Weather pushes wheat higher, but reality of losses may be less than perception

AgweekTV's Michelle Rook and Randy Martinson of Martinson Ag Risk Management discuss how much the recent cold snap affected the winter wheat crop, the USDA Ag Outlook Forum, the Cattle on Feed report and more.


Randy Martinson did some driving through the Heartland in the past week and got a good look at the winter wheat crop. Before the recent cold snap that struck much of the country, winter wheat in places was coming out of dormancy and was farther along than anticipated.

Still, he told AgweekTV's Michelle Rook on this week's Agweek Market Wrap, sponsored by Gateway Building Systems , that he is expecting losses of winter wheat acreage to be only in the range of 5-10%.

"Estimates right now are going to be overblown," he said.

He said there's no doubt the weather helped propel the wheat markets early in the week before things got choppy, and higher prices in the European Union and export taxes in Russia helped, too.

To watch previous episodes of the Agweek Market Wrap, click here.


Corn and soybeans continue to look positive for old crop as well as for new crop. Much in the nearby months depends on the weather situation in South America. A break in the rain should allow for harvesting in Brazil, Martinson said, but the question is how much gets done.

Rook said the U.S. Department of Agriculture was fairly aggressive on ending stocks for corn and soybeans at the USDA Ag Outlook Forum. Martinson said the stocks appear to be tight enough to keep prices up.

"It shows that prices can't pull back a lot because we get too much demand when that happens," he said.

Rook and Martinson said the USDA Cattle on Feed report was a little bit negative and resulted in a bit of a pullback in the cattle markets. Cattle also were affected by the cold snap, which shut down some packing plants and stopped movement.

Martinson said the long-term months look good for cattle and hogs. In the cattle market, he said getting through the "flush of heavyweight cattle" will help.

"I'm still long-term friendly cattle," he said.

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