Corn: Will Farmers Hold 2014-15 Crops Though the Next Harvest? – DTN

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    More than 25% of the respondents to a recent DTN 360 Poll said they’re willing to roll the dice and see if holding 2014-15 corn into the new-crop marketing year will fetch a better price.

    A majority of the 305 responses to the non-scientific poll — 58% — said they plan on selling all of their corn in storage within the next two months or before harvest. But 27% plan on holding their corn into October and beyond. Another 15% plan on selling part before harvest and waiting to see what the market does before they sell the rest.

    “I don’t see any surprises in this poll, with almost 60% looking to clear space before harvest,” DTN Senior Analyst Darin Newsom said. “As I discussed in last Friday’s column, this fits in with the seasonal tendency of the DTN National Corn Index to move lower in July, while basis also weakens.” (NCI.X versus the September from the last week of June through the last week of July).

    At the end of March, USDA estimated farmers held 4.38 billion bushels of corn on the farm. Another 3.36 billion bushels were stored in off-farm locations.

    There’s probably been a steady flow of farmer selling since then, DTN Analyst Todd Hultman said, but there’s been nothing dramatic enough to cause big moves in the basis. A large basis move would be an indicator that farmers had started selling grain from their storage.

    Hultman said the inclination to empty the bins before the next harvest is not a surprise, and “reinforces the neutral to bearish trend in corn prices as it ensures that commercials should have no worries obtaining corn this summer.

    “The 42% of respondents who intend to store all or part of their corn past harvest may change their minds if they don’t see any hot and dry weather materialize this summer.”

    The poll was taken from April 27 to May 8.

    A second DTN 360 poll, taken from May 8 to May 20, showed that 49% of respondents felt confident in their ability to keep grain in good condition through summer.

    Eleven percent mentioned they had concerns about keeping bins monitored due to other responsibilities on the farm. A full 17% said they’re “hoping for the best.”

    Thirteen percent said they’d purchased new monitoring equipment or assigned the responsibility to a specific person. Six percent moved grain to a commercial elevator.

    “The bottom line, in my opinion is that farmers generally view themselves as solid quality managers so have no problem storing corn beyond this year’s harvest,” Newsom said.

    USDA has recently started surveying producers for its Acreage update due at the end of the month. Please consider answering the current DTN 360 Poll: Now that corn planting is about finished, do you think USDA will make major changes to its Prospective Planting acreage estimate of 89.2 million acres based on what you see in your area?

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