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Grain Marketing Update

Planted corn acres are behind last year’s pace but not behind the 5 year average.

Grain prices are acting like we would expect them to as planting gets under way. We now may be waiting for weather scares to secure any additional price protection.

Our USDA Crops Progress report came out April 22nd. Most farmers and traders start to pay more attention to these reports as planting progresses and as the growing crop eventually begins to mature. First we are extremely interested in how many acres get planted and when they get planted. Then it is more about watching crop conditions as the acres grow and mature. All of this is about “How many bushels will the U.S. food machine harvest?”

For the states that typically grow 92% of the U.S. corn crop; 26% of the corn acres have been planted so far this year compare to five-year average of 16%. Of course, what I see and hear in the press refers to how far behind planting progress is when compared to last year. I believe I recall the 2012 planting season to have been extremely early?

Of the bigger corn production states – Illinois, Indiana, Missouri are well above ½ planted. Incidentally, these planted acres are well ahead of the averages. Iowa is the biggest corn state and because of recent wet events has only 8% planted acres compared to their five year average of 14%. Just as a note of interest – how long ago were we concerned with a Mississippi river that had no water in it?

Pennsylvania reports 14% planted corn acres compared to our five year average of 8% for this date.

This USDA Crops Progress report also tells of wheat conditions. No big news here. 2013 crop conditions are similar to last year and may have shown some slight improvements from the previous weekly report.

A farmer called here this past Monday. I love it when the conversation begins with – “You’re the expert  .  .  .  . what should I do?” We know each other well and have had similar talks more than a few times. I am comfortable sharing what I think could be done – if – we all realize I have no acres at risk. My thoughts were to be slowly planting corn and soybeans (when we had ground that was fit) if for no other reason that possibly capturing some early September prices. My risk-averse nature prevents me from getting too aggressive with the planter this early, but limbering up our machines early helps us be certain they are in prime condition to seriously roll when the time is right to plant.

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We are a family farm in Ontario showing you what we do on our farm to produce eggs and what goes on day to day. Every day we do chores, gather eggs and make feed. On our farm we plant the crops and harvest them to feed the chickens, also we start our laying hens from day old chicks and raise them to be the best birds they can be to give you a grade A quality egg. After we are finished looking after our chickens, anything could happen from washing, waxing, fixing, welding, working on engines, working on classic cars, and more. I hope everyone enjoys cheers.