By Archie Flanders, Agricultural Economist
The primary components of market conditions that determine prices for U.S. field crops are the supply and demand situation for each crop and the value of the dollar. Supply and demand conditions are indicated by stocks-to-use ratios which are updated by U.S.D.A. monthly reports. Crop prices attempt to ration supply with anticipated demand to achieve equilibrium stocks-to-use throughout the marketing year. As the marketing year advances, projected ending stocks become projected beginning stocks for the next marketing year and impact price expectations for spring-planted crops.