Last week did not see a big rally in corn, but was one of the better weeks in recent history with a higher close in soybeans on Friday. Jim Bower, with Bower Trading, says the market is trying to send producers some signals about planted acreage, ”To me the market is telling farmers to plant for soybeans and less corn, but for some that may be a hard choice. Last year corn yields were good while soybean yields were only average. It remains to be seen how willing growers are to go with soybeans.” He added that the next 30 days will see a battle between the corn and soybean market.
Exports were good last week, thanks to a weaker dollar and growing concern about the weather in South America. Rain in Brazil could hamper the planting of the 2nd corn crop. “We are keeping a close watch on the weather, especially as we move into February,” Bower said. Last year, problems in Brazilian corn production provided some strength to the U.S. corn market.
Overall, there is a good deal of pessimism by U.S. producers about 2018. Bower says, “Don’t panic. Let’s think this thing through on a day to day basis and make some decisions about what we need to do. Look at your input costs and make some decisions if you are going to cut back or not. Plan to have those plans in place and ready to go by the end of February.”
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