There was a lot of rain the past week helping out crop progress while not hurting planting, either. According to the Iowa Crop Progress Report there were five days good for fieldwork. Statewide, 86% of the expected corn crop is in the ground – ten days ahead of the five-year average. Corn emergence improved to 22% complete.
Two-thirds of the expected soybean crop is planted – a full 15 days ahead of the five-year average. 6% of soybeans are emerging, five days ahead of normal. The first hay condition rating of the season is 58% good-to-excellent, with a report of some farmers starting the first alfalfa cutting. The rain did help topsoil moisture levels a bit. It is now 37% short-to-very-short while subsoil is at 52% short-to-very short.
Deputy Ag Secretary Approved
The Senate Agriculture Committee voted up the next Deputy Secretary of Agriculture. Jewel Bronaugh received bipartisan praise and will now be voted on before the full Senate. She is the Virginia state agriculture chief and former state Farm Service Agency director and agriculture college dean at Virginia State University.
Bronaugh committed in her April confirmation hearing to work on ending a history of discrimination across USDA and on boosting rural economies with clean energy jobs, renewable fuels, biobased products and broadband. She will be the first Black woman to hold the post.
A Look at the Markets
Markets are seeing some green – analyst Don Roose has more”
“The grain market continues its huge volatility price movement adding risk premium back to the marketplace today. Due to drier weather forecast in these dry areas again, the cooler temps are causing emergence concerns for corn and soybeans and even spring wheat. Topsoil moisture continues to be very short to short in North Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa. That’s a focus. Market continues to have volatility adding risk premium today. Cattle market continues to try and add push to the upside on the cash cattle. So it’s all about buying for the memorial day, mother’s day and that’s the best demand time of the year here. So after that it’s going to be down to the supply side of the market, of course feedlots feeding very efficiently with their high price grain. The hog market is under some pressure today, partly a concern with the Chinese hog supply. Continues to build. The ag minister of China did say the hog herd is expected to grow 19.2% in 2021.
New Grain Cars
A thousand new grain cars should hit the railways over the next few years. Canadian National Railway placed the order for high-capacity grain hopper cars which will be built in Mexico. They say it will help meet the growing needs of North American Grain farmers.
The order is part of a larger program to build and renew a fleet of six thousand cars over the next three years. CN has also made an offer to buy Kansas City Southern, expanding its network from Canada and the U-S into Mexico. That proposal must first go through the Surface Transportation Board.