Grain farmers urged to consider all options after fallout from corn crop

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CORALVILLE, Iowa — The recent corn price dip of 50 cents to 60 cents per bushel is on the minds of grain growers at National Farmers’ annual farm business meeting held Jan. 18-21 in Coralville, Iowa. But National Farmers Grain Marketing Plus Grain Analyst Pete Lorenz said producers can capitalize on marketing strategies to minimize the impact.

Market planning

A veteran grain marketer who assists producers with managing price risk, he is urging producers with corn that needs to be sold because of quality issues to look at market planning.

“There are ways they could pick up gains in the market that may occur later, such as options,” Lorenz said. “Price concerns may straighten out in the spring, because of attempts to encourage planting more corn acres.”

Quality concerns

Many producers do want to market corn right away for those quality reasons. Talk in the trade is putting that number at 2 billion bushel to 3 billion bushel with concerns of deteriorating conditions.

“It was put in wet,” Lorenz said. “So it doesn’t store well.” And test weights may have an influence on final figures, though the depth of that impact is uncertain.

Further, USDA said it will issue another report on the 2009 crop in March.

“When they say they may come out with another report, they’re saying they don’t yet know what the crop is. The numbers aren’t final,” Lorenz explained.

Estimates

The National Agriculture Statistics Service included unharvested acres, and production expected in the 13.15 billion bushel estimate. The increase of about 200 million bushels from the November report could cost U.S. farmers about $6.5 billion, said Lorenz.

Additionally, the problem extends to areas where corn is standing in the fields, snowy fields in some cases. Producers in pockets of the western Corn Belt, in Kansas, Nebraska and South Dakota, as well as Minnesota and Iowa, with corn still standing in the field, are discussing the impacts of the report’s estimates.

“It’s not a lot individually, but it adds up to a lot cumulatively,” Lorenz said.

Numbers in a recent USDA weekly crop report indicate about 5 percent of the crop remains in the field, and is at risk for field loss.

Monitoring

National Farmers GrainMarketing Plus field representatives will monitor the situation on behalf of producers, and offer marketing solutions as appropriate. For assistance, contact Lorenz at 785-545-8519.

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