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WEEKLY GRAIN MOVEMENT: Corn planting hits high gear before rain; soy bids rise

Farmers rush into fields before rain arrives.

Farmers rushed into fields late last week to plant corn and kept going through the weekend and on Monday to cover as much ground as possible before rain arrives at midweek, grain dealers said.

“They are rolling pretty good around here,” a grain dealer in western Iowa said. Planting began there on Saturday and should continue through midday Tuesday, when rain is expected.

Northeast of Springfield in central Illinois, corn planting began on Thursday last week and continued through the weekend. Forecasts call for rain beginning at midweek and continuing through the weekend with a total of 6-8 in.

Weather maps show the Midwest to be mostly dry Monday and Tuesday, with rain arriving on Wednesday. Severe storms are forecasted on Wednesday for southern Missouri and Arkansas, with flash flooding likely for parts of Arkansas, Missouri and Illinois. The seven-day forecast that runs through May 1 favors widespread rain from Arkansas to the Canadian border, with rain totals of up to 6 in. in Missouri and western Illinois and lesser amounts throughout the western Midwest. The latest  6- to 10-day forecast (April 29-May 30) is cool and wet for most of the Midwest.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is updating its corn planting estimate later on Monday, with Farm Futures expecting 13% to be planted. The current five-year average as of Sunday is 16% planted.

Despite some higher cash basis bids for soybeans this past week, farmer selling has been light as farmers instead focus on planting. Corn bids rose a little in a few areas and were unchanged in others.

Soybean bids at Gulf of Mexico export points rose about 2 cents/bu. in the past week due to higher bids in Brazil. The higher Gulf bids, combined with some lower barge rates, had some shippers raising cash soybean bids to farmers.

A slowdown in overall barge traffic due to light farmer selling and the seasonal drop in export business weighed on the barge values, shippers said.

Bids increase

Corn for May shipment to the Gulf was bid 36 over the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) May contract, down 1 cent from a week ago. Soybean bids at the Gulf for May rose 2 cents to 30 over the CBOT May.

Barge grain shipments during the week ended April 15 totaled 695,362 tons, down 2% from the prior week but up 2% from a year ago, according to USDA’s "Grain Transportation Report."

Grain vessel loadings at the Gulf were active, with USDA reporting 51 vessels loaded during the week of April13, up 55% from a year ago. Fifty-six vessels are expected to be loaded in the next 10 days, unchanged from a year ago, the report said.

In the rail sector, grain car loadings totaled 23,778 for the week ended April 8, up 3% from the prior week and up 26% from a year ago.

For truckers, the U.S. average diesel fuel price increased 2 cents during the week ended April 17 to $2.60/gal. That is up 43 cents from a year ago.

USDA’s latest weekly grain inspections are detailed in the following table and charts.

Corn export destinations, bushels – week ended April 20 – USDA

Soybean export destinations, bushels – week ended April 20–USDA

Wheat export destinations, bushels – week ended April 20 – USDA

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