January 16, 2019
2018 began with very severe droughts, ended with floods, and saw a great deal of trade unrest.
Agricultural markets have been affected in many different ways.
Native grasses' supplies are currently stable. Due to the weather pattern in Texas and Oklahoma, some late summer and fall maturing species did not yield well. We expect carryover inventory and good northern United States harvest yields to meet this year’s demand. Most supplies are ample, but another missed harvest would affect fall 2019 and 2020 prices.
Turfgrasses did not fare any better than native grasses. Bermuda grass has stayed the same or increased in price from the highs of 2018. Cool-season grasses, such as fescue and ryegrass, are still in short supply with only perennial ryegrass increasing in availability.
Small grains for 2019 appear to be in trouble. Heavy rain in the fall of 2018 reduced seed production plantings east of Interstate 35. West of Interstate 35 plantings are better, but not all of these varieties work in Central, Eastern, and Southern Texas.
Forage plants, such as millet and sorghum, are setting record high prices due to yields running 60% lower than a normal year. With hay supplies short in Texas/Oklahoma, spring forage seed is anticipated to be very tight. Producers would do well to consider other options, such as Piper Sudan.
Fertilizer is feeling some of the impact of trade unrest with commodities exports declining. It seems that prices are looking for a reason to react to marked declines or increases, but at this time, they are flat from the fall of 2018. Justin Seed’s approach is to purchase for short term needs. Regional demand has caused some fertilizer products to fluctuate in price.
Markets for the larger commodities items are waiting for either governmental or weather-related effects to make an impact. As always, regional products are more affected by local weather events. Economists believe that agriculture is in a downturn period that may last several more years without large governmental or weather-related intervention.