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Corn+Soybean Digest

New-crop corn prices still slumping

As heavy rain hit Iowa this week, a cloud also remained over corn prices – which could see a dreary $2.70 per bushel cash price, warns Dan Basse, president of AgResource Co. in Chicago.

After a slight rally of a few cents on Thursday, December 2014 corn futures closed at $3.66. March 2015 futures closed at $3.79, not a big number for those planning to store their corn for higher prices next year. But despite that sub-$4 price, Basse said it may be close to a price to consider when making some ’14 or even early ’15 sales.

“If we get March or December corn up to $3.85-$3.90, you have to be a seller there,” he told Corn+Soybean Digest. “Longer term, the corn market is caught between $2.70 and $3.70 for a long time.”

Prices are being pushed down mainly because of the huge crop that’s forecast. And USDA’s most recent corn yield projection of about 167 bushels per acre may not be high enough.

Its latest crop progress report showed that 73% of the nation’s crop is either good or excellent. In the Midwest, Illinois corn was 80% good or excellent; Indiana, 73%; Iowa, 75%; Kansas, 54%; Michigan, 70%; Minnesota, 71%; Missouri, 83%; Nebraska, 71%; Ohio, 75%; South Dakota, 72% and Wisconsin, 68%.

Basse said with the weak market, farmers must become better risk managers, especially since input costs will be slow in coming down. “There is a lag affect,” he says. Everybody (input providers) will hold the profitability line until the farmer says uncle. ”

He added that good use of the new farm program is vital. “The county ALC and PLC programs look like good options,” he said. “For PLC, $3.70 will be the minimum price on your county yield.” Depending on the percentage of coverage taken, growers may then feel more comfortable in making sales during potential price rallies, Basse said.

“It’s time to look at strategies and determine ‘where can I survive?’ There’s a much different landscape in the corn market today. Think forward to ’15 and ’16 – and hope your neighbor has a drought,” he added sarcastically.

TAGS: Corn
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