Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Now that harvest is completed, the winter landscape begins to exert its influence. Work turns to what can be accomplished inside. Producers’ attentions are quickly turning to the 2016 growing season. Corn and soybean prices have fallen drastically compared to those seen several years ago. Many decisions will need to be made in coming months. Pricing and sourcing inputs will be critical to profitability in the next growing season. Seed corn selection is critical to matching up hybrid capabilities to the land. Cash discounts for payment by year’s end, now less than 30 days away will be part of the process.On Nov. 22, Argentina held its runoff presidential election. With no clear winner emerging from its election in October, the top two vote getters faced each other in the runoff election. The candidates were Daniel Scioli and Mauricio Macri. Scioli was the candidate backed by outgoing president, Cristina Fernandez. Macri was the conservative opposition candidate that pledged major reforms. The election of Macri indicates Argentina opted for a political shift, ending the 12 years of leftist rule under President Christina Fernandez de Kirchner. Macri’s reforms included the possibility of lowering export taxes on grains and grain products along with the potential of currency devaluation. Mauricio Macri will come into office on Dec. 10. While you might think it is no big deal, indeed it is one of significant and long lasting implications for the United States as well as to Argentina.Argentina continues to sit on a major stockpile of unsold soybeans from previous production years. They have long been looked down upon as an unreliable exporter of soybeans, soymeal, and soy oil as a result of work stopping dock and truck strikes that have happened in the past. They took place with extreme regularity and consistency each year. That stockpile could amount to 31 million tons of soybeans. A lowering of export taxes could easily make Argentina soybeans cheaper and more attractive for export. That could place U.S. soybeans at a competitive disadvantage with more downside potential according to some analysts. Others have suggested that the potential election of Mauricio Macri had already been factored into soybean prices before the runoff election took place. Newly elected president Macri is considered pro-business — a sharp contrast of the previous 12 years that expanded welfare while pushing the socialist agenda.With Christmas just around the corner, many thoughts will turn to weather and will stay there for several months. Numerous forecasts are already calling for the polar vortex to become prominent this winter. It was a phenomenon barely heard of two years ago when much of Ohio experienced bitter cold as temperatures reached -20 or colder. While it is not a new term or occurrence, those in Ohio had forgotten they existed. Those temperature extremes had not been seen in Ohio since the early 1990s.Soybean exports to China continue to be at a strong pace. Year to date imports into China were at 65 million tons, up 15% compared to a year ago. China’s crushing margins are still good but below those of several months ago. World ocean freight values continue to move lower as overall world grain demand is slow. In addition, barge freight on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers has been falling since harvest across the Midwest was completed several weeks ago.Grains have been under downside pressure since the July weather peaks that had March 2015 CBOT corn at $4.64. Shortly before Thanksgiving it was at $3.73 with a harvest low of $3.64. January 2015 CBOT soybeans reached $10.50 in July. They made a new contract low at $8.44 following the Argentina election.The weekly commitment of traders report indicates funds are short grains, adding to previous shorts, and getting shorter. Contrast that with producers expecting to see the seasonal rallies following harvest to again be a reality yet this fall. Producers want to see corn hit at least the $4 mark again in coming months. Will it become reality is the question?Thought for the day. “Thanksgiving was never meant to be shored up in a single day.”—Robert Lintner.