Early Spring Update

Corn planting is well underway in Iowa and Nebraska. Warming soil temperatures and relatively dry conditions have given farmers a great opportunity to get started with planting, fertilizing, and spraying. Corn planting will continue for the next couple of weeks followed closely by soybean planting. Commodity prices continue to fall and are at very low levels. Historically low oil prices have made ethanol much less competitive and several ethanol plants across the midwest are shutting down creating much lower demand for corn. Soybeans are also very weak and are waiting on China to start making purchases according to the Phase 1 trade agreement. The USDA announced additional direct payments to producers based on price reductions experienced this spring and payments should be issued within the next month or so. At this point there is no flooding along the Missouri River in our area and the outlook looks positive for good growing conditions this spring and early summer. In the face of the COVID 19 outbreak the land market has held up pretty well, however there are very few sales taking place at this time and it is very hard to say how prices will hold up moving forward. I will continue to update as the season progresses.