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Panelists expect more volatility

Joe Camp of AgriVisor addresses farmers during a panel discussion Saturday in Flanagan / CIFN photo.

FLANAGAN – A large supply of corn and weather concerns are factors which could impact grain markets moving forward.

During a panel discussion at Flanagan-Cornell High School on Saturday, Curt Kimmel of Bates Commodities noted changing market dynamics and weather in the United States and elsewhere. The recent U.S. Drought Monitor showed dry spots in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas which could make for an interesting growing season.

“There are some things technically that can happen where there is huge upside potential. We’ve got some time to get there,” Kimmel said.

Kimmel feels corn acreage will hang in there as we approach spring. World corn ending stocks have taken a big drop and if South American weather remains hot and dry, that can tighten up even more. According to Kimmel, ethanol will keep U.S. and world corn usage strong. Meanwhile, the bean crush is strong with good Brazilian bean production which offsets losses in Argentina.

Soybeans could run up to $12.00 if the Southern Hemisphere continues to experience problems or we experience issues in this country. Kimmel suggests selling cash grain and replacing ownership and recommends having a plan in place by spring.

“You’ve got to be flexible in your marketing program,” Kimmel explained.

Joe Camp with AgriVisor acknowledges it could be a rough time for the markets at least for a little while longer.

“Longer term, we are seeing a transition to something that will allow us to market better prices ahead.”

Camp believes it is likely the U.S. grower can have a good crop in 2018 but he questions if everyone else in the world will. AgriVisor feels current market moves are providing farmers with a good opportunity to make catch-up sales.

“We think the average farmer is about 55 to 60 percent sold on last year’s corn crop,” Camp noted.

Pre-harvest sales and taking advantage of any opportunity window are ways growers can become more successful moving forward. These ideal marketing windows tend to occur during the summer months when we see a risk premium in the market.

Camp’s tips for successful marketing include: focusing on profit, selling in smaller quantities, becoming aware of marketing alternatives and making time for management.

Saturday’s “For the Love of Agriculture” FFA-sponsored event also gave kids a chance to create their own flower pot to take home and women were able to make a Valentine’s Day floral arrangement. Attendees were then treated to a complementary pork chop lunch.

The next big event for the Flanagan-Cornell FFA Chapter is the March 3 auction at FCHS. A greenhouse open house is set for 4:30-6:30 p.m. with dinner 5-6:30 p.m., a silent auction 5-7 p.m. and the live auction at 6:30. All of the proceeds will support the FFA members.

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