Buying Time

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Maybe the reason farmers are treating 2021 as a drought, is because there is one. It has been common knowledge that moisture has been a large concern going back to last spring. With a few timely rains and any remaining sub-soil moisture, most pulled though 2020 satisfied. Most farmers were pleasantly surprised they ended up with what they got. Very little changed in the fall and over the winter and everyone was entering this spring even more anxious. On the evening of April 11th, a heavy wet snow started to blanket the countryside and will temporarily ease some of those concerns.

The snow was even better than a rain, as it soaked in slowly over the next few days. Once it all disappeared, it was clear just how dry it was. There wasn’t even so much as a puddle to be found. That snow has bought some time, and will carry us through most of seeding. If we get another timely moisture event, it will carry us again. If we do not, there is no subsoil moisture to fall back on this year.

There is demand for almost all commodities, and competition for acres has heated up. From Lentils to Canola, Flax to Wheat, it all looks strong. Decisions have been flip flopping on the few acres that can handle flexibility due to rotational restrictions. One can expect any acres gained on Flax and Canola will come at the expense of GreenP’s and GreenL’s. Over the course of this last crop year, they have not performed as well as other commodities, and I think acres will reflect that. Producers are entering this crop year cautiously optimistic (being eternal optimists), but certainly not rushing to book new crop acres or empty what is left in the bins.

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