Farm Reports

Weather · Politics · Trade

May Report 2018

Below are a couple of relevant articles for Farm Management during the month of May 2018.

Weather

Mother nature flipped a switch and Winter turned into Summer. We just finished the warmest May on record after an unseasonably cold April. Although this might be an issue for the folks that live in the Midwest, it has been a good thing for the crops. Even though by traditional standards planting was delayed, most crops were planted in late April or Early May which is still at a favorable time. Throw in warm May weather with some periodic rainfall and the crops are in great shape at this stage. If the hotter than normal temperatures continue throughout the summer we will need regular precipitation to keep the crops in excellent condition. We’ve still got a long way until the combines start rolling this fall.

With the delayed planting and extreme weather the market was on a bit of a rollercoaster in May. The good news is that we did see some of our best corn prices in 18 months which allowed us to make some sales for May or June payment. The market quickly slid back as the growing conditions improved rapidly. We are still nowhere near the record commodity prices of 5 years ago but it was nice to at least see some substantial upward market movement even if it was short lived.

Trade

The other main factor which is affecting the market is trade. President Trump continues to ruffle the feathers of adversarial and friendly nations throughout the world with talks and implementation of tariffs on several goods. On the surface, tariffs on items such as steel and aluminum shouldn’t affect the grain markets but everything is connected. The only retaliation for some of these countries is to impose tariffs on the major products that they import from the United States. For many of these countries this means corn and soybeans. In these cases the American farming community is who suffers. We’ll see how it all shakes out but past trade wars don’t have a great track record for helping rural America. We also have Congress working on a new farm bill so there are a lot of moving parts in the agricultural world right now. We will continue to try to keep up with all the changes that can affect your operations.

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