Some watch and wait to get the highest price possible. Since this is a bit risky because prices could just as easily decrease, not as many go this rout."/>
Some watch and wait to get the highest price possible. Since this is a bit risky because prices could just as easily decrease, not as many go this rout."/> Change in weather brings grain trucks to town | News, Sports, Jobs - The Pierce County Tribune
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Change in weather brings grain trucks to town

By Staff | Feb 18, 2011

With prices up and weather good, local farmers are selling grain, according to Tim McKay, manager, Rugby Farmers Elevator. When the weather cooperates by warming, and the prices increase at the same time, it is a window of opportunity.

“Most area farmers sell their grain when it increases in price right along,”explained McKay. “That way they try to hit an average.”

Some watch and wait to get the highest price possible. Since this is a bit risky because prices could just as easily decrease, not as many go this route.Years of experience in growing crops gives farmers the ability to estimate what the market might do. Some study the process so that they can make educated guesses. Still, there are no guarantees.

As of Monday, Feb. 14, the prices at the Rugby Farmers Elevator were as follows: HRW – $8.10, HRS – $10.15, Corn – $5.95, Soybeans – $13.05, Malting Barley – $4.70, Feed Barley – $4.60, Flax – $15.80, NuSun Sunflowers – $27.75, and Canola – $24.50.

By Wednesday, Feb. 16 corn and soybeans had dropped lower and wheat was 1/2 cent higher per bushel. Sunflowers had increased to $29.15 (cwt). (www.rugbyfarmerselevator.com at 7:15 a.m. report.)

“Prices can change daily,” said one area farmer.

On Thursday (as the Tribune went to press) All grains, corn and soybeans were rising. By midday on Thursday, the markets were near the daily highs as they bounced back.

Trains are a vital part of transporting crops to market. BNSF Railroad sends trains that stop at the Rugby Farmers Elevator, one or two at a time. Sometimes no trains stop. Each train has 110 cars to fill and the elevator has to be able to fill all of them in order for the train to stop. It takes 400,000 bushels of crop to fill 110 cars.

Supply and demand are the two biggest factors affecting the market. A higher supply of grain tends to push prices down while a lower supply will drive prices up.

For obvious reasons, weather is a prime factor that affects the outcome of crops which affects supply. Economics, politics, and other factors affect demand.

For instance, since NuSun Sunflowers are at $27.75 (cwt) and canola at $24.50 (cwt), the demand is obviously high for these two crops, right at the moment. Crops like corn and malting and feed barley are abundant in this area so the supply is great, but not the demand at this time. Prices for those crops are currently lower than the higher demanded sunflower and canola oils.

Storage of grain has changed in more recent years to landowners maintaining their own storage. The Rugby Farmers Elevator was close to full this year when checked in the fall, as well.

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