What to Expect from the 2014 Harvest in North America
In our last blog, we looked at the current state of agriculture in North America—and the takeaway was thanks to both harsh weather and lower prices, things remain in flux. To try to bring some clarity to the situation, we want to fill you in on what we can expect from the 2014 North American harvest.
· As of April 2014, the USDA reported that 19 percent of U.S. crops have been planted, but it varies from state to state. For example, Missouri farmers are at 47 percent while Iowa’s are only at 15 percent. There is a chance that planters will fall farther behind thanks to wet weather, but historically, the later a crop is planted, the less likely it will end up robust.
· In what is a vicious cycle, if commodity prices remain low, then farmers will plant fewer acres. This in turn will lower the yield, but then futures prices will rise; this seems to be what 2014 will produce.
· As anyone knows from watching their local weather report, it is next to impossible to predict the future. Despite this inherent difficulty, some believe we might be in for a wild ride this summer. This includes the possibility of a major El Nino that would bring North America a mix of unpredictable weather.
· Finally, there is the level of farm equipment sales. After a robust 2013, experts are expecting sales to be flat or lower in 2014.