April Showers might bring Frozen Flowers?
Hello to all our customers and friends,
We’ve been getting moisture from snow, sleet, hail and rain. While “beggars can’t be choosers” it sure would be nice if the moisture could be shared with folks west of Stockton, KS. Members of the GSB staff venture out west for feedlot inspections and we do have customers out that way short on moisture. We get our hopes up for some normal spring temperatures and then we are plummeted back into the deepfreeze. There is a forecast for snow in the next couple of days and we are going to be very close to May 1. I’ve been told the worst wheat disaster locally due to a freeze was May 9th (which was on Mother’s Day but no one can tell me what year). The 6 to 7 inches of moisture we have had locally gives me hope that a more normal year may be emerging.
As for the markets the old crop corn is getting hard to find and when it is located the sale price does not reflect the posted board price very closely. Feedlots have to pay substantially more than the board to pry it loose from grain bins. Corn, since harvest, has lost over $1 per bushel on the board. Soybeans have seesawed back and forth and are about the same price today as they were in December. Wheat, on the other hand, has lost $1.50 / bu since December and with the freeze rumors of Texas and Oklahoma, one would think a market response would be inevitable, but nope. The cattle markets are still sick and the illness seems to be spreading. Fat cattle have been disastrous since the hedging opportunities of last December. Cattle feeders have been losing big. High feed costs and low cattle prices can add up to large negative numbers. The main reason for the terrible cattle prices is lack of demand. This is understandable as I personally do not like grilling a steak while standing in a snowdrift.
Fortunately the colder spring weather has kept our local wheat crop from maturing. I can speak firsthand that east of Topeka the reasons wheat is not grown there very much is becoming evident. I witnessed wheat last week that has mold or mildew or something that does not look good on the bottom 1.5 inches of the plants. The area is way too wet and very little corn has been planted. Should that be a major concern? I do know the last record corn harvest the U.S. had was four years ago. The economist, market analyst and folks supposedly in the know kept telling us at the Ag seminars corn production trend lines never are negative 2 years in a row then last year they said never in history has it been 3 years negative in a row. They said this because of all the genetic advances in seed and technology in general being used. My question is when did most of the corn get planted four years ago, because the negativity can come from many different reasons and conditions in agriculture. I would venture a late planting date is more important when we get an early frost and possible extreme high temps during pollination that occur later in the season. The list of risks goes on and on. Until next month. Myron