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In September, what is new crop and old crop?

Getty/iStockphoto three large grain bins
Avoid misunderstandings when discussing ‘new crop marketing’ with merchandisers.

The wheat, oats and barley marketing years begin June 1. The canola and flaxseed marketing years begin July 1. The cotton, peanuts and rice marketing years begin Aug. 1. The corn, grain sorghum and soybean marketing years begin Sept. 1. The soybean meal and soybean oil marketing years begin Oct. 1.

Even on Sept. 1, new crop corn, sorghum and soybeans are the crops to be harvested the next calendar year, the crops not even planted yet. Old crop corn, sorghum and soybeans are the crops in the field to be harvested in the nearby autumn.

Likewise, it’s June 1 for wheat, Aug. 1 for cotton and Oct. 1 for soybean meal and oil.

Avoid misunderstandings

Practical application of these terms is different from the textbook application. In September, farmers and merchandisers are thinking new crop is the crop being harvested and it will stay new crop in their minds until either:

  • Harvest is over and the crop is in the bin (I think most people look at it this way), or
  • The old crop basis and the new crop basis are the same, which occurs early in the harvest period. 

When a farmer and a merchandiser are talking about “new crop marketing,” one of them needs to make sure both are talking about the same crop. Every year there are misunderstandings and sometimes the misunderstanding costs thousands of dollars.

Wright is an Ohio-based grain marketing consultant. Contact him at (937) 605-1061 or [email protected]. Read more insights at www.wrightonthemarket.com.

No one associated with Wright on the Market is a cash grain broker nor a futures market broker. All information presented is researched and believed to be true and correct, but nothing is 100% in this business.

The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Farm Progress. 

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