in a few weeks. Have a great weekend.

Lou Baughman
Grain Merchandiser, Kenton (Region 1)

As May comes to a close, area producers have also wrapped up the planting season. Some producers were not happy with the conditions as they finished up, but with the continuing precipitation we have received, they think it has worked out. The drought areas in the Corn Belt no longer exist as rain continues to be in the forecast across the Midwest.

Markets were firmer on the overnight and into this morning but have since fallen back into the rut. If the markets close lower today, it could lead to a further decline. A couple factors that could help the market is the fall in the Russia/Ukraine production and the drought concerns for Mexico. We will have to wait and see what develops.

Will Gase
Grain Merchandiser, Upper Sandusky (Region 2)

Good afternoon, and happy Friday. Last week of May; hard to believe. Been nice driving by fields with green in them instead of brown. Lots and lots of corn was planted last week and it is poking through the ground. Lot of beans planted but still probably 30%, give or take, to go. Rain this week has not been nice for those that still have some planting to do. Rainfall between Sunday and Wednesday night totaled roughly 3 inches county wide.

I attended an economic outlook meeting yesterday that was put on by our broker StoneX. An interesting slide from the PowerPoint caught my attention. On the current drought monitor, the entire Midwest and great plains are essentially drought free, except for one small pocket covering Western Kansas, the panhandle of Oklahoma, Southeastern Colorado, and a small bit of Texas. The speaker mentioned that this is something to keep an eye on, as typically when a drought forms (or rather doesn’t go away) in this area it tends to spread across the Midwest. He gave a couple examples of drought years in the past to back up the point he made. However, he also made the notion that due to water temperatures in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, climatologists believe that much of the Midwest will experience a warm and rainy summer due to air movement in the atmosphere. Warm and rainy summer was then translated to hot and thunderstorms all summer. There’s a good likelihood of one of the two to happen. Just something to think about.

The Wheat Average Price Program ends the pricing period today. Your local merchandiser will be in touch next week if you have bushels enrolled in this program to let you know the final average price. Thank you all, and have a great weekend!

Steve Bricher
Grain Operation Manager, Urbana (Region 3)

We are about to turn the calendar to June. The kids are out of school and most likely driving mom and dad crazy already. I was able to get on my motorcycle over Memorial Day weekend and get a 1200 plus mile ride into the east. It is amazing what sights you can see when you ride backroads around this country.

The grain markets have not had a great week, as planting progress was in line with the 5 year average. It is hard to tell a late planting story when over 80 percent of the crop is in the ground. The crop here in Champaign county looks very good, stands look even, and the crop is growing well. Corn and soybean markets set back this week without a story to make them move higher. There is not a weather story today. Export sales for old and new crops are not great, and the prospects for a trendline or better crop look good today.

So, what should you do about getting the crop you just planted sold? We need to be realistic about price prospects. If you are waiting on 6.00 dollar corn and 14.00 dollar beans, you may be waiting a while. We need to set reasonable price prospects. I like 4.50 corn and 11.75 soybeans to get some new crop sold. If we get to these levels, I would also think that it is prudent to sell some of the corn and soybeans you are going to be putting in the bin. Three of the last five years, sales made before harvest were better prices than any sales after the first of the year.

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 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.
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.