Corn: September corn futures have traded $0.08 lower so far this week. The decline in corn futures can be attributed to a lack of a weather scare for the Midwest. Key growing states like Iowa and Illinois continue to receive extended weather forecasts with normal temperatures and normal precipitation. The USDA released the latest crop progress report on Monday. This report indicated that 97% of the corn crop is silking while 61% of the crop has reached the dough stage. The USDA rated 62% of the corn crop as being good-to-excellent, which is a 2% increase from last week’s report. New crop basis for corn averaged -$0.13 in West Tennessee as of today’s market close.
Soybeans: November soybean futures have declined by $0.05 so far this week. Soybean prices continue to lower due to a lack of a weather concern in the Midwest. Soybean demand continues to remain strong. Export sales released today totaled 49.7 million bushels with China being the main buyer. The USDA released the latest crop progress report on Monday. This report indicated that 94% of the soybean crop is blooming with 79% of the crop already setting pods. The USDA rated 59% of the soybean crop as being good-to-excellent, which is a 1% decrease from last week’s report. New crop basis for soybean averaged -$0.13 in West Tennessee as of today’s market close. River elevators are all paying a positive basis on new crop soybeans while all inland elevator are paying a negative basis. The average basis for inland elevators averaged -$0.30 for new crop soybeans. The average basis for river facilities averaged $0.11 for new crop soybeans. Farmers will need to evaluate their own cost of transportation when evaluating between destinations for their grain.
Wheat: July wheat futures have declined by $0.19 so far this week. The global supply of wheat is still high in comparison to past years. That continues to be a burden for wheat futures. Rain forecasts in the central and southern plains appear to be adequate for the time being. Wheat exports are on track to hit USDA’s forecasts for 2017. The average basis for next year’s wheat crop averaged -$0.13 as of today’s market close.
Cotton: December cotton futures closed today at 66.91. Cotton futures continue their decline since the release of last week’s WASDE report. The continuing expectation of a large cotton crop is keeping futures from climbing higher. The Texas crop is currently being harvested with reportedly very good yields so far. The large question for the Texas cotton crop is how much acreage will be abandoned. Current estimates range widely with most expecting 15% to 20% of the crop being abandoned. Globally, there are some production concerns in Pakistan and India due to spotty rainfall. Cotton equities for Tennessee farmers are currently $0.12.
Take Home Message: Higher prices look to have a long road ahead of them. Unless storage is an option, producers will have limited options for pricing with harvest right around the corner. There are grain contracts that enable producers to delay pricing. However, these contracts typically come at a cost. Farmers will need to be mindful of their productions costs, transportation expenses, and any merchandising fees when making these type of decisions.