Bean Market Summary

Greely, CO   Tue Nov 22, 2011   USDA-CO Dept of Ag  Market News

Bean Market Summary

Dealer: PINTO BEANS were steady to 1.00 higher. GREAT NORTHERN BEANS were steady to 1.00 higher. LIGHT RED KIDNEY BEANS were steady. DARK RED KIDNEY BEANS were steady. PINK BEANS were steady. SMALL RED BEANS were steady. BLACK BEANS were steady. PEA BEANS were steady. GARBANZOS were steady.

Good news for those buying groceries in bulk or stocking up for the winter. There  may not be too much of a price jump for beans. Surprisingly some other commodities prices have dropped. Why?

After the terrible and massive spring flooding this year I thought for sure harvests would be low. Crops were planted late in the season in boggy fields. Severe drought in the central part of the U.S left nothing but  stunted and withered plants, a hard cracked  earth and little hope. Temperatures remained at 100 plus for weeks.  Severe wild fires whipped through tens of thousands of acres in the southwest and the southeast. I was expecting beef prices to go up, see shortages on corn estimates, watch milk and grain prices jump and all sorts of problems.

If the cost of my groceries is going to go up next year I want to know about it now. I want to make appropriate plans and decisions. Figuring a budget for next year a big component of that is the cost of food. Those that understand the workings of economics all say that the general economy is not going to get any better for awhile. What they don’t say is that if any thing  rocks the boat there could be some real trouble in peoples lives. Something like maybe massive crop failure for instance.

The harvest is essentially in. A few states CO, OH, IL still have 8 to 10% of crop standing in the field. The results are disappointing for many farmers but overall quantities were satisfactory. The terrible weather does not seem to have affected the market much, which means  as a consumer I might breath a sigh of relief. I’ve been wading through the web site for the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the past few months looking for trends. What I have discovered is that the site is a superb resource for all sorts of agricultural information. The AG Dept is paid for with American tax dollars. There is something for everyone at the web site and a service that more people would take advantage of if they knew. This wealth of information is available free, U.S. citizen or not.

St. Joseph, MO      FRI Nov 25, 2011       USDA-MO Dept of AG Market News


WHEAT: Portland US Soft White wheat rail was 15 cents lower from 5.75-5.80 per bushel. CORN: Minneapolis US No 2 Yellow Corn rail was 29 3/4 cents lower at 5.64 3/4 per bushel. OATS AND BARLEY: US 2 or Better oats, rail bid to arrive at Minneapolis 20 day was 2 1/2 to 4 1/2 lower from 3.02 1/2-3.27 1/2 per bushel. US No 3 or better rail malting Barley, 70% or better plump out of Minneapolis was 10 cents lower at 7.55 per bushel. SORGHUM: US No 2 yellow truck, Kansas City was 46 cents lower at 10.70 cwt.

All most all produce and livestock raised in the U.S. is sold and traded at the Chicago Board of Trade. Corn, wheat, cotton, hogs, poultry are all sold as futures in the commodities market. Buyers offer a price on what they believe the goods will be worth at a deliverable date or month in the future. The Chicago Board works similar to the Wall Street Board if you are  looking for current and up to the minute price. Several years ago there were indicators that investors and speculators were making moves into the commodities market much as they had done with the oil market. This trend of speculation has stopped but is still of  concern when food prices are  manipulated for financial corporate greed.

Some other interesting notes: Soybeans hit a 13 month low. Hogs are up. Due to drought and fire a lot of forage has been depleted. Livestock are eating more grain. Feed costs plus demand has pushed up the cost of beef and pork is at a record high. Even though corn traded below $6.00 a bushel many report empty bins and silos on the farm. Farmers are harvesting the crop and selling immediately with no storage. Some farmers are growing corn on corn with no rotation to soy or other crops. What they produce is being bought right away but not for feed. Ethanol plants are running 115 to 120% capacity and see no slow down until oil goes below $70 a barrel.

If you or a friend has livestock you will be paying more for alfalfa this year. At a hay auction in Greely, CO  10/29 0f this year mixed alfalfa, sm. bale, 55-65 lbs. premium was selling $16.82, good was $6.92. In Texas good is $8.00-10.00. Central Oklahoma same has been trading at $9.00 and 12.00. Winter hasn’t started yet and if it is long or severe prices will surely rise.

Expect food to go up 2.5-3.5% in 2012 due to inflation. Factor in some chaos and anything could happen. For more information (that you paid for) explore the U.S.D.A. and learn about the Chicago Board. It is important to know if your carrots are organic or not but it is just as important to know why the price is what it is. Remember we live in a global economy run by corporations. Another good source of information is your local feed and grain store. Stop in with a cup of coffee and talk story with the sales staff. They can give you a local perspective and a warm place to spend an hour now and then this winter talking food and farms and the bean market.

About earthstonestation

promoting environmental education, protecting all species and preserving the wild places with art, music and storytelling.
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