Heavy snows are again dropping on swaths of the western and northern Corn Belt that have already suffered severe flooding this spring. Another weather system is taking shape behind that one that could drop even more precipitation on saturated soils. But has this spring already been challenging enough to signal a weather-driven shift in the markets? Farm Journal Economist and AgriTalk Radio host Chip Flory says, “not yet.”
“I’m not afraid that we’re not going to get these crops in the ground because guys always get it done,” Flory says. “We’ve geared up for it. There are producers that if they’re at all concerned about having enough equipment for this spring to get things done, they’re out there at auctions, they’re talking with their dealers, they’re making sure that they are geared up and ready to go with enough equipment. They are out looking for hired hands…They’re going to make sure that they’re going to be able to get it done when that window does open up for them.”
Even if the skies clear up soon, the path the planting in 2019 won’t be easy, according to Flory.
“We missed out on 10 to 14 days of field work in the fall,” Flory explains. “So you’ve still got to get those done, so you just move those to the spring window. Well, if you’ve got 10 to 14 days of fall work to do in the spring, now it really starts to get tight and the crunch time starts to add up.”
So how long can planting be delayed before the markets start taking notice?
“If we get past the 10th of May, maybe the 12th of May, and we’re sitting with a third of the corn crop planted, then it’s going to have an impact on the market. We can’t avoid it at that point,” Flory says.
While the continued wet weather is not yet having a significant impact on grains, it is forcing some changes for livestock according to Flory, particularly the cattle market.
“Obviously the feed yard conditions are in terrible shape,” Flory explains. “It’s had an impact on cost of gain. It’s had an impact on how quickly those animals are coming to market.
“So it has had an impact on the cattle market, and it’ll continue to have one here until, boy - the way things look now - we’re looking at the early part of May before we can start to anticipate the feedyards getting back in condition.”
Watch Chip Flory discuss the weather impact on markets with AgDay host Clinton Griffiths in the video above.