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The weather forecasts have continued to dominate the market as excess moisture or lack thereof are impacting crops around the world at crucial times. The month of April was friendly to the wheat futures, but not so much the crop itself.

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It’s been another quiet week in the ag markets with most of the trade just watching the weather. At the time of this writing, weather models were forecasting heavy rains across the central US for the weekend with a bias for eastern Kansas.

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The markets started off last week in uncertain territory as geopolitical situations continue to develop. The Russia/Ukraine situation has escalated once again.

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Last week’s much anticipated USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report didn’t give us many fireworks to trade through. There wasn’t anything super bearish, but there wasn’t exactly anything that gives the market much support, either.

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This is the time of year when things can really change quickly. We are in the middle of planting season in the United States (at least in the south, while those farther north are preparing), South America is in the middle of harvest, spring and summer weather implications, and lots of government report data.

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In an otherwise quiet market, corn and soybeans found a boost last week thanks to some big rains in Argentina. “Big” may not be the right word choice, though and “excessive” may be more appropriate.

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The markets are still lackluster with very little news. The USDA released the March World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report on Friday, March 8th, but even that was pretty much a non-event in terms of market movement.

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March is off to a very quiet start in terms of news in the agriculture commodities sector. It’s the same story over and over again – weather is warm, cattle numbers are low, and demand is abysmal.

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We are now officially over two months into 2024. Business has been slow in the feed ingredient world, but despite that, these last two months have still passed in the blink of an eye.

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February is a pretty big data month in the agriculture world with the annual USDA Ag Outlook Conference as well as crop insurance prices being set for corn. This year had a little extra information with the release of the data from the 2022 Agricultural Census which I talked about last week.

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It’s been an exciting week here in Kansas City after the Chiefs became back-to-back Super Bowl Champions. This Broncos fan didn’t wear red, but I will admit that the Chiefs are fun to watch.

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Last Thursday, February 8, the USDA released their February World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report. This took the focus off South American weather for a little while as analysts pondered what numbers the government would come out with.

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Though it wasn’t a surprise, perhaps the biggest headline in the ag world lately was due to the USDA cattle inventory report last week. The USDA confirmed that we now have the smallest herd of cattle in the country since 1951, and there aren’t many signs that it is rebuilding.

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At the time you are reading this, the January USDA reports will have been released already – on Friday, January 12th to be exact. However, at the time of this writing, I am purely speculating on what those reports are going to say.

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With busy holiday and travel schedules last week, I opted to forego any writing, so while I may be a little late to the game here, I hope everyone has had a fabulous start to the new year. I think this will be a very interesting year in the markets as we are possibly coming to an end of an agriculture super-cycle while simultaneously seeing record crops in several parts of the world.

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The markets saw some big swings last week for a variety of reasons, but there is one place in particular that the trade is giving much of its attention to: South America. South American weather, demand, and the policies of the new Argentine President have become the focus after a very neutral December WASDE report from the USDA.