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8:00 am | Illinois Corn Growers Association Annual Meeting
9:30 am | Farm Assets Registration Desk Opens
10:30am | The Supply Chain Wants You - premiums & contracts
Angie Slaughter, Vice President Procurement - Anheuser-Busch InBev
Rickette Collins, Sr. Director Global Supply Chain - McDonald's Corporation
Ken Dallmier, President and COO - Clarkson Grain Company
Brad Allen, AgriEdge Specialist - Syngenta
Noon | Lunch
1:00pm | Agriculture at Research Park
Laura Weisskopf Bleill
Associate Director, University of Illinois Research Park
1:15pm | Trade, Tariffs, Grain Flow and the Farm Economy
Gary Schnitkey, University of Illinois
Jonathan Coppess, University of Illinois
Bruce Sherrick, ILLINOIS TIAA Center for Farmland Research
2:00pm | Break
2:30pm | WILLAg Commodity Marketing Panel
Pete Manhart, Bates Commodities
Bill Mayer, Strategic Farm Marketing
Merrill Crowley, Midwest Market Solutions
Wayne Nelson, L and M Commodities
Todd Hubbs, University of Illinois
The price of soybeans rallied out of the October USDA Crop Production report. This is because it showed fewer acres of the crop would be harvested this season. University of Illinois analyst Todd Hubbs thinks the upside potential is limited, “I don’t know if this thing is sustainable. It doesn’t feel that way to me. Moving through the rest of the harvest year and towards the start of 2019, I think we are going to have to see some kind of production issues in the South American crop or if China breaks and doesn’t hold out completely on taking U.S. soybeans before we see a sustained upward movement. I think the upside potential is limited.”
Limited because, even if this year’s crop is hurt some by the poor harvest conditions so far it will remain a record breaker. Right now USDA has it at 4.7 billion bushels. There are plenty of soybeans in the world. That makes it a buyers market and price is going to depend a whole lot upon how many U.S soybeans can be exported says Hubbs, “Basically it doesn’t look like other importers are picking up the loss of the Chinese market like we would like them to.”
When you look at last year and the huge amount of exports Brazil did in the second-half of the marketing year, and even the strength in the latter quarter of the U.S. marketing year, you can see tariff action picking up in forward buying and movement of soybeans thinks the U of I number cruncher. So far in this marketing year we haven’t seen much Chinese movement. In the last export inspections report about 5 million bushels went to China. Still, they seem to be sitting it out and not buying soybean from the United States. This is happening even though the price of U.S. soybeans, when compared to the price of Brazilian soybeans delivered to China, are very competitive.
It all brings Hubbs back to that word “limited”. He sees the upside price potential in soybeans as limited by an enormous supply in the United States and around the world, “If you are thinking about marketing soybeans, I’d take a good hard look at the price we are seeing right now because ending stocks are set at 88 5 million bushels for the 2018/19 marketing year and barring some kind of uptick in exports from the U.S. that may be the low end of reasonable projections depending on what the crop ends up doing here in the U.S.”
This year’s pumpkin crop is the best in the last two decades. That means there will be plenty of jack-o-lanterns for Halloween and lots of pie filling for Thanksgiving.
When the pumpkin crop in Illinois is big that means the whole nation can celebrate fall says Mohammad Babadoost from the Univeristy of Illinois, “We are number one in both of them, jack-o-lantern and processing pumpkins. Far, far ahead of any other state.”
More than 90% of the pumpkin pie filling sold in the United States comes from two processing plants located near Peoria, Illinois. This year the pumpkins feeding into those plants are yielding a record breaking 27 tons per acre. The average is about 23. This is pretty amazing given that a plant disease nearly wiped out the whole industry in the state a couple of decades ago.
Babadoost is naturally proud of his University of Illinois work to salvage the industry from the disease and he continues to work with farmers today to provide them crop production and protection advice. He says pumpkins are a high value crop that work well into a row crop rotation, “Very well. In fact pumpkin rotated with corn or even soybean is a very good crop rotation program.”
Even better, pumpkins can provide two sources of income should the farm want to diversity into a little agro-tourism.
As the trade conflict with China continues, prices for many agricultural commodities remain relatively low. Illinois corn and soybean prices dipped to new lows in September, coinciding with the latest rounds of tariffs.
The difference between selling an entire crop at spring forward bid prices compared to the September average cash prices makes a substantial difference in income on an average central Illinois grain farm.
University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Gary Schnitkey reviews how this plays out on a 1700 acre corn and soybean farm in Illinois this year, and what the prospects look like for next year.