’Tis the season for seeding surveys, production outlooks

Most of you will get this paper on April 24, the same day Statistics Canada is scheduled to release its survey on seeding intentions.

We’ll have same day coverage of the report in the daily news section at Producer.com and we’ll provide the numbers the instant we get them through our Twitter feeds.

The information from the report will go into the mix of data that the market sorts through as it establishes prices.

The report on Rabobank’s outlook on page 6 sums up the current market psychology of general comfort about grain supply but lingering nervousness, built up over several supply shocks in recent years.

Any threat to production generates a quick rally. The two threats this spring have been the Ukraine crisis and the dry weather and frost in the U.S. plains threatening the hard red winter wheat crop.

Central and eastern parts of Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma this week are expected to get 25 to 75 millimetres of rain, which should lessen worries about production, although some of the rain might come in intense storms.

The rain forecast hammered wheat futures three percent lower on Monday.

Warmer weather in the Midwest this week could jump start seeding. As of April 20 only six percent of corn was seeded, ahead of last year’s four percent but behind the five-year average of 14 percent.

As for Ukraine, the turmoil has not interfered with grain exports. Spring seeding of barley, spring wheat and corn is proceeding and there was rain recently to help the winter wheat. But farmers might not have the money for all necessary inputs.

The market expects Ukraine will produce less corn. Some forecasts see production falling to about 23 million tonnes from about 31 million last year. Much will depend on whether the crisis can be contained.

Diplomats from Ukraine, Russia, the European Union and the United States hammered out a deal to cool the conflict last week, but a clash in eastern Ukraine on the weekend that left three dead threatened to intensify the conflict.

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