Early Spring Update 2020

Early Spring is off to a relatively warm and dry start. Field conditions are dry and have allowed for early field work, fertilizer application, and clean-up. The warm and dry conditions have allowed farmers to make significant progress on cleaning up and repairing flood damaged fields from the 2019 flood. The Missouri River is higher than normal for this time of year but is well within its banks. Expectations are for higher than normal flood risk from Council Bluffs and south and from Sioux City and north. Dirt work contractors have started working now that the frost is out and upland and bottomland repairs are underway. The crop insurance deadline for making changes to crop insurance policies is March 15th. Planting season is rapidly approaching and typical corn planting dates range from April 10 to May 20 and soybean planting dates range from April 20 to June 1. Commodity prices remain low and the Phase 1 China agreement has not had much positive effect on prices yet. It is anticipated that corn acreage will be significantly higher than 2019 and soybean acreage will be down slightly. Expectations are for a very large corn and soybean crop in 2020 and I expect commodity prices to remain depressed unless there are significant weather related events during the 2020 growing season. Cropland values are stable at this time with very few properties for sale in the area.