While US farmers are beginning harvest, farmers in South America are getting ready to plant. Jim Bower with Bower trading in Lafayette says, with record high prices, South American soybean farmers will be hoping for a bumper crop, “They are getting ready to plant fence row to fence row.” He told HAT that planting will get underway in the next few weeks, as recent rains have provided a perfect seed bed. After disappointing yields last year due to poor weather, Bower says growers will be anxious to cash in on the very high prices being offered by the market. He forecasts about an 11% increase in planted soybean acreage in Brazil. Bower told HAT that other South American nations will be getting in on the act, “We will see expanded soybean acreage in Paraguay, Uruguay, even Bolivia will have soybean acres this year.” He pegged the potential South American soybean crop at 152.2 million tons.
But corn and soybeans are not the only crops being impacted by poor weather. Bower said the Russian wheat and cereal grain crops have also been hit hard by inclement weather conditions, “This is one of reasons we have seen wheat prices so strong this week.” He predicted that Russia would cut back on exports later this year and that some of their customers will turn to the US for wheat. Chicago wheat futures soared more than 2 percent on Thursday amid expectations that world’s No. 4 exporter, Russia, could soon run out of supplies, forcing some demand to shift to the US. In addition, Australia has had its share of weather issues and, according to Bower, many Asian buyers are nervous and may turn to the US for wheat.