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View from the Cab: Finishing out 2020

All eyes are on the crops as they finish out the 2020 growing season.

This is always a time of year when various groups head out to do yield checks in corn fields to predict what farmers may see on their combine yield monitors in about a month. Some even do pod counts on soybeans in an attempt to see what kind of soybean yields we can expect.

The big Pro Farmer Crop Tour takes place this week, although it will seem a bit different as they plan to do more virtual stuff since they can’t gather in big groups at the nightly stops in various cities. The annual meeting stop in Bloomington was always on my calendar and I found it interesting to hear what kinds of yields and field conditions they discovered on their way here.

We are anxious to hear if the Pro Farmer tour participants find significant damage in Iowa and other locations impacted by last week’s major storm through this country’s midsection. If they discover more damage than expected, look for higher market prices. Some say the storm caused damage to roughly 4 or 5 million acres in Iowa. If this area saw a total loss, that would mean a loss of 437 million bushels of corn.

“I don’t think it’s going to be as high of a loss as they think,” Merrill Crowley of First Choice Commodities in Watseka told me last week. “It may just be an opportunity for you to make sales on a rally here.”

Once Wednesday’s USDA crop production report was issued, we saw higher prices but Crowley attributes that to storm damage than the actual government numbers. We technically have a double bottom in the market from the April low to early August low. It seems to be awfully early for a low in the markets at this time, but one never knows.

“You’ve got enough shorts in the managed fund department if they start off-setting those shorts, you could get a pretty good rally,” Crowley said.

Demand is helping to support soybeans as the USDA report didn’t really have such a negative impact on our stocks. If we can keep the export sales going, things look good for soybeans longer-term.

We won’t know much about how the crops actually perform until the combines venture out to the fields. The next USDA report with boots on the ground is expected September 11.

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