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View from the Cab: A year to remember

(CIFN file photo)

We are ready for a clean slate in 2019, but many won’t forget the past year in agriculture.

A drought in Argentina and good weather in Brazil started off 2018. We had larger soybean acreage by March and the year progressed with wet weather in Iowa, South Dakota and Minnesota with dry weather in parts of Illinois and Kansas. The trade basically believed hybrids were bullet proof.

“We had variable weather but the weather markets in general were disregarded due to large supplies and the fact that hybrids withstood past dry periods and still yielded at record or near-record production,” explained Merrill Crowley with Midwest Market Solutions in Watseka.

Also in 2018, the government re-negotiated with Mexico and Canada before attention turned to China. With good growing conditions and the loss of our top buyer, prices crashed.

“There are upward moving trend-lines in corn and soybeans from their September lows. They continue, at this time, to hold,” Crowley added.

Since April of 2014, we have pretty much been trapped in a sideways market and somewhere – either this year or next – Crowley believes we should have some sort of fundamental which will push prices higher. This typically consists of a weather event somewhere in the world.

My New Year’s resolution includes being more optimistic about the agricultural economy because it is easy to get discouraged with the current price outlook. We can’t have low prices forever. As Crowley and so many of the other market analysts I interview during the year have said, we are due for a rebound in prices and some believe it is already beginning.

I hope all of you experience health and happiness in the New Year and I wish nothing but prosperity for all of my farming friends. Who knows…maybe this will be your best year yet.

(The View from the Cab blog is powered by Petersen Chevy-Buick in Fairbury)

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