Monday, June 9, 2014

An Overview of Agriculture in North America 2014: Part 1

The Current State of Agriculture in North America

People who make their living in the agricultural field know one thing is certain: No two years are ever exactly alike because the number of factors that define a year’s planting and harvest season is overwhelming. 

Because our conveyor belting solutions are prominently used in North American agriculture, we wanted to breakdown the state of the industry and harvest in a two-part blog series. To begin, let’s get a feel for where agriculture is at a few months into 2014. Below, we’ve broken down the industry by factors and topics.

Weather
This past winter was one for the record books. In the western parts of North America, drought conditions ruled the day. Currently, 100 percent of California is suffering from some level of drought, but conversely, much of the rest of North America was slammed by an extended and harsh winter that saw both record snowfall and unmatched low temperatures. As you might imagine, any type of extreme weather condition will directly impact both planting and fieldwork.



Crop Progress and Condition
As we mentioned before, no two years are alike, and this is also the case when it comes to states and regions. One helpful tool, at least for the U.S., is the USDA’s State Crop Progress and Condition website. This site allows you to get detailed reports on the current and past crop reports.

Current Prices and Equipment Sales
Though prices are currently lower than last year, the numbers coming in show that projected acres planted are significantly lower in corn and soybean. This is something to keep an eye on because it might shock prices down the road. The same goes for equipment sales as they are directly linked to prices and planting levels.

Overall, the current state of agriculture in North America is one of wait-and-see. Will prices stay low? Will the uneasy weather continue into the summer months? In our next blog, we look to answer these questions by taking a closer look at what the experts believe we can expect from the harvest season of 2014.

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