Welch on Wheat: Crop Condition Down Slightly

    Market Situation

    Crop Progress. Today’s Crop Progress from USDA showed a slight decline in the condition of both the U.S. and Texas wheat crops.

    The U.S. crop condition index this week is 360, down 3 points from last week on 2% more acres rated fair and 1% less in the good and excellent categories.

    The Texas wheat crop condition index is 343, down 5 points from last week but still 21 points above normal. Texas saw 1% increases in very poor and fair and 1% declines in good and excellent.

    Weather. Underlying generally favorable wheat condition ratings in many areas are continued below normal precipitation levels, especially in southwest Kansas, southeast Colorado, western Oklahoma, the Texas Panhandle, and Rolling Plains.

    Commitment of Traders. Managed money positions as of November 18 continue to reflect an overall bullish market outlook. Friday’s Commitment of Traders report showed an increase of 9,048 net long positions in the grain markets by hedge funds and +5,962 by index funds. But corn is the only market where net longs outnumber net shorts. Net short positions in both wheat markets decreased last week but soybeans saw a small net increase.

    Marketing Strategies

    2015 Wheat Marketing Plan. I have priced all the wheat called for in my 2015 marketing plan at this time. Weather concerns will play a key role in the wheat market over the next several weeks as crops in the northern hemisphere get established and ready for dormancy while wheat in the southern hemisphere matures and is harvested.

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