"When misguided public opinion honors what is despicable and despises what is honorable, punishes virtue and rewards vice, encourages what is harmful and discourages what is useful, applauds falsehood and smothers truth under indifference or insult, a nation turns its back on progress and can be restored only by the terrible lessons of catastrophe." … Frederic Bastiat

Evil talks about tolerance only when it’s weak. When it gains the upper hand, its vanity always requires the destruction of the good and the innocent, because the example of good and innocent lives is an ongoing witness against it. So it always has been. So it always will be. And America has no special immunity to becoming an enemy of its own founding beliefs about human freedom, human dignity, the limited power of the state, and the sovereignty of God. – Archbishop Chaput


Monday, September 15, 2014

USDA Latest Crop Conditions

Here is a summary:

                                   EXCELLENT                                                                  GOOD
                          09/14/2014            09/07/2014                         09/14/2014                      09/07/2014

CORN                    22                          22                                         52                                52

SOYBEANS          19                          19                                         53                                 53

As you can see, the crops held steady this week with the share rated Good/Excellent at nearly 3/4 of the entire corn crop and 72% for the bean crop. These are superb numbers. Last Friday, frost issues heading into the weekend propped up both markets and enabled them to shrug off the extremely bearish numbers from USDA in last week's Supply and Demand report.

With the frost damage minimal at best, the conditions index and more importantly at this point, the maturity ratings are going to come back into focus.

What a difference a single week can make for maturity.

I have been commenting recently about the lag in maturity of the crop with my thesis being that the outstanding growing conditions, ample moisture and mild temperatures, have kept more energy heading into the ears ( kernels) and pods respectively instead of the plants following their more usual process of beginning to shut down. That I believe is going to lead to heavier/larger kernel fill and the same with pod filling ( heavier/larger beans).

This week however both crops took some nice jumps in their maturity process. Corn is 82% dented now compared to last week's 69% and the 5-year average of 85% so it made excellent progress in that regards. A full 27% is mature compared to 15% last week and the 5-year average of 39%.

The extreme northern tier states are the areas in which the crop is the most behind but that is to be expected. It is also the reason that we got that burst of shortcovering when meteorologists began inserting frost into the forecast last week ( in those same northern tier areas). With recent forecasts showing a more seasonal trend in temps, we should begin to see some catching up on that maturity level pretty quickly now. By the latter half of this week, most of the corn belt will be enjoying some very nice warm temps.

By the way, 4% of the corn crop has been harvested. That compares to last year's number at 4% and the 5-year average of 9%.

For beans, 24% of the crop is now dropping leaves compared to 12% last week and the 5-year average of 32%. Not too bad!

I do not see anything in particular in these reports that would lend much if any support to the bull cause at the moment mainly because the forecasts that I see are not putting in any hard frosts for some time.

Today's blip up was the result of traders looking ahead to tomorrow's USDA acreage numbers ( from a different division with the USDA) trimming some off of the recent numbers we just got. My own view is that anything they come up with is going to be too small, ( if at all ) to change the perception of an enormous crop coming very soon. We will just have to wait and see.

I am more and more of the view that the last straw that the bulls are going to be able to hold to is an early killing frost, and while these weather forecasts are always varying on us, odds are lessening. Another week or two of nice warm days is going to really push this crop towards its final stage of harvest.


  1. last FSA report day was a rally day, so may have had some short covering as well today.
    ...of course any FSA pop said to be a sell. funds are long soymeal same as they are corn.

    good corn blurb: Prices pushed higher on speculative buying and ideas that tomorrow’s FSA numbers could show a reduction in US planted corn acres, potentially leading to a reduction in total production.

    corn and beans had a chance for an outside up day, but both could not book it.

    yellen the fomc decision is weds., then the litro and scotland for europe...it depends on the DX us dollar index which is still low end and easily could run for 100 par. commodities are going to be hard to get off the mat unless the DX tops.

    In the ags seasonal lows tend not to come til after sept. in years of huge crops, so sell the pops looks good.


  2. Nate, I hope you played Den and not SF???

  3. Jim Rickards is another charlatan who only wants to sell his James Bondish books to people who loved to be schooled. He definitely has his own cult followers. Also, after reading Jim S for years I find it disturbing that he takes Bo Polny seriously. Very disturbing. And Mr. Immortal All Knowing Amstrong? Priceless.

    1. What I find disturbing about JS is his last prediction about gold basing and saying he can imagine how many trolls this will attract.

      Come on he's been so dead wrong about gold in recent years that what does he expect.

      Predicting 50K isn't trollish?!?

    2. The day he said "I have this 'feeling' that before or on my birthday gold..." he lost me for good. That is textbook manic grandiose behavior. Zero objectivity. Like the market cared about his birthday.

    3. Loren, I am glad you mentioned Rickards, who in the beginning I thought may have had something going for him, but I too now have to put him in the fraud camp. He is never in doubt and I have never heard him say "I don't know", and of course the kiss of death is when you see him show up on Keiser or Greg Hunter shows. As far as Spellcheck Armstrong goes, well, if he was the real deal, he would be dealing with institutions and CB's, not the retail public, like Sinclair and so forth.

      The reason I like to call these donkeys out is to help the young guys here. God knows over the years, BUT especially when I was a rookie, I took a shot at letter after letter, BEFORE I finally realized the truth of the matter, and that is, that the letter writers and for that matter the book writers, are very good psychologists and promoters. They understand that if they keep plugging away that clients that quit can be replaced by new ones and that their only objective is to keep the subscriber base from collapsing. No way does being right the mkt have anything at all to do with their operation. They know that wild eyed predictions will always catch the eye of a certain % of the public and they count on grabbing that susceptible group, if even for only short periods of time. Kinda like the old churn and burn mentality of most of the brokers I worked with. So, for anyone new to the mkts, check out Edwards and Magee on TA and disregard the Polnys, Dines, Pentos and so on.

      All these guys know in their guts that they know nothing and that is why of late they are all turning into Junior College History professors of late, as though they are enlightening us of some period 100's or 1000's of years ago, as opposed to reading the mkts, which is what this is all supposed to be about. Sadly, when they again start preaching about corruption this and oligarchy that, I just shake my head and ask myself if they really think that these mkts and mankind and politicians here in the last 10-20 or whatever years invented the horrible ethics and morality currently so widespread? Nope, been around since time immemorial folks.

      Sorry for the soapbox tirade, but that is it for now. Good luck all.

    4. I remember the birthday thing to. Around the same time he was inferring something about deals behind closed doors in smokey room - like something that would revalue gold at it's true "discovery" price.

      This was when gold was heading back down from 1792 towards 1530ish and it was a last ditch effort to save gold from breaking major support.

      But obviously the only people he fooled was the CIGA's who were sent to battle with sticks and rocks vs. the markets tanks and machine guns. Remember that war video "gentle prepare to defend yourselves"

      Don't forget this is the same man who hired actors in the 70's to pose as sheiks from the middle east showing up at the Comex to take possession of their bullion.

      Shows how he operates.

    5. Steve;

      That is an excellent summary of how those peddlers operate and their thinking. Well said.

    6. Dan, you are a real pro and a credit to the business.

  4. If there is something I have learned in this sector since 2007 is that I now have the uncanny ability to spot egomaniacs. Im dead serious.

    The best thing about Dan is his humility. I learned it from the bible. Predictions and excessive preocupations about the world only shows one's lack of faith in Christ. I learned it the hard way.

  5. Don't worry gold and corn bulls.
    This interview is sponsored by Kellogs Corn Flakes, a great company which just opened a new corn mine, corn being a byproduct of other stuff they mine there, so don't ask and just buy the stock.
    Joining us now on Corn World News, acclaimed expert Ned Stark and an amazing interview which will detail the reasons why you should be a resolute bull especially now.


    1. Hubert;

      Great short clip.. poor Ned Stark.. he never made it out of the first season of GOT!

      Heck, everytime you get attached to one of the characters, they kill them off!

      By the way, have you ever tried "Stacking" Corn Flakes?

    2. Boromir, Ned Stark...that poor actor never seems to be able to make it through the first episode :)
      Problem with GOT (no no no! not Get out Of The system, but Games Of Thrones), is the author is in love with weak characters and cripples, and kills only the strongest.
      So not only does it make the story completely unbelievable (in such a harsh world, it is just impossible that all the strongest heroes die, and all the stupid, crippled, kids, in a word weakest characters survive) but damn predictable. But as many others, I just like the dwarf too much, he is a great actor in this role.

      As for Corn Flakes, I've been stacking since 2008, thanks to Corn World News, Corn Doctors, Harvey Corngan and I intend to accumulate on weakness in order to Corner the market. I've just sold my car and my house to buy new barns and store the stuff. With such manipulated markets in gold, this is the only protection.

    3. Hubert:

      The Sean Bean Hex!

      On GOT - I am waiting to see if the dragons get ticked off enough at the Mother of Dragons to turn on her and fry her for locking them up in a dungeon.

      Get humor on the Corn stuff Hubert!

    4. Don't forget TF Corny Report. We're all screwed, but your stack will save you!

      Then there's 321Corn.com and CornCollapse.com to aggregate all your corn news in one spot.

      Oh yeah, and Casey's Corn Research. Doug's got a newsletter (fresh from Argentina) to fit every budget!

  6. Steve

    Have you heard this "joke" before?

    "A guy enters an antique shop and asks the clerk... What's new? The clerk answers... YOU ARE."

    So much wisdom in this. There is nothing new under the sun.


    Gold broke through 1240 last week. Is it the start of a new move towards 1180? It is my target, as I mentioned this weekend. Now, the long-term uptrends is now indeed in the 1240 area, but as any very long term uptrend, a mere 10 dollars down on a daily close is not yet enough to confirm it is broken. It is better to have a confirmation on the 2 week chart (end of this week) and on the monthly chart.
    Gold is now flirting once more with 1240.
    So...was it a bull trap?
    Maybe. Too early to say, imo, that's why having a stop loss is so important.
    Luckily, the ema15 and ma20 are heading downwards every day and should act as resistances if a new downwards move just started. So a stop loss above doesn't sound like a bad idea for the shorts.
    Still, as long as gold remains under 1240 area (1242-1243 on my chart), it is a weak upwards pullback after the failure of 1240 as a support, and it confirms the message of weakness and continuation of the bearish trend.

    Imo those markets can turn in a blink.
    I can be short one day and bull the next, then short again.
    But at the moment, long term, I need a confirmation (end of month) that gold closes under 1240 by a fair margin (say sub 1230) to consider that this long term upwards support is gone.

    1. P.S : which means that at the moment, the very long term support of the very long term upwards trend (monthly time unit and more) is not yet broken. Much will depend where gold ends the month. So "M" can still consider gold is in an uptrend by an inch on this time unit. And of course, middle term (weekly time unit), gold is in a bearish trend, recently range bound but with Bollinger Bands threatening to give way (i.e acceleration of volatility and resuming the downtrend under 1240).

  8. Attn: Creative Writers here

    Might as well take "inventory" of our favorite charlatans and assign some nicknames:

    James "Belvedere" Dines
    "General" Jim Sinclair
    James "Bond" Rickards
    Bill "Wild Turkey" Murphy
    Rick "I'd Love To!" Rule
    Paul Craig "Moonshine" Roberts
    Richard "Godfather" Russell

    Hey, I need help with nicknames for:

    Eric Sprott
    Stephen Leeb
    Egon Von Greyerz
    David Stockman
    James Turk
    Michael Pento
    Peter Schiff

    1. Eric "shortage" Sprott
      Stephen "dweeb" Leeb
      David "said so" Stockman
      James "backwardation" Turk
      Michael "Luciano" Pento
      Peter "dollar collapse" Schiff

    2. Peter "Aaand Its Gone!" Schiff
      James "Turd That Never Flushes"
      Egon Von "I See Dead People"
      Micheal "GTL" Pento
      Stephen"Brown Alert" Leeb
      John "Celibate Monk" Hathaway
      Ben "Trend Ready" Davies

    3. Aaand it's gone!! :)
      Love that one indeed!


    4. I like Peter "Poof its gone!"Schiff too. Lets mark decide

    5. Sooner or later we need a name for the whole team; something like the Mad Hatters or Destitute Donkeys or whatever

  9. Mish is expecting a collapse of the Yen (sooner or later).
    Who agrees? :)


    1. I do, but I am losing patience with his longwinded opinions on geopolitical events in general. Everybody wants to weigh in with their opinions and I know they don't really know jack. Who knows when? We never do.


    Ok, as there are some readers here who are long term investors and don't care if I'm short on friday and long the next week, here is the simplest chart of gold long term on the 2months time unit.

    If you insist in buying now while the support seems to be about to break, at least put a stop loss somewhere near.
    If you insist in buying physical gold now at those "bargain prices", maybe as yourself : wouldn't it be wiser to WAIT for a confirmation that this long term support is holding, even if it means buying gold a few dollars higher?
    Situation is simple : next candle, i.e first of november, gold must be above 1250 $ and stay there or above until year end (in the bullish scenario).
    We are testing this long term support NOW.
    Why don't you just wait and check if it will hold?
    If it does, you can "safely" buy very close to the support.
    If it doesn't, you will save your opportunity to buy at even more bargain prices for later.


    1. Last thing to long term investors in physical gold :

      1) I am a long term investor myself, as I hold physical gold. The best advice I ever read on gold bugs websites about it and on jsmineset was : buy it and forget about it. Consider you own X ounces of gold, don't convert it to dollars every day, stop watcing the price.

      2) I am dynamically trading in order to make profits or to hedge this physical gold I see as an insurance. As a trader, as a short now on gold, I can smell fear, weakness, and desperation in the bull side. I can smell blood and I will participate to the slaughter should 1230 give way, then 1180. I won't be the only one. And if hedgies on the long side, holders of gold ETFs, believers of Bo Polny start to panick, it will be like on the battlefield : bulls will disband, short will charge with heavy cavalry and bulls will be overrun. Prices will collapse, and only THEN will you have the golden opportunity to buy gold. Maybe I'm wrong, but I have a stop loss to protect me, just above my head. Did you do the same? Or are you willing to potentially risk another 25% of your wealth?

  11. Dan, Steve, Mark,Hubert, Lan, PCB, Jasper and the rest of fine commenters on this fine blog.

    Try to not sh*t your pants on this one!

    Rick "Im delighted" Rule just pulled another rabbit up his ass!

    "How do you know when it's time to get out ? When you think participants in junior mining are good and kind people"

    You just cant make this up guys.


    1. Probably the only honest thing he's said…Goes for TRX, himself, and the band of brothers posting on KWN.

  12. 1242 is for me the first level of resistance for gold.
    Missing to break through after 10 consecutive lows on the daily time unit would confirm gold's weakness and make this like a mere pullback towards the previous support of the downwards channel. Of course bears would be delighted to see it stay there for one or two days and resume its grinding move downwards.
    Let's see what happens next. Shorts must be just as careful as bulls imho.

  13. "Despite the surging dollar, gold today is well over $1200, suggesting internal strength of the yellow metal. …Thus I think that the gold universe is strong and that we are building a massive base in gold. By the way, the chatter against gold has been almost deafening of late -- no doubt inspired by the Fed's denigration of gold."


    ON THE RECORD: I don't

    and I don't subscribe to this tosh from Turk either:

    "Higher lows signal that an uptrend is in place. It may not be much of an uptrend yet, but it is an uptrend"


  14. Sheesh, Dan posts about the crops and you guys waste the the whole blog posting about the gold prognosticators. Only posts of any value were Huberts.
    We all know who not to listen to......don't have to keep regurgitating it.

    1. Ya funny how the convo evolves that way. Many end up here with a chip on their shoulder towards the "goldbug community" - ànd for good reason

      How about Peter "moonshot" Schiff and Eric "former billionaire" Sprott.

  15. bubblin' crude got attitude! CL the '92.50 buy above tight stop below ' came from the 8/21 low at 92.50, now 'rejecting lower price and springing back above'... CL above the 20-day MA so if that holds then next goal is the 200-day MA touch. yellen tomorrow and if DX goes down then CL was a tell for it, as grandaddy of the commodities. of course old timers like to 'buy low' and we'll see which commodities can follow cotton's recent 'bottom and go' pattern!

    Sentiment towards Gold as measured by the Daily Sentiment Index (DSI) remains abysmal. As of Monday’s close only 7% of traders are bullish on the metal (93% are bearish). A final flush out on the back of these towards last year’s low in the 1180 region would be ideal from a trading standpoint, but in no way is such action guaranteed.

    in the lack of 'velocity of money' thus inhibiting inflation, wsj weighs in with the corporate buybacks, wow 25% of non screen trades in august were buybacks:
    ...338 billion in buybacks 2014-1H most in any 1/2 year period since 2007.


  16. $GNX seems to have bottomed for now.


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