Good night for a moon view, sort of


Some things are more important than sleeping, even for an old dog. This old dog was mostly lying, but not sleeping Monday night for the occasion of the blood moon. It was a good morning for a 30-foot commute instead of the 62 miles each way I used to have. Besides, my home office is now 125 miles away.

I take a lot of abuse about trading grain in my u-trou, but that mostly doesn’t happen. Mostly. I live the modern life of the telecommuter. Being old, I have trouble adjusting mentally to this. Having my office in my home in my generation meant that I really was working on a shoestring, and couldn’t afford a real office.

Today this is everybody’s dream. Hook up to the Web, put in a few phone lines and a couple of computer screens, hook your spurs in the belly band and hang on!

Actually, with scanning instead of faxing and a free Google phone that forwards to my desk phone and my cell phone, I now operate with only one land line. Technology is very good to me, except for the days it doesn’t work.

The technology sort of worked for the blood moon watch. We took a short ride in the car at 1 a.m., just around the circle drive to prove that even if the moon was overhead of the house, we would never see it in the overcast.

In fact, a few minutes after we were back in the house it started to rain. So, we resorted to the livefeed from the Griffith Observatory on ABC broadcast to my Samsung Galaxie Note 3. That worked pretty well until I got the notice at 4 a.m. that I had used up my data plan on my Verizon Homefusion Broadband wireless Internet for the month.

Maybe people who livestream video need to have the unlimited plan. Who knew?

Digesting news

So, I am at work now, trying to be alert enough to digest the grain news of the day and week.

A short nap sitting in my chair is in my future this afternoon. It remains to be seen if higher prices are in the future. The exciting news of the last two weeks is that government reports spurred a reaction in Chicago that helped prices.

The bad news is that the highs came and went, and we are hanging on, but at a lower level. Corn seems to be in a seasonal sideways patter after the excitement.

The soybeans have been supported by commercial buying. That is a little bit of a surprise, since this is normally a time of seasonally lower prices caused by the South American harvest.

Wheat is trying to have a seasonal uptrend, and that is helped by the current cold spell which has covered the ground here with snow this morning, and is promising a low of 18 tomorrow (Wednesday).

Cold is not a big issue for wheat, which will take almost any temperature while it is dormant and covered with a few inches of snow. Occasionally we get winter weather scares in the Plains because there is no snow cover, since that is an area of little snow and snow that gets blown off.

I drove through Kansas once in what they said was a blizzard. I was dubious, since there was little snow except in the ditches. It was explained to me that the snow all blows to a low area where it piles up several feet deep and buries the cattle that huddle there for shelter.

This week the scare is that warm weather has wheat out of dormancy, and in the lower Plains, to jointing. Amanda in our Ashland office gave a lot of attention yesterday in her daily market letter to the wheat that is at risk.

It seems that, once wheat reaches jointing, it cannot stand freezing temperatures. This can develop into a real market factor.


Reviewing the prices, May corn futures had a high on the 9th of 5.19, but closed at 5.02-1/4. Currently, as of the morning of April 15, they are 4.99-1/4. May beans were 15.12 at one point on the 9th, but closed at 14.95-1/4. Currently they are 14.83, 29 cents off the high.

May wheat futures made the high back on March 30, then have declined. The low was on the 10th, at 6.56-1/4 after the high of 7.23-1/2. We are currently turned up a little, trading 6.75-1/2, which is down 3-1/4 for the day.

Delayed planting will continue to be talked about. Soon it will really matter, but it is no big deal in reality for a couple of weeks. Corn planting is now three percent done, versus a normal six percent. Last year we were also slow, at two percent at this time.


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Marlin Clark is an associate of Russell Consulting Group, with a local office in Williamsfield, Ohio. Comments are welcome at 440-363-1803.



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