John T. Barone, president and commodities analyst for Market Vision Inc.
In this weekly Commodities Watch column, John T. Barone, president and commodities analyst for Market Vision Inc., offers a snapshot of the state of commodities for restaurants.
The weekly U.S. Drought Monitor report, released Thursday, shows that more than 62 percent of the contiguous U.S. remains in some form of drought.
The USDA says extreme drought is affecting all six major wheat-growing states, and its final crop condition report on Nov. 26 rated only 33 percent of winter wheat acres as being in good or excellent condition, while 26 percent of them were poor or very poor. Those figures compare to 52 percent and 13 percent, respectively, a year ago.
On the cattle side, grass and wheat pasture conditions have deteriorated from Texas through the Dakotas. Lack of pasture and water sources will further delay any ideas ranchers may have had of expanding their herds.
On a final drought-related note: Mississippi River water levels are dropping, and the 180-mile stretch between St. Louis and Cairo, Ill. may be unable to handle barge traffic by late December.
Contact John T. Barone at firstname.lastname@example.org.