Scott Stiles says the outlook for most commodities was “pretty dismal” last winter. Farmers weren’t optimistic and neither was he. But, when Stiles spoke at last winter's county Extension meetings, he gave growers three scenarios that could help improve the outlook.
Now those three events are beginning to unfold. The strength of the dollar has begun to wane slightly; crude oil prices are moving back toward $50 a barrel and drought has led USDA and Brazil's Agriculture Department to lower their forecasts for the 2016 corn crop. Argentina's crop appears to also be short.
As a result, corn and soybean futures have improved with some of the speculative money that has helped fuel the increases spilling over into the cotton and rice markets, helping prices for those crops firm up.
No one expects $7 corn and $14 soybeans to come out of this rally, but the higher commodity prices have lifted farmers' spirits, judging from comments at the Agricultural Council of Arkansas’ spring board of directors meeting in Pickens, Ark., where Stiles' remarks were delivered.
For more on the Ag Council of Arkansas, visit http://agcouncil.net/