Corn traders will be eager to hear the latest data released at the USDA Ag Forum scheduled for this Thursday and Friday. There will also likely be more traders paying closer attention to the planting progress of second-crop corn in Brazil. As most of you know, second-crop corn in Brazil now makes up a massive part of their total production. The trade traditionally likes to see a large majority of the Brazilian second-crop corn planted by the last week in February or the first week in March. With a large percentage of soybean planting backed up this year, there's some fear that a portion of the intended second-crop corn acres might not get in the ground.
I don't want to get ahead of ourselves or overly optimistic, but reports currently circulating show the key production state of Mato Grosso running about 20% behind last years pace for planting second-crop corn. The main concern for producers in Brazil is obviously planting too late and missing the rains. With prices already at low levels, producers in many dry locations might not want to risk the money, especially with some forecasters already talking about the potential for an exceptionally dry April.
It's still extremely early in 2015, so I don't want to get overly aggressive with my marketing. As a producer I still feel most comfortable sticking with a more patient approach. My next cash sales target still remains in the $4.30 to $4.40 area vs. the DEC15 contract. From a spec perspective, I continue to like the thought of selling straddles and strangles thinking the trade may remain somewhat rangebound for an extended period.