My Kind of Court Session...
One of my favorite times of the year - high school basketball is wrapping up with state tournaments, college basketball is wrapping up league play and starting conference playoffs. Congrats to all that qualified for state tournament play, good luck!
199A fix - It looks like an agreement to replace the current Section 199A language is in the new tax law according to Sen. Grassley of Iowa and expects the change to be included in the omnibus spending appropriation bill that has a March 23rd deadline. In effect, the fix would be to reinstate law prior to the 2017 tax bill and reestablish the Production Activities Deduction the way it was for the past 12 years.
10 states with the worst drivers - An interesting set of data used to compare and establish; for example my homeland, North Dakota, is the second worst for drunk drivers, but ranks 43rd for carelessness of drivers...does that mean drunk drivers in ND are very careful when doing so?!?! Whereas Montana is the worst for failure to obey, yet middle of the pack for careless driving, making that state number one on this list. As anticipated, no PNW states made this Top Ten List!
Boris and Natasha rhetoric - A warning from the Kremlin on activities in Syria.
Crop Insurance - Watch the latest video released from National Crop Insurance Services sharing the benefits of private sector delivery.
Markets - USDA released projections for the 2018-19 crop year; the first time since the Reagan Administration that soybean acres will equal or exceed corn acres. Corn yield is pegged at 174 bu/a, USDA citing less than ideal growing conditions for the 2.6 bu/a reduction from the 2017 record crop. Soybean yield projected at 48.5 bu/a, which is down slightly from last year's harvest. What doesn't make sense to me is the export numbers - beans are off significantly this year and corn sales are strong; USDA is projecting just the opposite to occur citing increased competition for corn and strong world demand, in particular China. Isn't that the same country that is shunning bean imports now?
Higher interest rates are here and the impact to the ag community will be noticeable but all state not as bad as the 1980's; currently there are 2.4 bankruptcies per 10,000 farms, whereas in 1987 that number was 23 farms in 10,000.
Livestock feedlot placement continued to be ahead of prior year numbers, 8% for February 1. Lack of grazable winter wheat in the southern plains is certainly a contributing factor. 17% of the current market pricing is due to the export demand that exists. There are some proposing a tax on meat to combat increased healthcare costs and methane emissions.
US oil exports have gone up a notch with super tanker shipment to China...
Projected harvest prices - The discovery period wraps up on Wednesday; I expect RMA to announce said prices by Friday. That said, prices will not change significantly as the bulk of the average is in. My next update will be after the final prices have been announced, which will include all dry pea types for 2018.
Barley - $3.27
Canola - $0.184
Corn - $3.95
Soybeans - $10.13
Rural Mainstreet Index - Creighton University has released their most recent survey and it's the highest in nearly 4 years.
Weather - As indicated last week, weather across the US winter wheat area and South America, namely Argentina, is front and center with full attention from the markets.
Until next time...
"Ability will enable a man to go to the top, but it takes character to keep him there.”…John Wooden
McGregor Risk Management Services, LLC
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