Too much rain, not enough rain, just the right amount of rain. Unlike last year, the weather picture is a lot more difficult to characterize this year. Last year, drought was almost universal in cow-calf country, and yields were disappointing in most major corn-producing areas. This year, however, we have an incredible harvest projected for the eastern Corn Belt, and below average in others.
Iowa, the nation’s top corn state, has a lot of problems as the planting was delayed and excess moisture has been a problem in many places. If Iowa doesn’t make trend line yields, that is a red flag.
Thus, we have projections of $4/bu. corn at the same time as record basis. It appears the crop will be big, but the question is how big? We may not know the answer to that question until later than is typical, as the crop is behind in its development compared to recent years.
Recent rains have helped pasture conditions in many areas. While it is no solace to those mired in extreme drought conditions, the area impacted by drought is reducing. Calf prices should maintain themselves fairly well this fall, while female prices will be shaped by regional demand and freight costs. A plus for calf price prospects is the tight numbers and an improving cost structure for feed.
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