Early Spring Update

Cash rental payments were due March 1st and all payments to our clients were made in a timely manner.  Although there is some financial stress in the industry our tenants continue to make timely payments and take great care of the land.  Spring planting season is just around the corner with corn typically being planted between April 15 to May 15 and soybeans typically being planted between May 1 to June 1.  In years past early planting has paid off with higher yields and earlier harvest and I expect our tenants and custom operators to get an early start this year as well.  Commodity prices remain depressed with large amounts of 2016 production still in storage, however demand for both corn and soybeans has been excellent.  We will be watching the markets very closely this spring and plan on taking advantage of any spring/summer rallies with forward sales for harvest delivery.  The corn belt has had 4 straight years of near record and record yields which will be very hard to duplicate and with even a modest reduction in production in 2017 commodity prices could rebound quickly.  Crop insurance continues to be a major factor in influencing our marketing strategy.  Spring RMA corn and soybean prices were both higher than 2016 and should provide some financial support.  The spring RMA corn price is $3.96/bushel and the spring RMA soybean price is $10.19/bushel.  For marketing purposes our target price for local corn is $3.75/bushel and local soybeans is $9.75/bushel.