Morning Commentary

May corn down 5 ½ at $3.6025

May beans down 5 ¾ at $8.43

The DOW is down

USD is weaker

Crude oil down $2.73 at $29.00

Good morning,

Corn traders are closely watching as the world reacts to the fallout associated with corona and crude oil. Bears worry that U.S. logistics and spillover complications with truck, rail and barge freight may be the next domino to tumble? If the movement of corn and the labor of those committed to making it happen comes in harm’s way with the virus the current trade demand estimates will be more heavily questioned and an already burdensome balance sheet could become even more burdensome. Upcoming U.S. weather and Chinese demand remain a “wild-card” but at the moment continue to take a backseat to the larger and more dire macro headlines. Technically, we trimmed another -10 cents off the price of corn last week. The short term trend for May corn is bearish. The market is poised for a drop to 360, which we achieved in the last 45 minutes.  A close over 378.5 is the minimum needed to improve the outlook.

Soybean bulls are desperately trying to keep the market from another round of fresh contract lows. Similar to corn, however, there seems to be no cure or vaccine for the psychological setback impacting the bulls. The massive “risk-off” mentality could act as a headwind for many more days or even weeks. South American exports should suffice for the time being as the record production in Brazil should satisfy most nearby demand. There’s some talk that Argentine production is ticking back a bit and U.S. acres might currently be a little overstated. Still, these bullish worries pale in comparison to the current fear and uncertainty being debated by the bears. The trend for May beans is bearish. A close under 844.75 will fuel a fresh leg down. A close over 872 is the minimum needed to improve the outlook.

Agricultural producers who have not yet completed their 2019 crop year elections for and enrollment in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs must schedule an appointment to do so with their local USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) by Monday, March 16. Producers who do not contact FSA for an appointment by close of business local time on Monday, March 16 will not be enrolled in ARC or PLC for the 2019 crop year and will be ineligible to receive a payment should one trigger for an eligible crop.

Senators John Thune (R-S.D.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), ranking member of the Agriculture Committee, last week introduced legislation that would eliminate a requirement in the federal crop insurance program discouraging farmers from planting cover crops. Currently, farmers can’t harvest or graze cover crops for hay or silage on so-called prevented plant acres — or land they failed to plant with traditional cash crops due to extreme weather conditions — before Nov. 1. The legislation would remove that restriction, which the senators said will benefit farmers with shorter growing seasons in northern states, as well as direct USDA to study the extent to which cover crops reduce the risk of crop losses from natural disasters. Last year, following severe flooding throughout the Mississippi River Basin, farmers were prevented from planting a record nearly 20 million acres. It prompted USDA to move up the Nov. 1 cover crop deadline by two months so farmers could have forage available for livestock. Cover crops also make farmers more resilient to climate change because it helps control soil erosion and store more carbon in the ground, Stabenow said in a statement. (Source: Politico)


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