Blogging by the Bushel
With numerous challenges over the past several years for producers, we at Mercer Landmark understand the need for a comprehensive risk management solution. We seek to provide our customers with unparalleled service to ensure maximum results.

Archive for December, 2011

Anna Kaverman – Mercer Landmark

So I’m kind of in a funk for the late-week post or any post for that matter…do I talk about acres? Been there, done that. Do I talk about the on-going discussions regarding the January crop report?  See my previous post. Or do I share some of the things on my New Years resolutions for 2012 to spice things up a little?  I promise it won’t drag on forever. I feel like I’m too new to the blogging world to be burned out, but it’s more like I need a tiny little break from talking all things grain.  So here we go.

  1. Be more creative

When it comes to being domestic (my nights and weekend job), I’ve pretty much got this gig on lock.  I can bake, I’m great at cleaning, and I even enjoy laundry.  But straightforward tasks aside, I am lacking in the DIY/creativity department. Not only at home but at work as well, as you can tell by recent lack of blogging. At Christmas I was introduced to something new and what I consider to be cool. I was introduced to PINTEREST. Pinterest is an online pinboard that allows people to organize and share things they love. Great for getting a little inspiration My goal is to pick a DIY project and see it through.

  1. Be more assertive at work

For those of you who know me well outside of the office or even the slightest bit from work would agree that this is probably one of my weaknesses. I know I come as being confident, but building self-confidence and assertiveness is probably a lot easier than you think. ‘Non-assertive’ people (in other words ‘normal people’) like myself do not generally want to transform into being excessively dominant people. It’s outside of our comfort zone. To do this I must learn to know the facts relating to the situation and have the details to hand especially when it comes to marketing. Second, I must be ready for – anticipate – other people’s behaviors and prepare my responses. Thirdly, I must have faith that your own abilities and style will ultimately work if you let them.

  1. Have Faith and be patient

I’ve been on the receiving end of both good and bad karma this year and there is nothing like some bad karma to kick you in the pants and make you take a step back. Just recently I have probably been on the receiving end of the bad more than good.  Just have faith that whatever it is will work itself out to be the way it’s ultimately meant to be.  Easier said than done for those of us who think we can solve our problems by worrying, but I’ve received the best things in my life when I just looked up to the sky and said, “I trust you.

Enough of my resolutions. I promised to keep it short and sweet and hopefully I did. Now my question to all of you is what are your resolutions this year?

Anna Kaverman – Mercer Landmark

      First, Merry belated Christmas to you and a Happy New Year, readers.  In what seems like the blink of an eye, Christmas has come and gone and now we are in that period between it and the New Year.  For most of us that means going back to work for a few days until the weekend, myself included. Which means it is time to catch up on blog postings. Especially because I was scolded somewhat yesterday for not updating my posts for awhile.

I am sure I don’t have to tell any of you that 2011 has been a roller-coaster ride full of gut-wrenching twists and turns. Wet conditions in the spring prolonged spring plantings, then turned dry during the summer and back to abnormally wet this fall delaying harvest. As the market trys to make its final ascent as we await the New Year, 2012 is likely going to be filled with the same dramatic up’s and downs.

Anymore as sophisticated marketers we not only need to understand the fundamentals but macroeconomics as well. The global macroeconomics have been and probably will continue to be the dominant force influencing commodity prices, inputs, global demand and virtually everything. Thus causing the market to do opposite of what seems rational.

On the policy front, the super committee’s failure to agree on a plan to reduce debt by $1.2 trillion during the next 10 years brings uncertainty to the market place. Drafting a farm bill will revert back to a “normal” process, which will bring more scrutiny of what has already been accomplished by the House and Senate ag committee chairs. Across-the-board cuts are still possible to the tune of $15 billion for a nine-year period (which is less than the $23 billion that the House and Senate ag committee leaders proposed to the super committee),

Since 2012 is a year divisible by four, presidential politics will be on the rise. Republicans will be throwing sharp elbows at each other to determine who will face President Barack Obama in November. Some think the election could impact the farm bill process, but 2008 included both, so this proves that it can be done.

Closer to home, the MF Global fiasco caused a large amount of fear in farmers about the safety of their money. Couple that with the European situation and farmers are retracting accounts and putting money under their mattresses in what is proving to be a very profitable year.

While many of these issues likely seem far beyond your control, you can still be prepared for the maybes and the maybe-nots, including the January 12th crop report. The post holiday thinly traded markets have provided us with the late Christmas gift of a rally.  I encourage you to take advantage of it if you need to make some cash sales before year end or for the upcoming year. Corn has traded up for 8 consecutive sessions, which is a nice change of pace after the bearishness of the December crop report. Even if you are not ready to make any sales yet, look at possibly buying an option as an insurance policy against the January 12th crop report. After all, the last five January reports have caused the market to make limit moves in both directions. This one is shaping up to be much the same, so an option may seem cheap later on. Like I mentioned earlier the roller coast ride of 2011 may just repeat itself in 2012, but if you take advantage opportunities when you are presented with them, I am sure you will weather the storm just fine for another year.

Here’s to a happy new year!

Anna Kaverman – Mercer Landmark

Grain prices were pretty much even last week as analysts were waiting for Friday’s December Supply & Demand reports to provide market-moving news. But, overall it was pretty quiet. For the most part the report didn’t tell us anything we didn’t know

Here are highlights from Friday’s December USDA report:

Corn: USDA raised its corn carryover projection 5 million bushels from last November. On usage, USDA cut 5 million bu. from projected food, seed and industrial use, to 6.405 billion bushels.

USDA now projects a national average on-farm cash price of $5.90 to $6.90 — down 30 cents on both ends of the range from last month.

Soybeans: USDA increased its 2011-12 soybean carryover projection by 35 million bushels from last month, and cut 25 million bushels from projected exports, which now stand at 1.30 billion bushels. USDA also cut 10 million bushels from projected crush, to 1.625 billion bushels.

A national average on-farm cash price of $10.70 to $12.70 — down 90 cents on both ends of the range from November, was projected by USDA.

Wheat: USDA increased its wheat carryover forecast by 50 million bushels from last November, and is now seen at 925 million bushels. USDA now projects an average on-farm cash price of $7.05 to $7.55, steady on the bottom end of the range and down 20 cents on the top end.

Now the market will turn its attention to the next major USDA report, which will come out on January 12th. Even though Friday was a ho-hum USDA report, continue watching market factors and be prepared for January 12th. Most analysts will agree that the January report has the tendency to be a market-mover. In addition there are a lot of outside influences in grains. Traders are moving in and out of commodities to manage financial risks. This in addition to the upcoming January report will keep the volatility cranked up to some degree.  But as winter progresses light market news may temper some of the volatility.