April Blizzard Wreaks Havoc

A massive storm brought snow to much of the Great Plains, dropping up to two feet of snow in some places. The storm shut down airports and roads, but the worst damage could come from more flooding in areas still recovering from last months’ floods.

For farmers, the unusually intense April storm is creating additional headaches.

For rancher, bad weather prevents them from bringing cattle to market, and cold temperatures cause the animals to eat more and gain weight more slowly, hurting farmers’ profitability.

Meanwhile, winter wheat farmers fear damage to the emerging crop that lay dormant since last fall, and farmers hoping to plant corn and soybeans in the coming weeks will see their planting schedules delayed by flooded fields.

Despite these concerns, U.S. agricultural prices were relatively quiet this week, with May corn futures trading Friday near $3.60 and May soybeans at $8.96 per bushel, while April live cattle fetched $1.26 per pound, all near recent lows.

Perhaps more important than weather is the ongoing saga of the trade war with China; a deal continues to be promised, but there has been no resolution thus far.