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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Update on spring planting

For some reason, lately I have been more interested in the agricultural sector and how things are proceeding. As someone who lives in the city and 100% relies upon someone else to grow/produce the food I eat, it seems only reasonable to keep tabs on what's happening in the ag sector, if only to complain about the lack of corn and the price of beef in an educated manner.

This report comes from today's BEEF Stocker e-mail flash:
For the week ending April 29, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service:

Corn -- 23% is planted, compared to 48% last year and 42% for normal. 4% of the crop had emerged, compared to 12% last year and 10% on average.

Soybeans -- 3% is in the ground, compared to 9% last year and 7% for normal.

Winter Wheat -- 26% advanced to the heading stage, compared to 38% at the same time last year, and 28% for average. 56% is rated as good or excellent compared to the prior week at 54%; 36% for the same time last year.

Spring Wheat -- 34% of the crop is in the ground, which is 5% behind last year and 11% behind the five-year average. 2% has emerged, compared to 1% last year and 2% for average.

Barley -- 43% of seeding is complete; 11% ahead of last year and 2% ahead of average. 15% has emerged, compared to 7% at the same time last year and 14% for average.

Sorghum -- 23% of the intended acreage is sown, which is 4% behind last year but 3% ahead of average.

Oats -- 62% of planting is complete, which is 15% less than last year and 11% behind the five-year average. 35% has emerged, compared to 48% last year and 47% for the 5-year average.

A little bit of weather on the planting side and a little bit of weather in the growing stage and a little bit of weather on the harvest side and the next thing you know - prices for food might increase, but perhaps not as much as in the past as the raw plat is a small percentage of the cost of most processed foods.

It will be interesting to see how the decrease in planted corn will affect fuel costs.
All the more reason to diversify our consumption across weather systems. That is, promoting international trade of Ag. products.
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