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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A.M. Grain Market Commentary for 2/27/2013

AM Comments 02/27/13

Wednesday, February 27, 2013, 8:39 am
Submitted by: Dustin Weiner

Good morning!

Our markets are higher this morning, led by the soybean futures.  Soybeans are gaining a little strength on rumors that China has bought an additional two cargoes of U.S. soybeans off the PNW.  Once again, with the tight balance sheet on U.S. soybeans – there isn’t much room for additional demand like this.  Brazilian ports are still congested, with wait times now up to around two months.  Chinese crush margins are large – meaning they may be able afford to pay for additional (higher priced) U.S. beans down the road. 

The outside markets are a little friendly this morning, with the $US failing to take out its recent highs – and it is now trading lower.  This is lending support to most commodities today.

Currently
Corn is 2 to 4 cents higher
Soybeans are 10 to 13 cents higher

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A.M. Grain Market Comeentary for 2/26/2013

AM Comments 02/26/13

Tuesday, February 26, 2013, 8:14 am
Submitted by: Dustin Weiner

Good morning!

Our markets are starting off mixed, with corn trading higher while soybeans are lower.  Corn strength is showing up in the nearby months, as spreads continue to strengthen – due to a strong domestic market as well as a lack of farmer selling. 

Soybeans have been smacked by a good sized amount of fund selling the last few days.  We haven’t heard much out of China this week - which has taken the luster off of nearby soybean values.  Domestic processor basis is still firm as crush margins are strong.  The lack of farmer selling in soybeans has the potential to strengthen the basis and spreads as we move forward.  However as every day goes by, more and more beans become available in South America for export, which will eventually weaken the U.S. export values, collapsing the inverse.

Currently
Corn is 2 to 4 cents higher
Soybeans are 3 to 6 cents lower

Monday, February 25, 2013

A.M. Grain Market Commentary for 2/25/2013

AM Comments 02/25/13

Monday, February 25, 2013, 7:41 am
Submitted by: Dustin Weiner

Good morning!

The trade overnight has been mixed with both corn and beans trading both sides of Friday’s close.  The outside markets are a positive influence so far today with the $US working lower while US stocks and the majority of commodities are higher.

Last week our markets ran into a brick wall of fund selling as the technical analysts were seeing sell signals in the charts. The overall trend in corn/beans/wheat is down and if that trend is going to reverse, it may need to be led by the cash markets and spreads (which were both quiet Friday and quiet so far this morning).

Fundamentally… old crop corn and soybean supplies are tight, now the big question out there revolves around South America and how quickly they can get their soybean crop to port to satisfy the world’s needs.  If Brazil’s shipping pace slows further, China has a couple of options.  They can either A) switch purchases to the U.S. or B) draw down their own reserve stocks of soybeans.  Both of those scenarios would be bullish soybeans. All eyes are on Brazil port operations and weather for now…

Currently
Corn is down 2 to 3 cents
Soybeans are down 1 to 2 cents

Sunday, February 24, 2013

FC Coop's Todd Claussen to Provide Regular Videos from the Field


FC's Todd Claussen will be
filming videos from the fields
to keep FC producers informed
of the most recent field
conditions.
In season, FC Director of Agronomy & Technical Services, Todd Claussen, will provide regular videos from the field. These videos will discuss and focus on key happenings across FC’s trade territory in “real time”. 

The goal is to provide expert, up to the minute information on what is happening in YOUR fields. This is in line with the overall goal of the FC Agronomy team to provide our farmer-customers profitable information, answers and solutions to make them money, save them time, and ease their pain. 

The videos will be loaded to FC's YouTube Channel and FC's website.

The agronomy team at FC is committed to helping you maximize your earning opportunity.  In addition to adding these videos to our website, we are currently working on some exciting additional tools. Look for many updates and improved features on our website in the coming weeks.  Please visit www.fccoop.com today


Friday, February 22, 2013

A.M. Grain Market Commentary for 2/22/2013

AM Comments 02/22/13

Friday, February 22, 2013, 7:56 am
Submitted by: Dustin Weiner

Good morning!

Our markets are higher this morning led by soybeans. The soybean market finally broke through the recent highs of near $15.00 (March futures) and triggered some buy stops that shot the market even higher.  Since then things have calmed down a bit but beans are still trading double digits higher.

Soybeans… the story in beans is fairly simple, the front end of the market is getting a big push thanks to China coming in and buying U.S. beans.  The rumors are that they have purchased around 9 cargoes off the PNW (Pacific Northwest) this week (this would show up on next week’s export sales report.  They bought these out of the PNW instead of the US gulf because of the shorter transit time to China – they need beans now and the Brazilian ports aren’t operating as fast as they’d like.  Brazilian port workers are expected to strike for a limited time both this morning and Tuesday afternoon.  Every extra boat China sends to the U.S. just squeezes our already tight carryout even more – hence the higher prices.

Corn… corn spreads are tightening (meaning corn in the front end is worth more than corn in the back end).  This means one of two things (or both): A) demand is starting to come back or B) farmer selling is so light that the only way to get them to sell is to discount them for holding.  If demand truly is coming back, it is most likely happening in the form of increased domestic (read: ethanol) crush.  With gas prices 60c higher than they were a month ago, this is possible.

Below this email are some different weather outlook maps from NOAA – forecasting some improvement in regards to drought conditions which if realized could be a little bearish to new crop prices…

Currently:
Corn is 2 to 3 cents higher
Soybeans are 10 to 15 cents higher

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A.M. Grain Market Commentary for 2/21/2013

2-21-13 AM Comments

Thursday, February 21, 2013, 8:10 am
Submitted by: Jon Setterdahl

Mainly 2 discussion points this morning….first is numbers from USDA Feb Outlook meeting in D.C.  Corn planted acreage projected at 96.5 Mln and resulting crop size a whopping 14.530 Bln bu. Obviously they are using a very good yield number to arrive at that production. Soybean acreage estimated at 77.5 Mln and resulting crop size of 3.405 Bln.  These sort of numbers would not be entirely unexpected from this outlook meeting…they always use pretty good yields (citing genetics, farming practices, etc) this early in the year. Never mind the current drought monitor maps. The full balance sheets will be out tomorrow.
Other issue is weather….parched areas in the west to get a lot of rain/snow with this current system, and also talk of another less potent precip event early next week. Maybe the weather pattern is shifting??

Outside market factors has crude oil down again this morning (when will gas prices follow?) and the US $ slightly higher.  Weekly export sales will be out tomorrow and weekly ethanol data should be out this morning. This will be looked at closely since some idled ethanol plants have come back on line recently.

Morning markets thus far are slightly lower in both corn and beans.

FC Morning Market Commentary for February 21, 2013

Mainly 2 discussion points this morning….first is numbers from USDA Feb Outlook meeting in D.C.  Corn planted acreage projected at 96.5 Mln and resulting crop size a whopping 14.530 Bln bu. 

Obviously they are using a very good yield number to arrive at that production. 

Soybean acreage estimated at 77.5 Mln and resulting crop size of 3.405 Bln.  

These sort of numbers would not be entirely unexpected from this outlook meeting…they always use pretty good yields (citing genetics, farming practices, etc) this early in the year. Never mind the current drought monitor maps. The full balance sheets will be out tomorrow.

Other issue is weather….parched areas in the west to get a lot of rain/snow with this current system, and also talk of another less potent precip event early next week. Maybe the weather pattern is shifting??

Outside market factors has crude oil down again this morning (when will gas prices follow?) and the US $ slightly higher.  Weekly export sales will be out tomorrow and weekly ethanol data should be out this morning. This will be looked at closely since some idled ethanol plants have come back on line recently.

Morning markets thus far are slightly lower in both corn and beans.

Jon Setterdahl
Farmers Cooperative Company
Ames, Iowa, USA

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Cornell Chronicle: CALS receives $7M for corn study

Cornell Chronicle: CALS receives $7M for corn study

Cornell nets $7 million NSF grant for corn study


Hoping to gain a better understanding of the world's largest staple crop, the National Science Foundation has awarded a five-year, $7 million grant to Michael J. Scanlon, Cornell professor of plant biology.

Scanlon leads a team of nine researchers who study the maize shoot apical meristem (SAM) -- a pool of plant stem cells responsible for forming essentially all of the above-ground parts of the corn plant.

maize
Michael Scanlon
Close-up of the maize shoot apical meristem, a pool of plant stem cells being studied by plant biologist Michael Scanlon as part of a $7 million grant.
"The meristem we study has a characteristic shape and a lot of diversity," Scanlon said. "This is the part of the plant that contains the stem cells that will give rise to every and all organs in the plant. We're interested in learning how those differences are controlled genetically."

In addition to being one of the world's most important staple crops, maize is also one of the most genetically diverse. Hunter-gatherers in what is now Mexico began breeding corn's ancestor, the weed teosinte, 10,000 years ago. Now, largely thanks to human-directed plant breeding, maize is so genetically diverse that any two races can vary by 2-3 percent -- as genetically different as a human and a chimpanzee.

"One of the main goals of the project is to understand the genetic and epigenetic networks contributing to this remarkable diversity," Scanlon said.
The group also hopes to understand how meristem structure and function influence adult maize plants, which has implications for agriculture and biofuels.

"In terms of application, if you want to modify growth -- leaf length, leaf growth, flowering time -- all of that comes from the meristem. If you want to modify the portion of the plant that goes toward flowers, to grow food, as opposed to carbohydrates, which are used for biofuels, you need to understand what's happening genetically within the meristem," Scanlon said.

Another primary goal of the project is to understand how young meristems are affected by the shading typical in closely planted corn fields.

Scanlon will lead a team of plant geneticists who have been collaborating for more than 10 years, along with several new investigators. The team includes nine scientists from: Cornell, Iowa State University, University of Minnesota, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, University of Georgia and Truman State University.

Krisy Gashler is a freelance writer for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

A.M. Grain Market Commentary for 2/20/2013

AM Comments 02/20/13

Wednesday, February 20, 2013, 7:45 am
Submitted by: Dustin Weiner

Good morning!

After soybeans rallied 45 cents yesterday – the markets continued to push higher overnight as soybeans are currently up double digits once again.  The story?  If you recall - the Chinese were on holiday all of last week (Lunar New Year).  Well, when the markets opened back up Tuesday the Chinese were ready and waiting.  Currently China has great crush margins on soybeans – their problem is they can’t get em as fast as they want.  There is currently a 35-45 day wait for vessels to get loaded in Brazil.  So because of these strong margins they are willing to come in a pay a little more for beans and buy from the United States.  THIS is what caused our rally yesterday.  THIS is why people are bullish beans because the balance sheet here in the U.S. shows that we don’t have extra beans to spare and China is hungry.

Corn on the other hand has been a dog.  It couldn’t close higher yesterday even with beans acting so strong.  So far today it is just a shade higher.  The story on corn is that exports are SO poor that traders are having a hard time finding reasons to move prices higher.  Rallies are quickly sold.  The bulls would like to make the argument that domestic demand is improving and actually strong.  The problem is that we can’t really see domestic demand until we get another stocks report which is due out March 28th. 

FYI March 28th is huge.  We get our quarterly stocks report (a measure-up of bushels throughout the country) AND our Prospective Plantings report (acres).  Put it in your calendar – set a reminder up in your phone.  11am.  It should be interesting.

Currently:
Corn is steady to 2c higher
Soybeans are 14 to 18 cents higher

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A.M. Grain Market Commentary for 2/19/2013

2-19-13 AM Comments

Tuesday, February 19, 2013, 8:05 am
Submitted by: Jon Setterdahl

Markets back trading today following the 3-day weekend. South American precip over the weekend was scattered in Argentina, providing soybeans a reason to be higher this morning.  Private crop estimates edging higher for Brazilian soybeans and Argentine corn.
Other news is fairly light. Ag Outlook Forum taking place in D.C. this week, with ’13-’14 crop balance sheets expected to be released sometime late week. India announced the intention to sell 5.0 MMT of feed wheat from gov’t reserve stocks in the next few months.
US Midwest preparing for mid-week storm to provide much-needed moisture to western corn and wheat growing areas.
Thus far corn is steady and soybeans are up 10-20 cents

Monday, February 18, 2013

FC Cooperative Grower Customers Win Dekalb Asgrow Seed Award

Grower Customers Kurt Oathout, Rhonda Oathout and Mike Bravard,
received special recognition from Dekalb/Asgrow Seed Company,
for their soybean production. Also in the photo are their FC
Cooperative FSA's, Brian Berns and David Hoskins.
On February 2, 2013, Dekalb/Asgrow Seed Company held an awards ceremony to honor the 2012 winners in the Western Iowa Yield Chasers Contest.  

FC Cooperative FSA's Brian Berns and David Hoskins were in attendance at the ceremony to watch two of their grower customers bring home some very impressive winnings in the soybean category for the Southwest Iowa team.   

The contest for the Southwest team covers 21 counties in southwest Iowa and requires the grower to do a yield check on a contiguous 1.25 acres or more.  Mike Bravard from Jefferson, Iowa, received second place in the 2.6 to 3.1 maturity group with a yield of 79.31 Bu/A using Asgrow 2931.   

Kurt and Rhonda Oathout from Jefferson, Iowa received first place in the 2.5 and earlier maturity group with a yield of 74.54 Bu/A using Asgrow 2531.   Kurt and Rhonda also received first place in the 2.6 to 3.1 maturity group with an outstanding yield of 89.77 Bu/A using Asgrow 2931, an award they have now won in back to back years.   

Kurt and Rhonda's 89.77 Bu/A yield has earned them a trip to the Commodity Classic in Kissimmee, Florida, the last week of February where they will find out if they are a National winner in the contest.  Both growers are very dedicated in their operations to do the things necessary to raise these exceptional yields. They also follow Brian and David's scouting and agronomic advice to help them reach these winning levels.  

Kurt is quick to include his wife Rhonda in the winnings as she is responsible for planting all of the operations beans while Kurt is planting the corn.  

It is very exciting as an agronomist to see a customer be nationally recognized for their yields and we look forward to seeing how Kurt and Rhonda place at the national level.   

Stay tuned!!

National FFA Week

National FFA Week is
Feb 16-23, 2013
FFA Week gives members a chance to educate the public about agriculture. During the week, chapters host teacher appreciation breakfasts, conduct "Ag Olympics" competitions, speak to the public about agriculture, volunteer for community service projects and more.
The week of George Washington’s birthday was designated as National FFA Week in 1947 at a National FFA Board of Directors meeting. FFA Week always runs from Saturday to Saturday, and encompasses February 22, Washington’s birthday.
Did you know: There are 557,318 FFA members in grades seven through 12 who belong to one of 7,498 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands?

FC proudly sponsors and supports many FFA activities. Here is an overview of just some of the FFA programs FC supported in 2012.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Prepare for summer drought now Iowa, experts advise

Prepare for summer drought now Iowa, experts advise | Local News - KCCI Home


DES MOINES, Iowa —State officials said Thursday that they are putting out the warning now for Iowans to prepare for another summer of drought ahead.

Read more: http://www.kcci.com/news/central-iowa/Prepare-for-summer-drought-now-Iowa-experts-advise/-/9357080/18554762/-/n51lonz/-/index.html#ixzz2L032mUxm

Despite the rain and snow we've received this winter, things haven't improved much, officials said.
Officials with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources said northwestern Iowa is the driest and will suffer the most as the drought continues. But even if it ends, there will likely be water shortages in areas all over the state.

Officials said water conservation is the key.

"All of us need to learn to live more lightly and not waste," said Cathleen Bascon of the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Des Moines.

The church turned its parking lot into a rain garden. Originally the plan was to deal with flooding, but there have been other benefits.

"The water filters in, down and is retained and shot over to the gardens," said Bascom.

The rain garden proved extremely useful even in a year without much rain. "We retain it and use it for the water to water the plants," said Bascom.

Experts at the Statehouse Thursday discussed the drought outlook for 2013.

A.M. Grain Market Commentary for 2/15/2013

AM Comments 02/15/13

Friday, February 15, 2013, 8:18 am
Submitted by: Dustin Weiner

Good morning!

Our markets are higher this morning – picking up some strength from news/rumors regarding U.S. exports of wheat being booked.  Corn closed lower yesterday – the 10th day in a row corn has had a lower close.  You have to go back to 1965 to find a stretch that long.  Is today the day we break the streak?  So far it appears so…  Soybeans were up a dime overnight but have slipped back due to a report from the USDA showing that 250k MT of soybean sales were cancelled by “unknown”.  This could cause soybeans to trade both side of yesterday’s close today.

In political news, there was a Senate bill introduced yesterday to block E15:

Sens. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and David Vitter (R-La.) introduced legislation on Thursday that would prevent EPA from
approving ethanol blends higher than 10%, specifically targeting E15 (15% ethanol). "The higher blend of ethanol has
been found to cause engine damage, reduce fuel efficiency and contribute to higher corn prices and rising food costs for
American consumers," the senators said in a statement. S. 344 would prohibit EPA from granting any waivers for ethanol
blends above 10% and would also repeal previous waivers.

In U.S. weather news a strong weather system looks to develop over the Plains late next week – bringing some (much needed) widespread heavy precip to much of the Midwest. (map below)

Currently:
Corn is 4 to 6 cents higher
Soybeans are 3 to 5 cents higher

 
7 Day Moisture Outlook:

Thursday, February 14, 2013

USDA sees one more boom year for U.S. farmers

USDA sees one more boom year for U.S. farmers - Dealer Update Articles - Ag Professional:

'via Blog this'

The 7-year-old U.S. agricultural boom, driven by record-high commodity prices and painfully tight supplies, is expected to peak this year and then come to an abrupt end as high costs start to bite, the government projected on Monday.
The U.S. Agriculture Department said farm income would soar to a record $127.6 billion this year, up 15 percent, thanks to high market prices and crop insurance payments that will offset losses from the worst drought in more than half a century.
Farm income would fall by one-third next year, to $96.9 billion, said USDA, because corn, wheat and soybeans — the three most widely grown crops - will fetch dramatically lower prices with bumper crops expected this fall.
The abrupt contraction in farm income could prompt operators to slow purchases of equipment such as trucks, tractors and combines, structures such as grain bins, or crop land. Land prices soared along with grain prices since 2006.
High production costs, up 12 percent in two years, will compound the effect of lower earnings for crop farmers. But lower prices for grains and oilseeds will be a welcome relief for livestock producers who have complained of ruinously high prices for feed for cattle, hogs and poultry.
"While income declines from the 2013 record through 2015, it remains well above the average of the previous decade," said USDA in a battery of projections for farm output, income and exports this year.
The projections were based on conditions at the end of 2012 and will be updated at USDA's annual Outlook Forum at the end of the month.
Swollen Farm Exports
U.S. farm exports are projected at a record $145 billion this fiscal year, which ends on Sept 30, up $10 billion from the previous year. USDA said the record "largely reflects high commodity prices."
Agricultural exports would drop by $3 billion in fiscal 2014, it said, and by an additional $5 billion in fiscal 2015.
Assuming yields return to normal this year, farmers will harvest a record 14.4 billion bushels of corn, up 34 percent from last year; the second-largest soybean crop on record at 3.335 billion bushels; and a medium-sized wheat crop of 2.19 billion bushels, said USDA.
Market prices would plunge this fall as a result, said USDA. It projected corn would sell for an average $5.40 a bushel at the farm-gate, down nearly $2 from the record-high season-average price forecast for this year.
Soybean prices would be nearly $3 below the record $14.30 a bushel expected this year. Wheat would be down by 70 cents from the record $7.90 a bushel forecast for this marketing year.

"Nonetheless, U.S. prices for corn, wheat, and soybeans are projected to remain historically high, above pre-2007 levels," USDA said.
Growers were projected to plant 254 million acres - second only to the record set in 2012 - of the eight major U.S. crops, wheat, rice, corn, sorghum, barley, oats, soybeans and upland cotton this year, said USDA.
Persistent Drought Brings Fear For Crop Size
With drought persisting in the U.S. Plains and western Corn Belt, there was high concern about likely yields. The winter wheat crop, grown mostly in the Plains, was most at risk from drought. USDA projected lower yields for wheat and a smaller crop this year than in 2012 despite larger wheat area.
USDA devoted three pages, out of the 105 pages in its annual projections, to explaining the methodology behind its projections of yields. Its corn formula looked at 25 years of crops, including the 1988 and 2012 droughts.
USDA's projected corn yield was higher than other forecasts. A Kansas State University economist, Dan O'Brien, used 157.4 bushels an acre as the likely yield in a forecast last month. David Anderson, agricultural economist at Texas A&M, has used 150 bushels an acre as a reasonable yield that would produce a record crop.
Many analysts believe growers will plant 97 million to 99 million acres of corn, compared to the 96 million acres projected by USDA.
U.S. corn and soybean production has fallen for three years in a row. Traders have focused on bare-bones corn supplies and the need to rebuild stockpiles.
Experts say weather in late summer, when the corn and soybean crops mature, is the greatest determinant of crop size, despite the anxiety about planting crops in a dry seedbed.

A.M. Grain Market Commentary for 2/14/2013

AM Comments 02/14/13

Thursday, February 14, 2013, 7:58 am
Submitted by: Dustin Weiner


Good morning!

Our markets were steady overnight on light volume.  But when the USDA’s weekly export sales report came out at 7:30 the bean market quickly dropped to over a dime lower.  The sales report (reflecting business done last week) had enough cancellations to show a net negative sales number for old crop.  This is obviously bearish to the market and could help explain why the bean market has been so weak lately. 

Corn and wheat sales were fairly decent – which is keeping those markets trading near yesterday’s close.  The outside markets could also end up as a bearish input today as the $US is screaming higher.

Currently
Corn is steady to down 2 cents
Soybeans are down 10 to 12 cents

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A.M. Grain Market Commentary for 2/13/13

AM Comments 02/13/13

Wednesday, February 13, 2013, 8:15 am
Submitted by: Dustin Weiner

Good morning!

Our markets are starting off down and dirty once again.  You know you have hit a rough patch when the only positive news you can find is that corn has closed lower 8 days in a row and soybean have closed lower 5 days in a row meaning we are due for a correction/bounce (it can’t keep doing down, right?... right??).  So far this morning it looks like we are shooting for days 9 & 6 respectively. 

I think it is fairly safe to say the whole “Argentina weather scare” deal can be put to bed.  Another round of forecasts came out last night reflecting improved (wetter) conditions for Argentina and  Southern Brazil while Northern Brazil looks like it could get a break from a recent rainy spell – allowing soybean harvest to progress.

If you are trying to look at the charts to figure out where this downfall could stop…  Nearby March soybean futures should have support around the $13.50 mark while corn….  well…  Call it $6.78 on the March board as a support level.  Not sure we can push these market that low, that quick – but with the recent downturn in price action – the charts are damaged and people are selling.

Currently
Corn is down 4 to 5 cents
Soybeans are down 7 to 10 cents