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Experts urge growers to market crops, now

By Staff | Jan 28, 2010

WATERLOO (AP) – Experts say farmers better start marketing their crops now if they haven’t already started.

John Sanow, a DTN marketing analyst, says corn and soybean markets will be pressured because of a record harvest in the U.S.; the ample soybeans being harvested in South America; and reduced demand for corn overseas.

”If farmers don’t have anything done, that would be a smart move,” Sanow said. ”Both markets will be pressured heading into 2010.”

Grain prices tumbled last week following the USDA’s report on 2009 crop production. Despite poor weather for much of the year it was the nation’s most productive year ever.

About 13.2 billion bushels of corn were harvested this fall nationwide, up 2 percent from the November forecast and surpassing the previous record of 13 billion bushels in 2007. Soybean production totaled a record 3.36 billion bushels.

Iowa corn production totaled 2.44 billion bushels. About 486 million bushels of soybeans were harvested in Iowa.

George Cummins, an Iowa State University Extension crop specialist in Charles City, said 2009 was a year of taking the good with the bad. Farmers started with a full soil moisture profile, which is good for yields, but it didn’t allow spring rains to soak in, slowing planting. The cool summer didn’t stress the crops but it slowed development and delayed the harvest.

The USDA predicts corn and soybean stocks will increase 15 percent and 9 percent respectively. The USDA said it may resurvey corn acres in March because so much is still in the fields.

”Farmers are concerned about getting their crop marketed,” Cummins said.

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