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Friday, April 29th, 2011
planting time

It’s been a cool spring in the Upper Midwest — and quite wet in most areas too.  The farmers are itching to get the crop in the ground, hoping to take advantage of the rise in prices since the middle of last year (although a sharp rise in some input costs will mute the gains).

You can see that of the three grains in the chart (all priced in cents per bushel), corn is the only one that’s touched its 2008 high.  Last year, overall yields were strong and prices were good, a great combination for farmers, but each year they start over again and it doesn’t take much to get them nervous.

Given low inventories, the upcoming crop reports can be expected to cause a lot of volatility.  If the planting delays continue, it could turn into an interesting summer.