The Agriculture Department released its latest assessment of global supply and demand this week offering a preview of upcoming grain prices.
USDA decreased month-over-month U.S. and world corn ending stocks…
Domestic wheat stocks declined modestly, but global wheat stocks grew larger…
And U.S. and global soybean ending stocks decreased significantly, leaving little margin for a short soybean crop.
And with fieldwork already underway in some parts of the Grain Belt, weather conditions are shaping up to be the key factor in the markets. But for residents of the Red River Valley of North Dakota and Minnesota, Mother Nature already has made her presence known.
Residents of North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota are still battling floodwaters near the swollen Red River. While the record crest of more than 40 feet last week near Fargo didn't top temporary levees, concerns remain that upper-Midwest farmers could see a repeat of the historic 1997 flood.
In 1997, more than 800,000 acres were enrolled in "preventive planting" due to flooding conditions along the Red River. More than 100,000 animals died due to the floods – forcing the National Guard to perform carcass removal. And the river city of Grand Forks was decimated.
The 2009 flood waters have largely affected the upstream river communities of Fargo, North Dakota and Moorhead, Minnesota.
This week, USDA's regional director of the Risk Management Agency predicted flood waters could persist throughout North Dakota until late May.
Initial estimates for crop or livestock damages are uncertain and members of the North Dakota Agricultural Commission are urging USDA to approve rules that allow cow-calf producers to apply for emergency disaster assistance.
The National Guard continues to shore up dikes and temporary levees in anticipation of a 2nd crest of the Red River in mid-April