Friday, March 7,2014

Today's Update!


Winter wheat progressing with little cold damage  


Over the past few weeks, the winter wheat crop has gone through the gamut of late winter and early spring conditions, said LSU AgCenter wheat specialist Josh Lofton.  "During the second week of February, much of the state experienced bitterly cold temperatures as well as snow and ice," Lofton said. "This was followed by nearly ideal conditions the following week."  That week allowed producers to get in the fields and apply at least the first application of spring nitrogen, with many producers making the second application. This also resulted in tremendous growth and development for the winter wheat crop.   

Conditions changed again, however, the following week, February 24- 28, with cooler, wet conditions that slowed growth and development - especially for the northern portions of the state, Lofton said.  "This past weekend presented great growing conditions, with adequate soil moisture and temperatures in the 70s and 80s for much of the state," he said, adding that the wheat crop looked better than it has all year.  "This has resulted in much of the northern portion of the state showing anywhere from 1-3 nodes, while the southern portion of the state has progressed a bit further," Lofton said.   

For the southern part of the state, this week's colder weather should be of very limited concern as temperatures should be right around the freezing point and will not damage wheat.   

In north Louisiana, while there is some concern, limited damage is expected. It is forecast that temperatures in some areas could reach as low as the mid-20s, Lofton said. However, these temperatures are not expected to last for any sustained period of time.   

Information from the Kansas State University Extension Service, shows the wheat crop is still in its most resistant stages of development as it pertains to cold stress, with temperatures needing to be less than 24 degrees for more than two hours, Lofton said.  "Overall, with the yield reduction of last season's late-season freezes still fresh in our minds, it is justified to be concerned of these freezes as wheat begins to come out of dormancy," Lofton said.   

However, any damage from this week's freezes should be mostly cosmetic, according to LSU AgCenter wheat breeder Steve Harrison.  Additionally, if temperatures are colder or last longer than expected, only the oldest tillers that are the furthest along should be damaged, Harrison said.

For further information on this year's wheat crop, Lofton can be reached at 318-498-1934 and Harrison can be reached at 225-578-1308



March USDA Report Could Be Bullish For Cotton 


According to cotton marketing specialist Dr. O. A. Cleveland, USDA may join the bulls next week with its release of the March supply demand report.

The industry believes USDA has overstated ending U.S. stocks by 400,000 to 500,000 bales.

Data is supporting  crop size will be lowered 200,000 plus bales and  exports might be edged higher. Some suggest  ending stocks will be lowered 500,000 bales, down to 2.5 million. USDA will be reluctant to take that path, but will base their estimates on the facts they uncover.

U.S. ending stocks, given normal weather (whatever that is), expected to move some 3 million plus bales higher during the 2014-15 marketing year. That has been paramount in new crop December futures noting that is trading some ten cents below the May/July contracts.

Fanning the bull's fire is the growing concern  the bulk of the 50 million bale plus Chinese Reserve is of questionable quality and was the primary reason the Reserve has purchased so much U.S, Australian and high grade Indian cotton. It is very difficult not to join forces with the old crop bulls.

Likewise, only Mother Nature controls the new crop forecast. That same normal weather means more cotton and lower prices for new crop. Grower pricing will be very-very heavy at 80 cents. 



National Average Diesel Price Remains Above $4 Per Gallon


The national average diesel fuel price was down less than a penny to remain at $4.02 per gallon, 11 cents lower than last year at this time.

The Rocky Mountain price increased three cents to $3.98 per gallon and the East Coast price was a penny higher at $4.16 per gallon.

On the West Coast, the price gained a fraction of a cent to remain at $4.04 per gallon. Prices on the Gulf Coast and in the Midwest both decreased one cent, to $3.79 per gallon and $4.02 per gallon, respectively. 



Thursday's  Closing Market Prices


Nov  Soybeans                  1186 up 6.2

Dec Cotton                         7950 up 61

North & South

   Delta Cotton                    8836 up 300

Sept  Corn                          489.2 up 6

Sept   Rice                          1408 up 2.5

Sept  Wheat                        657 up 3.2

#16 Sugar May                   1832 up 9

April Live Cattle                   143-07.5 down 60

April Feeder Cattle              172-97.5 down 102.5

Don Molino & Neil Melancon 

Please contact us with any questions or feedback regarding information you would like to receive in this e-letter. 


Don Molino

Senior Farm Broadcaster


(225) 291-2727, ext. 210