Popular ag topics from fertilizer prices to what’s happening in Ukraine were covered during an informational meeting at Lost in Time in Fairbury this week, hosted by Bank of Pontiac.
Ag exports out of Ukraine are on everyone’s mind following the recent Russian invasion of the country.
“Ukraine produces just shy of two billion bushels of corn annually and they export about 1.3 billion,” explained Jeremy Strubhar, senior broker with Advance Trading. “They have about 500 million yet to export of the crop they harvested in 2021.”
The big question is how much of that will get shipped and how much will be unable to be shipped due to the current war on the ground.
Strubhar said protection is key, such as utilizing options to set price floors. He hopes farmers are covered in case prices move lower while maintaining an upside opportunity if the market should climb higher.
“If all of the exports are cut off and South America’s crop continues to be small, all that business needs to come to the U.S. and if we don’t have enough corn to meet that demand, prices will need to rally.”
The focus on our own upcoming U.S. growing season has been put on the back burner with all of the other news in the world. While input prices are high, acreage questions remain for 2022.
“On March 31, we have a planting intentions report which will give us the first indication of what the U.S. farmer does intend to grow,” said Strubhar.
Another big topic lately is South America and what is going on with crops down there as they have experienced an abnormally dry growing season.
“I’ve never seen a situation like this going into 2022, living in America and wondering if we can get enough Glyphosate for example,” said Mike Toohill, staff agronomist for Agri Sompo North America.
Toohill believes we will be alright with nitrogen but with the recent action in Ukraine, growers will likely be paying a pretty high price.
“I am more concerned about our chemical availability, especially with Glyphosate and Liberty and I also have worries about our fungicides.”
Since many farmers are expected to utilize fungicides to help their crops later in the season, Toohill wonders if there will be enough fungicide to get all of the acres covered. He suggests having a good relationship with your ag retailer.
“We are not going to have to do much rationing as far as nitrogen but we are going to have to ration due to price,” Toohill notes.
Anyone spraying their own herbicides, should have the product in their shed ready to go. With tar spot, Toohill said there is plenty of inoculant throughout Livingston and McLean counties.
One of the top factors heading into the 2022 farming season is the weather. Another wet July and August period means the disease known as tar spot will be a major issue. A drier weather scenario would mean tar spot isn’t as much of a concern.
“It is just something farmers are going to have to manage for and be ready for,” explained Toohill.