Good weather has led to the largest increase in corn and soybean crop estimates in nearly 40 years. If those estimates come true, an Iowa expert says farmers will have some choices to make about what to do with their crops. Iowa State University extension economist Robert Wisner says we’re already seeing the corn pile up — and that’ll impact prices. He says with the piles will temper post-harvest recovery in prices well into December and the early part of the year before we see any strength in the cash market. He says by mid to late January on into mid February there could be come strength in the corn market, but it would be tempered by the large crop. Wisner says a frost early this month may have an impact on the final crop. He says the damage was relatively small in Iowa, but probably more significant in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and North Dakota. He says there was probably some loss in production in those state that was not part of the harvest estimates. But Wisner says there’s also some potential that the final harvest could exceed the estimates. He says when you look at other years where the estimates were sharply above the trend as they are this year — there were 10 of them since 1965 — all of them but one showed a further increase the final crop estimates. The final estimate will be out in January. While the prices might not be the best now due to the large harvest projections, Wisner says there’s a potential for farmers to make some money in storing grain. He says for farmers with on-farm storage, the markets are offering to pay well above normal returns for storing corn for selling it on contract for mid to late spring delivery. Wisner says farmers have to look at a lot of factors, including loan payments and their ability to store grain. He says deciding what to do is not easy. He says marketing is the toughest area that farmers face in managing their business because there’s alway volatility in the markets, there’s never complete certainty about the supply-demand situation. Iowa’s weekly crop report shows 30 percent of the corn crop has been harvest — while91 percent of the soybeans are out of the fields.
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