Monday, June 1, 2009

The Debts of the Spenders: How to Read the USDA Crop Report

I received a private email asking me how to interpret the crop report. Okay. Here's how it works. Every Monday, the USDA releases its progress report. You want to compare the "percent planted" vs. the "percent emerged" columns. The former is the projected figure. The latter is the real figure. Be sure to also compare the 5 year average.

*A single glance at the soybeans column is enough to reveal why traders have been so bullish on this year's crop (or lack thereof). As the season progresses, weather takes on different connotations. For ex., wet summers increase the chance of fungus infestations.

A full schedule of the USDA reports is listed here:

*This report is from last week. It was released Tuesday b/c of the Memorial Day holiday. The next report comes in the next 15 minutes.
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