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Reports could move range for grain prices

Reports could move range for grain prices

Corn and soybean fields with money

Everybody is waiting until June 30. That’s the day the USDA releases its first acreage report of the season. It’s also the date of the next stocks report.

Farmers and analysts rightly put those acreage numbers under a magnifying glass every year, but this year the stocks report is also important because the long bull market has been driven by strong demand and tight stocks, according to Don Roose, president of U.S. Commodities in West Des Moines.

“This continues to be a weather market,” Roose adds, explaining that the market is trying to figure out the value of grain at a time when the weather is important and supplies are tight.

Prices dropped last week as traders saw a forecast that included rain, but as the crop gets close to pollination the forecast will be further scrutinized. Roose says the June 30 report coupled with forecasts for early July will make the next couple weeks interesting.

So far corn and bean prices have remained in a range. That is likely to continue until the report and pollination are in the past. The range for corn recently has been between about $5 and $6.25. The range for soybeans has been from roughly $12.50 to $13.50. The next few weeks may determine whether prices remain in those ranges or shoot either higher or lower.

For farmers, that makes this a challenging time. Many are concerned about the crop conditions on their own farms and are watching the weather forecast. Some may not feel comfortable marketing more grain until they have an idea how their own crop looks. For others, this might be a time to lock in some sales.

Either way, this is a challenging time. Traders and farmers are trying to deal with difficult weather and questions about the future direction of grain prices.

“There are a number of things happening,” Roose says.

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Gene Lucht is public affairs editor for Iowa Farmer Today, Missouri Farmer Today and Illinois Farmer Today.

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