An Iowa State University economist says the 2009 crop outlook is shaping up to be a repeat of what farmers saw in 2008. Chad Hart is a grain marketing economist who has been tracking the crop conditions. He says there were late plantings and concerns early on this year, but as the year has gone on, things improved and the only thing holding back the possibility of record or near record crops is an early frost.
Major weather events have also had an impact on the crop season, but Hart says this year’s hail doesn’t compare to last year’s flooding. Hart says the hail damage was much more localized as it was a wipe out for those who got hit, but the flood damage had a much wider state impact. Hart says the potential of a record crop is already showing its impact.
Hart says prices have declined throughout the summer as the possibility of a big crop threat continued, and he says that’s something to continue to watch as corn prices dropped below three dollars a bushel and beans below nine dollars a bushel. There are some benefits to lower prices.
He says having the larger crop means lower input prices for livestock producers and ethanol producers and lower prices for exports as well. Hart says if things stay the same, the book on 2009 could end up a lot like the end of the 2008 harvest season. Hart says the one thing he will watch from here on out is the demand, especially in the livestock industry, as he says livestock producers throughout the state are hurting.
Hart said long-range weather forecasts point to a continuation for the rest of the growing season of the relatively mild temperatures — setting up the repeat crop scenario.