Category: Other News

29 Oct 2021


Corn has continued its rally as the bulls seem to have their mojo back following a time where they could have been uneasy. Despite the disappointing export report, corn was able to keep the momentum going Thursday. This week’s weather week will slow down harvest and could cause issues for what is remaining in the field. Higher basis has been seen across most of the country as a lack of available corn continues to put pressure on elevators while ethanol plants are running on great margins and can afford the basis. Going forward it will be interesting to watch how farmers manage the corn they store. Do they hold it until we see much higher prices? Will basis become so favorable it is hard to hold on to it while farmers are making payments for products for next year? These questions do not have any answers right now, and only time will tell, but one thing is for sure, input prices are going up and farmers know how valuable their crop is.

Via Barchart

Soybeans have had a good bounce from their low a couple of weeks ago, even if it is not as an inspiring rally as corn. Like corn, the weather will delay harvest and reduce yields in many areas that were off to a great first half. South American weather is generally good for the next week with Argentina receiving their best rains of the season so far. The weather over the coming weeks/next couple of months will be important to getting them off to a good start. Like corn, it will be interesting to see the number of beans stored vs. sold after harvest. As beans continue to struggle to find a pattern, we hope to see one develop in the coming weeks, hopefully, a good one.

Via Barchart

Dow Jones

The Dow had another good week with one big down day followed by a bounce-back on Thursday. As Q3 earnings continue to roll in, it has been a mixed bag with large companies like Amazon and Apple falling post reporting.


The Oats market has been on a tear the last two months as Canada’s and the upper plains crop had a multitude of issues due to drought conditions. This has created a supply problem on top of already higher grain prices across the board this year.


The Hedged Edge is back, and we’re jumping into the thick of the commodity markets with RCM’s own King of Cotton – Ron Lawson. Cotton prices have exploded since the COVID crash, rising more than 236% from the March 2020 lows. While prices have backed off from the October 8th high, cotton is one of the purest supply + demand-driven markets around the world and has caught fire along with the global inflation bug currently running rampant across many commodity markets.


U.S. Drought Monitor

The maps below show the U.S. drought monitor and the comparison to it from a week ago. The outlined areas in black are areas that the drought will have a dominant impact.


28 Sep 2021

2021 Harvest Report — Your First-Hand Look Into Tennessee’s and Mississippi’s Crop Season

As corn, soybeans, and many other crops begin to enter their harvest season, it is time to think about how the harvest is progressing on the farm. According to, soybean harvest progress is at 16%, and the site reported corn to be at 18%. On top of the progress, it showed that most western and northern states were at a pace above average, and southeastern states were progressing below average.

Last week, RCM Ag Services was fortunate to have a first-hand look at a couple of states within this region. Bert Farrish, Director of Commercial Agriculture, ventured out on an 800-mile crop tour throughout Tennessee and the northern Mississippi Delta from September 21-26. Let’s take a look at his 5-day journey across the south and dive into the industry as Farrish provides his very own commentary for a 2021 crop progress assessment.

Is Weather Hindering Western Tennessee?

The tour began in Western Tennessee, where turbulent weather was predicted in the forecast, and it wasn’t long before Bert was met with strong thunderstorms between Nashville and Lexington. As he encountered severe weather along the I-40 corridor, he naturally observed little to no harvest work. “The crops looked relatively good; however, Western Tennessee has a long way to go with this year’s harvest,” Farrish stated.

“There is still a lot of corn and soybean in the field, and I predict that harvest, for both corn and beans, will move well into October.” But it wasn’t just corn and beans that needed additional time this year. “Cotton wasn’t near ready for harvest; I am estimating that the harvest won’t begin until mid-October.”

Driving Into The Delta

As Farrish continued his driving tour into the Mississippi Delta, progress wasn’t much further along, and he stated that this area had also received recent rain showers. “I would say corn was 90% complete in the areas I drove through,” which contained routes along I-69, Hwy 61, Hwy 8, and Hwy 6.

“With some exceptions, most crops looked great!” However, Farrish had stated some crops like rice still had a ways to go. “I would say the crop is later than usual, but they will wrap up the bean harvest in the next few weeks with good weather.”

But as we all know, weather this time of year is unpredictable, especially with rain in the forecast this week at a 60% coverage. Over the weekend, there was a steady line of trucks through Cleveland headed to the port of Rosedale, MS. Combines were running everywhere Saturday, September 25, and Sunday, September 26.

The Bolls Are Open — A Preview of the Cotton Counties

With the driving tour coming to an end, the last assessment concludes with cotton. Harvest for cotton still has a long way to go. Farrish predicts that 30-50% of bolls are open. “There were minimal small fields that were ready to pick, but certainly no one is going to open a gin for a few bales.”

But that doesn’t mean all areas in the Delta need work. The cotton in Coahoma and Quitman counties looks as good as ever. Farrish stated, “Some fieldwork has been done in the north Delta, but I am certain harvest for all crops is further along in the south Delta, meaning Hwy 82 and south to near Vicksburg. But I was unable to see this area in this trip.”

Final Trip Takeaways

Overall, Bert concluded his trip feeling optimistic about the crop prospects. Although some areas need improvement, most crops look strong and are on track to have a strong harvest season.

Visit our blog, Here’s What you Need to Know About the Outlook for the First Week of October, for an additional harvest update on the many unknown/under-reported issues early in the year that we may be seeing played out combined with the dry and hot finish.

28 Sep 2021

Ag View Solutions – Here’s what you need to know about the Outlook for the first week of October

Jody Lawrence, RCM Ag Services’ head of research, joined Shay Foulk on his podcast “The Ag View Pitch” for this week’s market outlook. Jody hits on some major points, including harvest, basis, the upcoming USDA stocks report, and storage decisions that need to be made.

Jody makes the point of discussing what the cash market has been telling us vs. what the futures market and USDA are. Basis has been historically strong while the USDA has not had drastically tight balance sheets showing us some disconnect. Should we expect this week’s report to lower ending stocks as the cash market would hint at?

A harvest update from what Jody and Shay are hearing from their people, both agree that there were many unknown/under-reported issues early in the year that we may be seeing played out combined with the dry and hot finish.

The basis discussion starts with ethanol and how the plants are affecting many different commodities. Currently, margins for ethanol allow them to have a better basis, which forces elevators to do the same to remain competitive.

Should you store soybeans or corn this year? Jody and Shay dive into the margins and spread in the futures markets and basic considerations. No matter what you decide, allowing yourself the opportunity to still participate in the market via futures and options will allow you to not miss out on upside possibilities.

Jody has some final thoughts on the oats market that he leaves us with and what it could mean for the corn and grain markets in countries with major oats markets.

16 Jul 2021


Corn rallied this week following Monday’s USDA report that was relatively neutral. The USDA left expected US yield the same while slightly lowering the 20/21 ending stocks and raising the 2021 production. The USDA did lower Brazil’s corn production numbers, but some estimates still think they are overstating what it will be. The USDA dropped Brazil’s corn production from 98.5 million tons to 93 million, while only raising Argentina’s 1.5 million. The drought conditions persist in the upper Midwest as some areas are expected to get rain over the weekend. The drought in the Canadian prairies and Dakotas does not have any major relief in the forecast as heat and dryness remains in the next weeks forecast. Exports this week were small but not surprising. Weather continues to be the main driver as markets will react to where it rained and how much over the weekend to start next week. Currently about 36% of the US corn production is in an area experiencing drought. As you can see in the drought monitor below northern Iowa and southern Minnesota is a good amount of that.

Via Barchart                          

Soybeans gained on the week as well following the USDA report. There was no adjustment to expected yield and only slight adjustments higher to ending stocks. Beans kept up their momentum following the report for the week before cooling off Thursday. It will be important how they end the week and open Sunday to set the tone for next week. Weather continues to be the main market mover as it will be important heading into the end of July and August. About 31% of the soybean production is in an area currently experiencing drought so any and all rain will be welcome for the crop but the price will be impacted as well.

Via Barchart

Dow Jones

The Dow gained on the week despite growing inflation concerns and Powell’s comments about Fed strategy. The Biden administration’s child tax credit has arrived as well with it going into effect this week. The Delta variant continues to spread around the US with some places beginning to bring back mask requirements.


Check out our recent podcast with Dr. Greg Willoughby: We’re talking with Greg in the new episode about being a “plant doctor”, weather patterns, GMO & organic produce, crop history, technical advances, level 201 education on agronomy, the agronomy equation, Helena Agri, soil biology, American v European agriculture, Greg’s early background in livestock, and the advancement of native plants to modern produce.

US Drought Monitor

The maps below show the current drought conditions in the US. The second map is last week’s so you can see how the areas that received rain improved or did not.




02 Jul 2021


The USDA Acreage report was released this week and was bullish for corn. Planted acres came in @ 92.70 million acres, which was below the average estimate of 93.787 million. June 1st stocks were also slightly lower than estimates coming in at 4.112 billion bushels. For the second year in a row the USDA came out with less planted acres than pre-report estimates. There was also a note at the start of the report saying there are still 2.18 million acres intended to be planted during the survey time of May 29-June 17. This means that the 92.70 million number may end up being lower as odds are not all the 2.18 million acres got planted. This combined with the lower stocks gave corn a big boost as Dec’ 21 futures went limit up post report.

This is the last major market moving report (historically) of the summer, which means we are now in a weather market for the time being. The upper Midwest is still very dry and needs relief as you can see in the drought monitor chart at the bottom.

Via Barchart                       

Soybeans, like corn, saw big gains following the release of the acreage report. Planted acres came in at 87.6 million acres, below the average estimate of 88.955 million. The June 1st stocks were also lower than estimates coming in at 767 million bushels, 20 million lower than the average estimate. Beans had a similar post report reaction to corn because the bullishness of the numbers were similar. With acres and stocks both being smaller than anticipated this will put pressure on the crop and weather during August will be very important for not only the crop but also the price.

Via Barchart

Wheat had a neutral report but followed corn and soybeans higher after. Wheat looks to be forming a bottom on the charts but July weather is still critical for the plains/Canadian wheat crop. Wheat struggled lower on Thursday as they had their own trade and did not follow the lead of corn and soybeans. Weather this month will be important for the crop as we are also in a weather market for wheat too.

Via Barchart

Dow Jones

The Dow gained on the week as all major indexes had a good week as trade continues to be getting back to normal following the covid lockdown of the last year. The Dow closed out the month strong after seeing major weakness the first half of June.


Lumber prices have continued their slide down and are back in the 700s after trading into the mid 1700s in early May. The pressure on the market looks to continue as the downturn has been sharp.


Check out our recent podcast with Dr. Greg Willoughby: We’re talking with Greg in the new episode about being a “plant doctor”, weather patterns, GMO & organic produce, crop history, technical advances, level 201 education on agronomy, the agronomy equation, Helena Agri, soil biology, American v European agriculture, Greg’s early background in livestock, and the advancement of native plants to modern produce.

US Drought Monitor

The map below shows current drought conditions and the continued problems in the upper Midwest and continued sever drought in the western US.





04 Sep 2020

AG Market Update: August 29 – September 4

Corn saw slight loses on the week after trading in the low $3.60s despite strong export numbers and falling crop conditions. The crop conditions at this point usually fall as corn starts to get ready for harvest and lose its color as ratings come from looking at the fields rather than any testing. As China has continued to be a large buyer it looks like the market has factored in their purchases and will expect similar levels or purchases moving forward. The forecasts have some rain in much needed areas as we get closer to harvest to help hold on to what many expected to be a great crop a month ago but has seen stress as of late. Rain over the weekend is expected for much of the corn belt especially in areas of the WCB that have been the driest. Although the rain may be late to help out corn much it should give the beans in those areas help. Look for the trade to hold its breath and trade in the $3.50-$3.60 range as everyone holds their breath in anticipation of the USDA Report next Friday.

Soybeans continue its climb higher as exports continue to be huge. Despite a bearish change in the weather with widespread rain coming this weekend the demand continues to pull beans higher. The rain could be coming at just the right time in certain areas as yields can still be effected. One private yield estimate from StoneX pegged the US bean yield at 52.9 bushels. This would be a larger trend line yield but with the increased demand from China it would not crush prices moving forward. Keep an eye on other private estimates as we head into the USDA Report next Friday to hopefully get an idea what the USDA might come out with. Look for exports to continue their strong run as any pullback would hurt prices that have been drawing their strength from recently.

DOW Jones

After trading over 29,000 the Dow saw large losses on Thursday after a week of gains. After the large run-up the last few months the losses could be from profit taking or the start of a market correction but there is no way to tell after one day.

Vaccine News

The US Center for Disease Control announced that states should prepare for a potential vaccine on November 1st. This would be great news heading into the end of 2020 and also right before the election.

31 Jul 2020

Ag Markets Update: July 25 – 31

As weather across the country continues to be supportive for the crops corn prices have dropped. The past few weeks of timely rain and cooler temperatures has put a trend line or record national yield very much in view. From talking to farmers across the country many think this has potential to be one of their best crops and as great as that is everyone knows the larger the yields the lower the prices tend to be. With China well behind on their phase 1 trade agreement purchases, corn will need to get support elsewhere unless China decides to ramp up their purchases in the second half of 2020. Keep an eye on the flooding in China as they have lost over a million acres of farmland and will tighten their supplies. The higher crop conditions this week did not help prices either as they came as a surprise.

Soybeans and corn are in a similar situation where large yields are very much in play due to the weather of the past month and what looks to be coming. Soybean exports continue along at a good pace but nowhere near the Phase 1 agreement numbers that were expected. If China can ramp up their purchases in the coming months beans can get a boost that is unlikely to come without a weather problem. The good export news of late has been offset by good weather and higher expected yields which is frustrating seeing bullish news be uneventful for prices.

After a short term pull back from the near term highs markets bounced off a technical low and appear poised to give the highs another run.  Weather watchers will be tracking hurricane Isaias and it’s potential impact to the delta over the weekend.  In many cases the fear of hurricanes has been bigger than the actual punch.  In reality, following the storm days in advance does little good and is often a story of buy the rumor and sell the fact.  Look for prices to test the 65 cent level and be prepared to increase hedge protection above 63.50.


DOW Jones

The Dow continues its slight downtrend this week as Covid-19 cases remain high in many parts of the country. Despite good vaccine news coming out this week as several promising candidates move onto the next phase of trials, the Dow fell again. All eyes were on Capital Hill this week as Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple’s CEOs were questioned by politicians looking at anti-trust issues. These were not huge market movers but something to keep an eye on as these companies have helped lead the charge up from the lows back in March along with other big tech companies.


17 Jul 2020

Ag Markets Update: July 11 – 17

Despite one of the largest single export sales to China ever, prices for the week fell. After some welcome rains in the past week in areas that were dry, favorable outlook during pollination has the potential to help make this crop large. Ultimately, as yield potential continues to look high, big bumps in corn are looking slim unless there is a surprise in forecast changes or export sales. The crop conditions continue to look strong as you can see in the chart below. We are not near/at record conditions, but still have very strong numbers at this point in the year. A dip in condition would factor into price movement as well, but don’t don’t plan on that for a big boost towards the end of the month.

Soybeans had a flat week price-wise as steady sales continued to China and forecasts didn’t change too drastically. We started out the week with some prices drops, but a solid midweek bounce helped get back to flat as we head into the weekend. Look for any big forecast changes or unexpected purchases to be the only thing to move bean prices in the near future. As world demand has seen an uptick, the U.S. may find more buyers as South America has been so busy selling up to this point, they may have trouble fulfilling any additional large exports.


Large purchases from China gave Wheat a big boost halfway into the week. Wheat did have to give a good chunk of that boost back the following day due to a lack of confirmation on purchases, but any Chinese purchases at this point are beneficial to the markets as other Wheat growing countries are seeing lower yield numbers. As you can see below, markets are well off the lows that we set a few weeks back as Wheat has made a solid rebound. Just like with Soybeans, more confirmed purchases, or any purchases for that matter, would be beneficial to U.S. Wheat.


Dow Jones
The Dow saw positive numbers overall for the week with a few days of solid gains and small losses. Americans continue to keep their eyes on places that are reopening and spikes in major metropolitan areas. Retail spending was up +7.5% last month, but some experts think we may see that shrink as some states have rolled back their opening phases where cases have spiked. President Trump wants schools to open this fall as he sees that as a way to get more people back to work, so the rolling out of back-to-school plans be an important factor on the economy heading into election times.

02 Jul 2020

Ag Markets Update: June 27 – July 2

Corn finally got some positive news in the USDA report this week with planted acres coming in well below the March estimate and below the trade estimate. Planted acres came in 92.006 million which is about 5 million acres less than the estimate in March of 96.990 million. One thing of note from the USDA NASS Farm Labor survey that took place between May 30 and June 16, is that there was still 2.24 million acres of corn to be planted of the 92.006 million. This means that the acreage could still be lower if the entirety of that 2.24 million gets planted.  Even with the bullish acres news there was still some bearish news in the report when it came to the quarterly grain stocks report. Something that is also important to keep in mind that just because 92 million acres are planted does not mean there will be that many harvested. Even with a solid trend line yield north of 178, these acreage numbers should help. As always, keep an eye on exports and weather as the fundamental market movers in the short term.

Quickly touching on the weather outlook, there looks to be heat and dryness for the next couple of weeks in many areas. This will put some stress on the crop and this kind of forecast along with the USDA numbers from this week are the 2 catalyst moving corn higher.

Dec ’20 Chart

Via Barchart

Soybeans prices, like corn, saw a big bump from the NASS report, even though there wasn’t as much obvious bullish news from the acreage report. The acres did not change much from the March estimate of 83.510 million to 83.825 million acres. The trade estimate had it higher, trading at 84.716 million, which allowed for prices to jump up along with corn. Many people think that the acres are higher as a possible landing spot for those 5 million acres of corn that disappeared. Do not be surprised if we see more acres down the road. Soybeans in the long run still need as many exports to China as we can get going forward. The trend line yield of 50 bushels per acre is still in play with the start we have had but like mentioned above for corn the heat and dryness in the upcoming weeks could impact yield.

From speaking to farmers, it seems many farmers who planted in April and got washed out switched their acres from corn to soybeans. We are not sure how widespread this, is but don’t be surprised if soybean acres is higher when all is said and done.

Nov ’20 Chart

Via Barchart

Wheat got a boost out of the report just like corn and soybeans. Wheat’s gains came mostly as a result of following corn and beans higher as the report was not as bullish for wheat. Wheat acres were down 400,000 from the March estimates. It was welcome for wheat prices as they have been on a losing streak the last month as we look towards July for some help. If corn and soybeans continue to find support and prices go up look for wheat to be a benefactor of that as well.

Sep ’20 Chart

Via Barchart

The report was bullish for cotton as well as we have seen a rally because of it. Planted acres were down over 1.5 million acres from 13.703 million to 12.185 million acres. This is also down 11 percent from 2019. Cotton prices got a boost when these numbers came out as many acres were not planted due to a wet spring or prices being too low. Knowing the acreage number now moving forward weather in the major cotton areas will be important to keep an eye on. A tropical storm or drought, depending where, could cause cotton to jump like it has from this report.

Dec ’20 Chart

Via Barchart

Planted Acreage for principle crops dropped 7.2 million acres from the March report, 5 million of which came from corn. The big question is where did these acres go? We may see a lot go to prevent plant as only 3 million acres are estimated for PP but it is possible that a lot of acres were not planted because of depressed prices as a result of loses from the trade war the past couple years and the disruptions from COVID-19 pandemic all could be factors. Click here for the acreage report.

26 Jun 2020

AG Markets Update: June 22-26


Corn prices have taken a hit this week with Dec ’20 futures dipping below $3.30. Rains over the past week in the corn belt and warm temperatures will help support the crop along with rains and warm temps heading into the 4th of July. Exports continued their lackluster pace with no big sales to provide any supportive news. Tuesdays Stocks and Acreage report is the only place to look if you are looking for bullish news, but do not get your hopes up for a positive surprise from the USDA. The average trade estimate for US corn planted acres is sitting about 95 million acres which would be down from the March report of 96.99 million. With good weather forecast for pollination time keep an eye on if that changes as that would be a little supportive.

Via Barchart


Soybean prices took a hit this weak as no big sales were announced and growing tensions between the US and China. The administrations friction with China continues to escalate as Sec of State Pompeo is going on a full offensive to gather European support for more scrutiny of Chinese policies. The Soybean crop, like the corn, benefited from rains over the last week and will benefit from the forecast upcoming rains as well. Soybeans need the purchases from China to continue, if not accelerate, to have some bullish news. A mix of growing tensions with China and good US weather will continue to weigh on the market and should be the main things to keep an eye on going forward barring any surprises from the USDA report on Tuesday.

Via Barchart


DOW Jones

The Dow Jones took a big hit at the start of the week as cases begin to increase across the country in many states. As concerns of a larger “second wave” loom, markets may trade in this range until it seems we are out of the woods. The market will move on any vaccine news, news about US and China relations/trade war, and COVID-19 case numbers moving forward it seems unless the Fed comes out and does something.


As you can see from the prices below, aside from Corn, it was a relatively flat week for most other areas so the post is a little shorter this week. I wish there was more positive news out there about the markets but with everything that has happened this year and good weather there just isn’t much. It will be important to keep an eye on Sec Pompeo’s meetings with members of the EU as the week goes on.


Via Barchart