Morning Commentary

Dec corn down 2 at $3.8475

Nov beans up 3 at $9.2325

The DOW is up

USD is weaker

Crude oil down $.01 at $56.65

Good morning,

Corn  prices remain in a fairly narrow trading range. The DEC19 contract has basically traded between $3.80 and $4.00 per bushel the entire month of October. Bulls are hoping the USDA will adjust its U.S. production estimate lower in their November Supply & Demand report scheduled for Friday, November 8th, not this coming Friday but next Friday. Don’t forget, the USDA will be updating their weekly crop-condition and harvest progress numbers today after the close. Most inside the trade are thinking the U.S. harvest jumped from 30% complete last week to something more like 45% to 48% this week.

Soybean  traders will continue to debate U.S. harvest weather, total production estimates, South American growing conditions, and overall Chinese demand. Prices slid a bit last week, giving back double-digit losses in the front-end of the trade. This week we have first-notice-day coming up in the NOV19 contract which could cause a bit of nearby downside pressure as the bulls “roll” or move to the sideline. The USDA will be providing updated weekly crop progress numbers after the close this afternoon. Most are looking for the U.S. harvest to now be 62% to 66% complete vs. what would normally be 75% to 80% harvested by this date. Brazil is thought to have 50% to 60% of their crop now planted.

USDA reported cattle and calves on feed as of October 1, 2019, totaled 11.3 million, down -1% from year-ago levels. Placements during September totaled 2.09 million, +2% above 2018. Marketings of fed cattle during September rose +1% during September to 1.74 million.

USDA’s Risk Management Agency Director says farmers facing a late harvest because of weather should contact their crop insurance agent.  Martin Barbre tells Brownfield producers should file a notice of loss and request extra time from their agents if they can’t harvest before the crop insurance deadline. “They’re really just looking for a notice. Just let your agent know, hey, I’m still trying to harvest. I need more time. The agent will take it from there. They will file a notice of loss with the company. The company will give or grant that extension and under most cases, companies are very willing to do that. Obviously, it’s better for them, too.” Barbre says the crop insurance companies will look at extension requests on a case-by-case basis. “By county and by company, they will approve, say, an extension of two weeks or three weeks, or whatever for that producer, maybe a month for that producer to get that crop harvested and then anything that would be an insurable cause of loss that happens during that period is still covered.” Barbre says the Midwest has been heavily affected by wetness and even some early snow, but he says producers nationwide can ask agents for more time to harvest before the end of the insurance period. The end of the insurance period for crops including spring-planted wheat and barley is October 31st and December 10th for corn and soybeans. (Source: Brownfield Ag News)

Financial conditions in agriculture have been deteriorating recently, with commodity prices and farm income remaining low and debt levels rising — and all of it exacerbated by Trump’s trade war. But despite worsening conditions in recent years, the farm economy appears to be relatively stable compared to historical averages, according to a report from the Economic Research Service. For example, net farm income has dropped by about 50 percent over the last five years — but the decline came after sector income reached record highs around 2013, so even after the steep drop it’s still close to the average since 1970. Farm debt, meanwhile, has reached the highest levels since the 1980s farm crisis. But the value of agricultural assets (namely farmland) has appreciated even more rapidly, so the industry’s “debt-to-asset ratio” — a key indicator of financial stability — remains low compared to the long-run average. The findings, which account for data through 2017 and some estimates for 2018, back up a common assessment from many ag economists: Current farm conditions are difficult, and worsening, but still not as bad as the crisis of the 1980s when thousands of producers were driven into bankruptcy. Still, ERS notes that agriculture is “in a less prosperous and potentially vulnerable period,” and “extreme financial stress” is already more prevalent for specific operations like poultry, dairy and hog farms. (Source: Politico)


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