Prices were mixed compared to a week ago, despite warm weather the crops need to reach maturity. China buying more soybeans also helped. When prices are depressed, early harvest lows are not uncommon.

 

US crop ratings are still amongst the worst in 10 years, and crops remain behind in development. Corn is only 29 percent mature; normally it is 57 percent now. Only 34 percent of US soybeans are dropping leaves, usually it is 59 percent by now.

Weather forecasts show no threat of frost over the next 2 weeks, except maybe in the extreme Northern Plains, and Western Canada. It is also very wet in those areas, preventing farmers from harvesting their spring wheat, barley and canola. This is also affecting quality.

 

Hard red spring wheat futures, which trade in Minneapolis, have shot up 50 cents per bushel since early September because of this. Unfortunately, this is having little affect on Chicago wheat futures, as that is soft red wheat, which has a different use.

 

China has bought another 10 cargoes of US soybeans this week, without tariffs. Was this because of necessity, or was this a goodwill gesture heading into critical trade talks scheduled for early October? Either way, demand is demand.

 

African swine fever (ASF) is still very much a problem. It has also hit South Korea, who produce 20 million hogs per year. Apparently in China, ASF is occurring in areas where they are trying to rebuild their herds. This story will be with us for longer.

 

The large speculative funds were a main contributor to the short-lived rally in May and June. They have been heavy sellers in corn for nine consecutive weeks and are short 170,000 contracts now. This is still well short of the record 320,000 contracts they were short when they started buying last May.

 

Politics in Canada is dominating the media with the election less than four weeks away. Promises by the various parties are flying almost daily. Despite all the rural ridings in Ontario and Canada, agriculture isn’t even part of the discussion.

 

Farmers today make up only about 1.7 percent of the population. This is likely why they are being ignored. However, your votes can make a difference as to which party forms the next government. If you don’t vote, you have no reason to complain about what happens politically.

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