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Published December 28, 2009, 03:28 AM

Some farmers had better year than others

As the holidays draw near, farmers are busy doing year end tax preparation.

By: Sue Martin, Agweek

As the holidays draw near, farmers are busy doing year end tax preparation.

Let’s face it — some farmers have had a good year and some not have, such as livestock producers. Grain farmers, though, have been blessed in that soybeans for $10 a bushel were quite easy to capture. Never mind that the past two weeks have taken a toll on that market. After all, “the bulls get their turkey for Thanksgiving, and the bears get theirs for Christmas” is quite fitting this year.

South American soybeans

Estimate after estimate continues to predict a record crop of soybeans from South America with some of the earliest beans just harvested the week before Christmas in Mato Grosso, Brazil. Yields were not too bad at 46 bushels per acre.

This has the analysts trying to guess when soybeans from that part of the Western Hemisphere will affect U.S. prices and demand.

U.S. shipments

Dec. 23, private exporters announced shipments of 143,000 metric tons of U.S. soybeans to unknown destinations, of which 65,000 metric tons were for 2010 to ’11 delivery. Another 110,000 metric tons of 2010 to ’11 beans were announced to China and 114,000 metric tons of U.S. soybeans were targeted to be delivered to Italy.

Demand is good and it is not common to be selling a whole year out in another crop of soybeans just after harvesting this year’s crop — all this on top of a record crop in the U.S. and in South America.

China soybean crop

Yes, China had the worse soybean crop in six years and it is in the process of building reserves along with increasing pork and poultry numbers. Add in a rate of inflation of 9.2 percent. When the year rolls over, analysts will try to outdo each other. Could China surprise us with little rolling of cash positions? It seems strange that it would not, but perhaps it has a real need.

Happy holidays, and I hope your New Year is filled with good health and prosperity.