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Planting delays starting to impact grain market

An ag economist says delayed planting in parts of the Cornbelt is starting to impact the market.

The University of Missouri’s Ben Brown said key corn growing states like Missouri, Illinois and Iowa are well behind their normal planting pace which is building market pressure.

“But the reason we’re seeing only a five percent increase week over week and, frankly, relatively flat prices is because some of that is being offset,” he said.

Brown said expectations of rising interest rates and limited corn exports are keeping the lack of planting progress from boosting the market.

“…even though we’ve seen some strong export sales to China and other markets, actually getting that product on a boat and heading overseas is just still soft,” he said. “Corn exports, for instance, of actually what is on the boat and leaving the country is somewhere [between] 110 [to] 100 million bushels short. And it’s just providing some weakness.”

But he tells Brownfield a similar experience in the 2019 growing season suggests continued planting delays could start driving the market soon.

“We hit a high for that new crop year in July… but it really took off around the 20th of May,” Brown said.

But he said if corn is unable to be planted in some areas, farmers in other parts of the Cornbelt and Plains will likely plant more.

“And that’s certainly what we saw in 2019; places like southwest Kansas planted a lot more corn than what they were originally anticipating just because they saw some of the planting struggles elsewhere,” Brown said. “It’s hard to make up Iowa and Illinois corn production, but certainly, it could be muted some.”

Brown made his comments during Brownfield’s Weekly Commodity Market Update.

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