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Will bumper corn, soybean crops give consumers a lift?

Pras Subramanian

The polar vortex definitely hurt many this winter, and its effects have seemingly continued, albeit in some odd ways. A cool, wet summer in the Midwest may have fueled record growth in corn and soybean plants, as government forecasts are predicting a massive bumper crop.

While a huge surplus of corn and soybeans would be expected to bring prices down, and thus be a boon to consumers, high yields are likely good for farmers too. Jeff Kilburg, head of KKM Financial and a born and bred Midwesterner, had his feet on the ground in Iowa just a couple weeks back.

“In Dickerson County they [crops] were tremendous,” he says in the attached video. “I was in the fields doing a little recon, and it’s one of the most favorable, best conditions they’ve seen in a long time.”

“It’s been quite a knee-jerk reaction. Let’s go back to May when corn was trading $5.25 (bushel), folks were really concerned of the crop getting in the ground late now it’s been smooth sailing for the farmers, historic crops coming down the pipes, and we’re already past the pollination period so not really too much could go wrong at this point.” Corn is currently around $3.25/bushel right now. While prices are lower, farmers are expected to sell a lot more product, which would pad bottom lines.

But, according to Kilburg, cheaper crop prices won’t necessarily result in financial relief for consumers. “Due to the fact that they [food companies] are large corporations and manufacturers they do not translate that cost reduction that they’re paying [down to consumers]”

If investors are looking for a trade in corn, Kilburg suggests the Teucrium Corn Fund (CORN), an ETF that tracks the daily movement of corn futures contracts.

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