Last week for the 40th time in his career, commodity broker and market analyst John Zanker of Lafayette, Indiana and Risk Management Commodities, hit the road for his own version of the August crop tour. Over 1,300 miles later he describes crops across the corn belt as promising overall, with the usual assortment of great spots and problem areas.
After the 7-state tour, Zanker concluded he saw mostly what he expected to see.
“I think for the most part I saw what I expected, some really outstanding potential in Indiana, Illinois and most of Iowa,” he said. “Probably the one area that was worse than I had expected was southern Minnesota, western Minnesota, some real poor potential there. So that crop, which is a major producing state, I think that could be something that pulls this national yield down a little bit more than current expectations.”
He told HAT there were some better-than-expected crops when he moved into North Dakota, but it turned poorer once he got past the 160-mile mark. Crops down into eastern Nebraska and western Iowa looked good.
Overall, the Zanker assessment of the August 12th crop report production estimates is that they are probably accurate.
“I didn’t see anything at this point that would really send up some flares as to say, hey this crop can be a lot better than I thought or a lot less than I thought, and I think pretty much the average trade estimates going into this crop report, again I didn’t see anything that would lead me to deviate much from that at this point.”
Zanker said discussions about which crop, corn or soybeans, has the better upside have revealed a clear winner.
“Whether it’s agronomists that we’ve talked to or other analysts, in general the court crop from Indiana through Iowa looks to have better potential, but I think there’s some near universal sentiment right now that this soybean crop is visually not all that impressive, and that’s in the good areas as well.”
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