Wittal: Consider your options ahead of frost

Aug. 25 — U.S. financial markets showed some renewed life today, bolstered by a report that showed consumer confidence increased more than expected in August, and a U.S. housing data report also showed better numbers, which most believe are signs that the U.S. economy is starting to improve. This provided support for the U.S. dollar to make some decent gains early in the day, but then things faded away as the day went on and financials ended up mixed with minimal gains at the close.

The U.S. dollar is down three 100ths of a cent today. The Canadian dollar is down 0.75 cents, at US92.11 cents.

The Dow Jones September quote is up 18 points at 9,522.

Crude oil is down US$2.32 at US$72.05 per barrel.

Corn closed down eight to 10 cents a bushel today. Beans closed mixed, with the nearby month up 11 cents a bushel and forward months down eight to 13 cents a bushel today.

Wheat futures closed mixed as well, ranging from up two to down three cents a bushel on the various U.S. exchanges. Minneapolis September wheat futures closed down 1.6 cents a bushel today.

Canola closed down $1-$2 per tonne today. October Western Barley remained unchanged, closing at $126 per tonne. November futures are down $1 per tonne at $155.

Frost has been an issue all year, as we were subjected to it early in the seeding season, through May and into June, and now in August in northern parts of the Prairies. The possibility of further frost damage throughout the U.S. and Western Canada due to the lateness of the crop has many concerned.

It’s predicted that the next real frost threat will probably occur around the next full moon cycle, between September 4 and 11. For crops that are two to three weeks late maturing, that doesn’t leave enough time for them to escape damage from a killing frost.

There’s still time to plan your preharvest strategy if you’re thinking about desiccating or swathing before the full moon.

Talk to your local agronomist to see what advice he has that could help save you time and money. 

That’s all for today. — Brian

— Brian Wittal has spent over 27 years in the grain industry, including as an elevator manager and producer services representative for Alberta Wheat Pool, a regional sales manager for AgPro Grain and farm business representative for the Canadian Wheat Board, where he helped design some of the new pricing programs. He also operates his own company providing marketing and risk management advice for Prairie grain producers. Brian’s daily commentaries focus on how domestic and world market conditions affect you directly as grain producers.

Brian welcomes feedback and information on market conditions in your area, such as current offering prices, basis levels, trucking premiums and special crops contracts. Contact Brian today.

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Brian Wittal

Brian Wittal has 30 years of grain industry experience and currently offers market planning and marketing advice to farmers through his company Pro Com Marketing Ltd.

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