The patterns within agriculture have been incredibly persistent for the past few years. We continue with a multi-year string of record crop production and record demand.

The supplies have barely exceeded the demands and crop ending stocks increased, while prices worked their way down. The early projections for the 2018 crop year show that corn and soybeans will dominate the landscape once again, as other commodities are still finding it difficult to compete for land.

But optimism remains in the markets for the future. Current futures show higher prices the further out we look in the markets.

As we entered 2018, there were 12.5 billion bushels of corn and 3.16 billion bushels of soybeans in storage in the United States. Both of these totals are higher than they were a year ago. Crop disappearance remains strong, especially through domestic channels. So while there is more crop hanging over the markets as we start the year, market participants also see more opportunities to move the crops.

For Iowa, 2017 was another strong production year. The average ...