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Market Uncertainty Looms as Farmers Get Ready to Head to the Field

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Market Uncertainty Looms as Farmers Get Ready to Head to the Field

It has been a momentous week in the corn and soybean markets, so the Market Outlook program, presented by Hoosier Ag Today at the Reynolds Spring Ag Expo this week, was very timely. Before a group of over 300 Indiana producers, three top market analysts participated in a frank and wide-ranging discussion on what farmers can expect from the markets in 2020.

John Zanker, with Risk Management Commodities in Lafayette, Mike Silver, with Kokomo Grain, and Ryan Martin, with LDC in Claypool, all agreed that there are plenty of challenges ahead.

Zanker said, in addition to the current hysteria over the coronavirus pandemic gripping the market, there is the supply that will be hitting the world market this year.

“Brazil will produce their largest in history, 4.45 to 4.6 billion bushels, and Argentina is in good shape. So just some tremendous production numbers coming to the market, and we are going to respond with increased production.”

He added that demand is questionable with, “The number 2, 3, and 4 economies in the world are not in good shape, and that will not help grow demand.”

Zanker said he could see soybean prices with a $7 figure in front of them and corn close to $3 a bushel.

Ryan Martin, however, is less bearish and feels demand will pick up later in the year.

“I think the demand part of this puzzle is going to come together, perhaps not as quickly as we all would like; but, in the end, we will sell more to China than we have in a long, long time.”

“Semper Paratus, the Coast Guard motto ‘be prepared’ should be the motto of all farmers this year,” said Silver. He added growers should be ready to try some new marketing tools this year. “I think diversification of one’s marketing portfolio and just being alert to marketing opportunities are going to have a lot to do with success this year.”

All three men said a weather scare this spring could provide a bounce and that producers should be ready to act if that comes. The panel discussion, moderated by Gary Truitt of Hoosier Ag Today, was sponsored by part by the Indiana Farm Equipment and Technology Expo, Farm World Newspaper, and Hoosier Ag Today.