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When will corn hit its summer price high?

Ag Marketing IQ: Moments of uncertainty regarding crop production size and weather often spur a rally – a fast, furious short rally, but a nice upside all the same. Pay close attention.

Naomi Blohm, senior market adviser

April 11, 2024

4 Min Read
Hands holding corn
Getty Images/Edwin Remsberg

You’re likely getting ready to head to the field to begin spring planting in the coming days or weeks, but do not forget about your corn marketing plan.

What’s happened

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the likelihood of quiet, sideways trade for corn futures into the March Prospective Plantings report, and in the week or two after it. That quiet, sideways price action did occur, and now a heads up that the monotone price lull is likely coming to a close.

Traders will now be monitoring U.S. export demand, ethanol demand, weather in Brazil on the safrinha corn crop and spring planting conditions here in the United States. Once the U.S. crop is half planted, traders will quickly focus on summer weather patterns, with corn futures potentially gearing up for a summer rally.

From a marketing perspective

If you still are holding old crop corn yet, you’re likely wondering when the summer high will occur. While there is no magic, absolute answer, history does suggest that there is a window of time to focus on, to be ready to make those sales.

Below is a chart showing the “summer price high” and date for July corn futures the past 24 years. The data focuses on the dates of April 1 until First Notice Day for the July futures contract, which is usually near the last business day of June.


Quick takeaways:

  • 15 out of the past 24 years, the summer price high has occurred in June.

  • In 5 years the high occurred in May.

  • In 4 years the high occurred in April.

You’ll also notice there is no specific rhyme or reason as to the date of the price high. Sometimes the price high is in conjunction with a USDA report, and sometimes it is in conjunction with changing weather conditions.

The bottom line is the summer price high often occurs when you’re busy wrapping up spring planting, and fretting over whether the corn crop will grow, as the upcoming summer forecast may look hot and dry.

But during those moments of uncertainty regarding crop production size and weather scares is often when the market responds and may trade higher, and you need to be ready to capture the opportunity! Be disciplined and be ready.

Prepare yourself

Get ready, the corn market may rally in the coming weeks due to a weather scare and if it does the price rally will likely be fast and furious.

And remember prices often come crashing down as fast (or faster) than when they rallied, leaving you with mere days or minutes to capture the rally. Finally, make sure that you’re also mindful not only of old crop sales, but new crop cash sale targets as well.  

Reach Naomi Blohm at 800-334-9779, on X (previously Twitter): @naomiblohm, and at [email protected].

Disclaimer: The data contained herein is believed to be drawn from reliable sources but cannot be guaranteed. Individuals acting on this information are responsible for their own actions. Commodity trading may not be suitable for all recipients of this report. Futures and options trading involve significant risk of loss and may not be suitable for everyone. Therefore, carefully consider whether such trading is suitable for you in light of your financial condition. Examples of seasonal price moves or extreme market conditions are not meant to imply that such moves or conditions are common occurrences or likely to occur. Futures prices have already factored in the seasonal aspects of supply and demand. No representation is being made that scenario planning, strategy or discipline will guarantee success or profits. Any decisions you may make to buy, sell or hold a futures or options position on such research are entirely your own and not in any way deemed to be endorsed by or attributed to Total Farm Marketing. Total Farm Marketing and TFM refer to Stewart-Peterson Group Inc., Stewart-Peterson Inc., and SP Risk Services LLC. Stewart-Peterson Group Inc. is registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) as an introducing broker and is a member of National Futures Association. SP Risk Services, LLC is an insurance agency and an equal opportunity provider. Stewart-Peterson Inc. is a publishing company. A customer may have relationships with all three companies. SP Risk Services LLC and Stewart-Peterson Inc. are wholly owned by Stewart-Peterson Group Inc. unless otherwise noted, services referenced are services of Stewart-Peterson Group Inc. Presented for solicitation.

About the Author(s)

Naomi Blohm

senior market adviser, Total Farm Marketing by Stewart Peterson

Naomi specializes at helping farmers understand how to manage cash marketing needs and understand the importance of managing basis, delivery point considerations, cash flow needs and storage capacity. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a minor in Agriculture Business at the University of Wisconsin in Platteville. She has a Master of Science in Adult Education with an emphasis in Ag Economics from the UW-Platteville and a Master Certificate in Global Education, from the UW-Oshkosh.

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