Mark's Market Talk

Aug 22, 2022

The weather forecast for the remainder of August turned cooler and wetter last week and that was enough to send the grain markets lower as we near the end of the growing season. We also saw more grain leaving Ukraine thru the black sea, and crude oil was lower for the week. This also contributed to a lower trade. December corn ended the week down 19 cents while November beans were 50 cents lower. Currently it appears there is good support at these levels and perhaps both commodities will continue to trade in a small range until we start to see some actual yield data. The Pro Farmer crop tour will take place this week and it will command a lot of attention as the grain traders use this tour as a boots on the ground report. Pro Farmer earns some respect as they survey the same areas year after year and offer the differences they find which can be used for comparison purposes. This is important every year, but this year it seems more important than normal as rain events have been so variable across the country. This is true in our trade area as we have seen spotty rains all summer. Some areas have been fortunate to catch an occasional shower, while other areas have missed most of the rain all summer. The small showers we have received the past 2 weeks will sure help the beans, but has it been enough. We have been traveling in Wyoming and Montana and as a farmer I have been doing field checks from the road. The crops across Nebraska that were under irrigation looked good as always except for a 60 mile stretch around Grand Island were a June hail and windstorm had destroyed a lot of crop and it had been replanted. Several pivots had been blown over and some of them looked to be beyond repair. I read a comment from a Kansas farmer who said he thought his cost of diesel per circle pivot was about 25,000 this year. Plus, he had to pay for every acre foot of water he used. I’m not sure he can harvest enough corn to pay this and his other input costs. As we went west it was evident the dryland crops will not amount to much. You see areas of row crop farming thru Wyoming up into Montana. Again, the irrigated crops look good while the dryland crops have struggled this year. You would think the high cost of inputs will have some of these farmers reconsidering their cropping practices in the coming years. Seeing these conditions reenforces the fact that water is still the most important nutrient for a crop to succeed.