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By Staff | May 9, 2014

Insurance fraud

Federal officials have expanded their list of allegations against two Cooperstown, N.D. farmers.

In the original indictment, Aaron and Derek Johnson and their company, Johnson Potato, allegedly conspired to receive more than $800,000 in illegal crop insurance payments dating back to 2006.

The new complaint, accuses the brothers of receiving more than $2 million in illegal payments since 2002.

Authorities claim the brothers intentionally destroyed seed potatoes to secure crop insurance payments.

Specialty planting

Statistics Canada’s planting intentions report shows farmers plan to plant less wheat and canola, and more oilseeds and specialty crops this year.

Statscan puts canola acres at 19.8 million, one percent less than last year and as much as 2 million acres below some pre-report trade estimates.

All-wheat acres are estimated at 24.9 million acres, down 5 percent from 2013.

John Duvenaud, Wild Oats Grain Market Advisory, said he is not surprised by the numbers.

“We have wheat down,” Duvenaud said. “We have canola down. We have barley down. We even have summer fallow

down. Where are these acres going to?

“I think the big picture here is Canadian farmers are moving away from mainline crops. They’re having trouble moving them, so they’re moving acres into the smaller crops.”

Canadian growers say they intend to plant 65 percent more flax this year, slightly more oats, 16 percent more soybeans, and about 20 percent more peas and lentils.

Dry bean planting intentions are up 39 percent from a year ago in Canada.

Record trading

MGEX reported record-breaking April volume. All futures and options contracts traded totaled 214,038, a 17 percent increase over the previous record set in 2007, and a 46 percent increase from April 2013.

This places April 2014 in the No. 4 spot on the monthly Exchange volume records and is the best volume month in 33 months.

Electronic trades also hit record highs, with electronic futures and options contracts traded totaling 185,599.

This breaks the previous April record set back in 2011 by more than 28 percent, and placing it at No. 4 on the monthly electronic trading records.


Corn closed the week 12.34 cents lower. Last week, private exporters announced 101,600 metric tons of corn has been sold to an unknown destination.

Weekly export sales of corn showed a total of 36.9 mb, the largest in five weeks.

To reach the current USDA forecast, corn only needs to average 3.4 mb needed each week.

Therefore, look for the USDA to raise their export forecast in the upcoming USDA supply/demand report.

The weekly crop progress report showed corn plantings advanced to 19 percent completed, up from 6 percent last week, but still below estimates of 20 to 25 percent and the

average pace of 28 percent.

Meanwhile, emergence is only 6 percent, while 5 percent was emerged last year and the average is 6 percent.

As we suspected, corn rallied on slow emergence and cool, wet weather. Corn can’t make new highs on slow plantings or slow emergence, but it is high enough to start making some sales and hedges.

With 4 million less corn acres this year, the market will be more sensitive this year to weather issues should they arise.

Strategy and outlook: Producers are 100 percent sold of 2013/14 crop. Producers are 10 percent sold of the 2014/15 crop.

Sell another 15 percent at $5.05 and buy 480 puts on 50 percent of the crop.


Soybeans closed the week 24 cents lower from last week. Last week, private exporters did not report any private


Weekly export sales of soybeans showed the first net cancelations of the marketing year, at only 0.6 mb for

old crop leaves the total commitments at 1.64 bb.

This is still well above the current USDA estimate of 1.58 bb. The USDA will be forced to increase its export forecast in the May supply/demand report, tightening ending stocks.

In the first crop progress report of the year, USDA said soybean plantings are 3 percent done versus the average of 4 percent.

Like with corn, technical breaks should be well supported by commercial entities as they begin to position long ahead of the growing season as they wish to extend coverage in case prices rally sharply on a weather-related event.

Look for beans to test and make new highs as we still have not solved the demand puzzle that has pushed soybeans higher than expected this spring.

Strategy and outlook: Producers are 100 percent sold of the 2013/14 crop.

Producers are 10 percent sold of 2014/15 production.

They sold another 15 percent at $12.49.

This material has been prepared by a sales or trading employee or agent of Midwest Market Solutions and is, or is in the nature of, a solicitation. This material is not a research report prepared by Midwest Market Solution’s Research Department. Brian Hoops can be reached at (605) 660-1155.

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