It’s Friday, May 4. Farmers in EC Indiana have had 3+ days of favorable planting conditions and have made great strides. It’s amazing how many acres a farmer can plant today when given the opportunity. Modern technology, large equipment, and an increased emphasis on timing efficiency are all key factors. Rain showers that we are currently receiving come at a favorable time to promote excellent corn and soybean emergence. Hopefully we can avoid the serious flooding issues that occurred one year ago. The 6-10 day weather outlook appears favorable for continued planting progress with slightly above normal temperatures and normal to slightly below normal precipitation. Let’s get the crop in the field.
Trade negotiations are on the front burner today. A group of Trump administration officials are in Beijing to further negotiate revisions to the 19 year old China trade agreement. Discussions prior to this meeting are reported to have made progress. This first formal negotiations meeting is anticipated to make continued trade negotiation progress, but is not expected to result in a resolution to decreasing our current $375.2 billion trade deficit with China. In the U.S., we prefer minimizing our consumer spending, while China needs to provide reasonably priced food for its population. We should be able to negotiate a resolution soon.
Concerning the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), there are reports that we could reach an agreement to modify the 24 year old trade agreement by week’s end. Canada and Mexico are huge trade partners with us and it has been reported that Vice President Pence and his team have made significant progress on mutually agreeable NAFTA modifications. All three nations are extremely interdependent and would each benefit from a timely trade resolution. Favorable news should be forthcoming.
Local grain prices for fall 2018 delivery today indicate corn at $3.98/bu ($3.57/bu year ago). Assuming 180 bu/a corn yield, this translates to an additional $73.80 gross income per acre of corn. Local fall delivery soybeans are at $10.04/bu ($9.17/bu year ago). Assuming 52 bu/a yield, this translates to an additional $45.24 gross income per acre. When reviewing the current prices and potential yields, you can see why the Purdue Ag Economy Barometer at 135 is significantly more positive than year-ago levels.
May each of you have a safe and successful spring.