Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Spring Planting Notes

I have been reading some various accounts for spring planting estimates. Here is a round up:

From Iowa Farm News - "Demand for corn is expected to cause a major shift of acres across the Corn Belt. Early estimates vary from 8 million to a 12 million acre shift further pressuring producers to decide between planting corn and soybeans in Iowa.While corn prices have doubled in the past year, soybean prices have increased by $2 per bushel further complicating producers’ decisions. Key crop inputs, such as planting preferable corn hybrids may make the decision to switch to more corn even tougher."

The Prairie Star - "Snow may cover much of the Midwest soil but farmers are gearing up for the 2007 growing season, well aware of strong market prices and the expectations of them to produce a bountiful crop.It's easy to understand if farmers are a bit antsy to get into the fields this spring.Grain prices resisted the typical harvest dip and have continued to increase since last summer.
Farmers ordered seed early, hoping to get the advanced varieties before supplies dwindle. With a need to feed hungry ethanol plants, more acres, especially of corn, are expected to be planted."

Peoria Journal Star - "So how many beans - or for that matter, wheat and cotton - acres will move to corn and can corn's now-tall fall prices remain tall after March 30 reveals the swap?
There are at least three answers to that dollar-dripping question.
First, I have no idea.
Second, neither do farmers. Anecdotal evidence, courtesy of Web sites like Farm Journal's, shows farmers all over the nation all over the map on planting intentions. Moreover, poor planting weather, post-report price movement and a not-yet tallied winter wheat kill will affect the actual acreages long after March 30.
Third, despite today's impossible-to-predict variables, other USDA data suggests the corn market could absorb a substantial acreage increase and not stumble. The key is usage."

Farm and Ranch Guide - "Futures closed sharply higher for the week of Feb. 23, seeing gains of more than 20 cents in some cases. Speculative buying and the resulting technical strength pushed prices not only to 10-year highs for old crop production, but also to all time highs for December corn contracts. These moves continue to impress even the most seasoned traders, but there are still no signs that the end is in sight. This strength has been building through February, not the typical time that we attempt to buy acres. For this reason, we suspect prices will only intensify as we move into March."

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