Corn: For the week, December corn futures have traded sideways within a $0.08 price range. Farmer selling is reportedly slow this week and is partially evidenced by the increase in local basis. Corn harvest is continuing to progress at a steady pace. As of November 12, 83% of the national corn crop was harvested. In Tennessee, the USDA reported that 99% of all corn has been harvested. The second crop in Brazil is expected to be about 20% lower than last year. This is bullish news for U.S. corn prices. The local cash basis for corn equaled -$0.08 as of market close today.
Soybeans: For the week, January soybean futures increased by $0.03. As of this week, 93% of the national soybean crop was harvested. In Tennessee, the USDA reported that only 74% of the soybean crop has been cut. The rainy weather has kept many producers out of the field and some producers are focused on ensuring their cotton gets picked. In foreign markets, there is concern regarding the South American soybean crop due to dry planting conditions. The current estimate of the Brazilian state of Matto Grasso production is 1.12 billion bushels with 73% of the crop having already been planted. The local cash basis equaled -$0.18 as of market close today.
Wheat: For the week, July wheat futures decreased by $0.05. The slight increase in wheat prices can be attributed to a weaker U.S. dollar and spillover from the other grains. As of this week, 95% of the national winter wheat has been planted. The current condition of the winter wheat crops is 54% of the crop is rated good-to-excellent. The local basis for new crop wheat equaled -$0.09 as of market close today.
Cotton: December cotton futures closed at 69.78. Cotton equities are approximately $0.15. Only 64% of the national cotton crop has been harvested. As of Sunday, the USDA reported that 74% of the cotton crop has been harvested in Tennessee. Texas is currently only at 55% harvested. This time last year, in Tennessee, we had already harvested 92% of the cotton crop.
Take Home Message: Private companies are beginning to release planting estimates for 2018. Today, Informa Economics released their projections that corn acres will be up slightly and soybean acres will be down. The fact that we planted the largest soybean crop on record in 2017 gives way to think that corn acres would be up in 2018. When one crop has a huge gain in acreage, we tend to see it relinquish acreage in the following year. That being said, producers should look at the price response to this type of news when making planting decisions for 2018.
If you need any assistance with developing a farm plan for 2018, be sure to contact your local UT Extension office and ask about the Farm Manage program and how it can help you in your farming operation.