With the unhappy condition reports we get each week for winter wheat in our area, it would be tempting to give up on the crop. But, on the agribusiness hour this morning, Dr. Clark Neely of Texas A&M AgriLife told us that, despite how bad things might look right now, farmers who raise their wheat for grain harvest should think twice before cutting back on fertilizer:
Some good rains would obviously brighten the outlook for wheat and the moods of farmers, in general. We desperately need it as the entire Texas Panhandle is suffering through intense drought right now, reflected by the fact that in the time since early October most of the region has received less than half-inch of precipitation altogether.
We are showing a pretty good chance of rain later this week, starting Thursday and possibly on into Saturday. Hopefully that precipitation will come and be pretty abundant. Some good rains ahead of spring planting could put things back in order for crops like corn, cotton, and sorghum, because – as Texas A&M AgriLife agronomist Jourdan Bell reminds us – we still have good underground moisture left over from the ample precipitation we got back in the late summer and early fall:
We definitely need more rain. But, switching gears here, if you’re in the meat business, you’d also like to see a little strengthening of prices right now. And, to help make that happen, you might like to see production get ratcheted down a bit. But, the folks at USDA don’t see that happening:
In that report, you heard the forecast of lower prices for steers. And we have already seen a decline cattle prices, particularly for those coming-out of feedlots. I went back and looked at where live cattle prices were on the CME at this time a year ago, and what I saw was the April contract at $125 per hundredweight, about nine dollars higher than right now. The May contract a year ago was close to $115 per hundredweight, about eleven dollars better than where that contract ended up this past Friday.
We also hear concern about pork supplies holding down prices for that commodity, but the good news is that pork at least has a new customer: The word came late Friday that Argentina will resume accepting imports of U.S. pork for the first time in more than two decades.
That’s what I have for you, right now. Have a good day y’all.
KGNC-AM devotes a full hour to ag news every morning from 5 a.m. to 6 a.m. with our Golden Spread Agribusiness Update. If you’d like to hear this morning’s show, go here: http://www.kgncnewsnow.com/ag-hour-replay-04-16-18/