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The 4 things grain farmers should watch for in March

These events could spur another round of price action in this bull market.

Naomi Blohm, senior market adviser

February 25, 2021

4 Min Read
A Wisconsin farmer stands out in his snow-dusted cornfield in the low winter sun.
Jonathan Kirn/The Image Bank/GettyImages

Price volatility continues for grain futures. Extreme price swings, dynamic fundamentals, and strong global demand are creating an exciting bull market.   

Last Friday’s USDA Outlook Forum fed the bulls again with a continued view of tight ending stocks for corn, soybeans, and wheat for the remainder of 2021, and even heading into 2022! This outlook for tight ending stocks is due to strong demand, so if there are any weather issues this summer, the bull market will accelerate with gusto. 

After trading quietly since the Feb. 9 USDA report, grain futures prices resiliently resumed the uptrend this week. The outlook again remains friendly. Looking ahead, here are items to watch closing during the month of March which could spur the round of price action for this bull market:

Weather in Brazil

Second crop corn in Brazil is getting planted now, and the planting pace is much slower than normal due to the late soybean harvest. Second crop corn in Brazil accounts for nearly three quarters of their overall total corn production. Due to the late planting, the bulk of the crop will now be pollinating and developing in what will likely be the peak of the heat for that region. With the tighter global carryout picture for corn, the world will be watching the development the Brazilian corn crop. It would be harvested at a critical juncture in late July/early August, at a potential critical peak of global need as U.S. new crop supplies will not yet be available to the world.

March 9th WASDE report

While there will likely not be any major revisions to this report, we do look for the USDA to keep ending stocks tight for corn, soybeans, and wheat. Key demand aspects to watch; feed demand for wheat, export demand for all grains, global supplies, and global carryout.

March 31st Prospective Plantings report

The USDA Outlook Forum already provided insight into the potential planted U.S. acres for the 2021 season. 90 million acres of soybeans and 92 million acres of corn. There traditionally is not too large of a difference in planted acreage numbers between the February Outlook Forum and the late March Prospective Plantings report. However this year, trade is wondering if perhaps, due to the high prices for new crop corn and soybean prices, could the acre number climb yet for corn and soybeans? Other commodities to watch will be Spring Wheat and cotton. Will we continue to see higher prices for these two markets to make sure acres are not lost to higher priced soybeans?


One important fundamental to be aware of is the seasonal tendency for a grain price slide during the month of March. Even in 2008 (the crop year being so closely compared to the current year) both corn and soybeans had deep corrections lower during the month of March.

Ultimately, that setback was a healthy correction to set up the next price leg higher into summer.

The price volatility during the month of March is likely to be extreme with so many variable to monitor. Continue to stay current with your marketing plan for both old and new crop.

Reach Naomi Blohm: 800-334-9779 Twitter: @naomiblohm   and [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. 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.

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

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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