Corn basis and heat

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the difficulties of sourcing corn for diets in late August and September. The problem continues to grow. The Farmers Coop Society in Sioux Center, IA is now bidding +$0.30 for August delivery and +$0.33 for September delivery. This compares to -$0.39 for October corn. These positive basis numbers are in a region which has a strong livestock industry because of the historic negative basis relative to Chicago.

The western cornbelt isn’t the only region where corn supplies are tight. I have a friend who farms in northern Indiana. This past week I asked him about local corn prices and supplies. He said corn is hard to find. Basis is running +$0.85 to +$1.00 when the normal basis is +$0.10. The Cargill location at Bluffton, IN is currently bidding +$0.90 for corn with Indianapolis +$1.05. Ethanol plants in the area have been bidding up to +$1.00 since May. He also said conditions are dry in that part of Indiana so the heat last week will take its toll on their yield.

The heat also took its toll on pigs, even with fans, sprinklers and every other type of cooling assistance good management could offer. In the research barns that I work with, we routinely log temperatures, along with a lot of other data. I looked at temperatures in one of the barns that we have just removing pigs for sale. Temperatures in the barn topped at 94F on 2 days. The bigger hit to performance came when the night-time lows didn’t get below 80F for 2 days. The pigs had little opportunity for relief and feed intake suffered.

There is no reporting requirement for transport losses, other than FSIS data on downers and deads at federally inspected slaughter plants. I have had reports of SEW and feeder pig losses, even when production systems arranged for transport to occur beginning at 2 am. A tough week on pigs and people!

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