Corn, Soy Make Big Price Gains

Corn prices made their biggest gain for the year this week, while soybean prices reached a two-month high as rains and snow delay harvests in the U.S. with optimism that higher oil prices will boost demand for biofuels.

In the meantime, speakers at Farm Bureau’s second annual commodity outlook conference held in Albuquerque, N.M., painted a “cautiously optimistic” outlook for U.S. agriculture, with crop and dairy producers likely faring better than livestock producers who will still face challenges in the year ahead.

Robert Wisner, an Extension economist with Iowa State University, told attendees clearing weather will likely mean lower prices into early November, but predicted moderate price strength into the winter for corn and soybeans due to strong exports and ethanol demand.

Summarizing the various speakers’ comments, Bob Young, AFBF chief economist, said, “What I’ve heard leaves me cautiously optimistic. We have real, serious challenges in the hog and dairy sectors, challenges that will fundamentally alter the structure of the pork industry. The picture for crop producers comes in as ‘not bad,’ certainly not ‘great,’ more of a treading water situation if we can keep input costs under control this year. If we can get the general economy to turn around enough to bring the consumer back into the market, I think we’ll see some noticeable improvement in 2010 farm income.”


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