Monthly market trends commentary is written by Philip Shaw, B.Sc. (Agr.), M.Sc.
March is often a time in the grain markets where we can see movement in the production area of South America, which can be impacted by weather events. The big US crop has long been put away and is slowly moving out to end-users across the greater hinterland. Problems in Argentina with severe drought conditions have dominated the landscape over the last 30 days as prices have gone up to become much more volatile based on this weather market. Increasingly so, farmers need to watch the weather maps of South America to get clues of production conditions in the southern hemisphere.
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The USDA is starting in on their projection season. On February 22nd during their Outlook forum predictions for 2018 corn and soybean acres came in equally at 90 million acres. So let the games begin. An even bigger USDA report will come March 29th when the USDA releases its prospective plantings report. Markets will be focused on that day to see if there are any surprises.