Along the Fencerow

Farmers are looking for positive news in the markets and it doesn’t seem to be making sense.

We are carrying lower stocks on our grains than previous years, however, we have truly gone into a global marketing. All business as we knew it and know it now is in a changing mode.

In the wheat market, December reports showed a 6 percent larger than average industry expectations. Consequently, there was a downward movement. We didn’t see much grain being exported either which didn’t help the agriculture industry.

This lower trend happened even in the event that Australia and Canada had small wheat crops.

Another factor may be that wheat seeding in the United States is up 6 percent for the 2003 crop. If we maintain average for the entire duration of the 2002-2003 wheat crop, this will translate into a 44 percent larger wheat crop than the summer of 2002.

The Kansas City Board of Trade is projecting a wheat price of less than $2.90 at this time. With this scenario, it just doesn’t bid well for farmers or those involved in businesses that relate to agriculture.

At the moment, there isn’t as much moisture as a person may think in our area. Double-cropped wheat after sorghum may only have up to 18 inches or less of moisture at this point. Some locations may have more than 18 inches of soil moisture, but, numerous areas in western Kansas have less. There are too many variables in the mix right now to speculate what we will be dealing with when harvest rolls around. March through June will be the final chapter.

Our neighbors to the south seem to be in a lot better shape than south-central Kansas. If we wouldn’t have been washed out, we’d be in a good situation.

Right now, there is mention of winter kill in wheat crop. It is too early to tell now. I don’t think we have it here.

In western Kansas, as rumor has it, is showing some signs of winter kill.

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