April 19, 2012


US Kansas farmers may raise soy planting



This season, farmers in US Kansas will possibly harvest wheat crop early enough to boost soy planting in the state, said Jamey Kohake, a trader at Paragon Investments in Silver Lake.


Kansas, the biggest grower of winter wheat used to make bread, will probably collect grain as much as three weeks early in late May or early June, Kohake said. As much as four times the normal amount of rain has fallen and temperatures have been warmer than usual, speeding plant growth.


"Everybody's hoping to get the combines rolling and get the wheat out so they can plant soybeans," Kohake said. "It's widespread. We've had a lot of rain and we're running about three weeks ahead."


Before today, wheat futures on the Kansas City Board of Trade dropped 6.3% this month as favourable weather boosts crop prospects. The price plunged 7.6% this year. Soy futures on the Chicago Board of Trade surged 14% in that time.


The crop in Texas is about three to five weeks ahead of schedule, said Mark Welch, an economist at Texas A&M University's Agrilife Center in College Station. Plants in the central and north part of the state are in "great shape" while the western regions are dry, he said. The wheat is still a month from being collected, he said.


"Our wheat crop is running ahead of normal with the warmer than average spring," Welch said in an e-mail. "Where we have had moisture, that will delay maturity, which offsets some of that early development. The drier it is, the earlier the crop cuts out, even in a normal year temperature- wise."