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3/21/2016 - The Next Big One...Prospective Plantings

Markets in first three months of the year are often referred to as the Winter Duldrums.  After the release of the January Supply and Demand report there is little by way of fundamental news that enters the market. South American harvest is gearing up and there is little by way of big demand stories. Prices often get caught in a trap trading sideways.  Sound familiar? That sideways market is often broken up by the preparations for planting.  Weather conditions and...

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3/18/2016 - Leaping Milk Production

The National Ag Statistics Service released their February Milk Production report today with a projected 4.6% increase over February. To see it rise 4.6% year-over-year is highly unusual.  The last two times February production had that large of year over year growth was in 2012 and 2008.  February production was up 8% and 5.5% respectively in those years.  With the exception of those two years, the last ten years has seen an average February growth rate of 0.5%  The shared...

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3/14/2016 - Energy Prices...Where Seasonality And Fundamentals Clash

In late January, we advised booking of spring needs as prices had begun to creep up from recent lows. Since that time, farm prices have dropped slightly...until this past week. Since the beginning of March, prices have been moving higher.  See Chart.  When things like this take place, everyone begins to ask the question "Why?"  Let's dig a little deeper. Since the beginning of the year, low prices have been encouraging greater imports and less production. ...

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3/9/2016 - World Markets Under Pressure

For months dairymen across the United States have watched as prices continued to drift lower.  The reality of declining margins is that things must change.  It is common to hope for external changes to occur so that internal change is unnecessary at the farm level.  However, that is rarely the way these cycles work.  Internal changes often must happen first in order for external changes to occur.  We see ongoing examples of this very thing as we observe our fellow...

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3/7/2016 - Export Sales

Last week, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang informed U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew that his country was going to make important changes to his country's coal and steel industries.  This news was  broadly covered by the world's financial press and instantly met with further market heartburn as it represents the elimination of 1.8 million jobs. Of greater concern to those attached to agriculture should be what was not publicized.  China is undertaking changes in...

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