It’s harvest time, and that means a seasonal corn and soybean market.

Statistically, the average date the soybean market hits its harvest low is Oct. 4, and it generally rises until Oct. 27 during the harvest, according to Don Roose, president of U.S. Commodities in West Des Moines.

Roose says that means farmers, on average, should be able to help themselves at least a bit if they take time out of the harvest to market some beans during that period.

Over the past 15 years that early October low has been the seasonal low.

The situation is similar but not quite the same for corn. Corn prices generally bottom out on about Oct. 10 and then rise until about Oct. 20. But it is more common for corn to drop again later to hit a new low, Rosse says.

Those statistical trends at least give farmers some opportunity to market grain during the harvest.

This year there is also an opportunity to take advantage of a strong carry in the market. Roose says farmers with on-farm grain storage should take advantage of the fact that there is a strong carry in the market. That means marketing at least some grain for sale next summer could be a smart move.

For example, December corn was recently at $3.51 while July corn was at $3.81. While neither of those prices are good, the 30-cent carry does provide a market opportunity for farmers.

Meanwhile, farmers and buyers alike will be watching the Oct. 12 USDA report to see if it indicates larger U.S. yield numbers.

And everyone will be watching planting progress in South America. Roose says corn harvest is probably about 70 percent complete in Argentina and soybean planting has started in both Argentina and Brazil. Since South America produces more beans than the United States and exports a significant amount of corn, weather and planting progress there are very important.

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