Todd Hultman

DTN Lead Analyst

Todd Hultman is a DTN grain market analyst, and has worked in the commodity futures industry since 1985.


Todd began his career as a broker with Delta Futures Group in Omaha, where he relied on DTN's news and market quotes. In 1997, he left the brokerage business with a desire to spend more time researching the futures markets and educating others. The move led to the creation of an online educational resource for futures traders. That same strong interest to research and teach brought a Todd to DTN where he enjoys commenting on the grain markets. Todd is a 1981 graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha and has lived in the Omaha area for most of his life.

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  • From a peak of $4.72 3/4 in July 2019 to a low of $3.09 in April, producers have seen a long, painful tumble in July corn futures that finally shows signs of easing. Futures funds are likely to feel the next pain, holding large short obligations as July contracts traded near their lowest prices in 13 years. (DTN ProphetX chart)

    Todd's Take

    After Thursday's new one-month high in July corn, the pressure is on funds to buy back their large short obligations.

  • (DTN illustration by Nick Scalise)

    DTN Closing Grain Comments

    July corn and July soybeans secured small gains in a quiet trading session with help from steady increases in cattle and hog slaughter rates. Wheat prices finished mixed and July soybean oil closed at a new one-month high.

  • USDA estimates U.S. soybean exports will fall short of Brazil's total by roughly 1.0 billion bushels in 2020-21, the third consecutive annual gap of that size. Given Brazil's 4.56 billion bushel soybean crop in early 2020, the gap could even be wider as USDA's U.S. export estimate looks unlikely. (Chart by Todd Hultman, based on USDA's May 2020 WASDE estimates)

    Todd's Take

    Nearly everywhere we turn, U.S. ag markets are suffering from a lack of demand flow. Where coronavirus is to blame, there is not much we can do; but in the case of soybeans, couldn't there be a better way?

  • July KC wheat prices rallied close to one-year highs this winter and made a second attempt, falling short in April. Prices have now turned lower as USDA expects record world wheat production in 2020-21. (DTN ProphetX chart)

    Todd's Take

    A feeble attempt to rally KC wheat prices this spring has turned bearish as the world aims at another record crop in 2020-21.

  • Cash spring wheat prices have been the most bearish performing of the three U.S. wheats in early 2020, but that may not hold true all year. Managed futures funds have placed large bearish bets on spring wheat even though prices are facing the uncertainty of a new season ahead -- a recipe for a significant rally, should a bullish surprise emerge. (DTN ProphetX chart).

    Todd's Take

    Is spring wheat really as bearish as futures funds seem to think it is or have they fallen into a bearish trap?

  • USDA will release its latest Crop Production and World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) reports at 11 a.m. CDT Tuesday, May 12. (Logo courtesy of USDA)

    USDA Reports Preview

    As the country slowly begins to venture out after several weeks of stay-at-home restrictions, USDA is about to unleash a heavily bearish corn estimate for 2020. The May WASDE and Crop Production reports are set for release at...

  • (Illustration by Nick Scalise)

    DTN's Quick Takes

    OMAHA (DTN) -- On Sunday evening, July corn is up 2 cents, July soybeans are up 3 cents and July KC wheat is up 5 1/4 cents. Cold weather remains a risk in the Midwest through Wednesday morning. The Dakotas and neighboring...

  • (Progressive Farmer image by Getty Images)

    Inside the Market

    Todd Hultman, DTN Lead Analyst, sees corn and soybean prices off to a bearish start even as planting is just getting started.

  • The chart of July corn shows how quickly prices fell after the weekend of March 7-8 when coronavirus spread to new locations and Saudi Arabia announced an unexpected oil production increase. The two surprises assaulted two of corn's three demand sources, resulting in a sudden drop in prices that may not be over yet. (DTN ProphetX chart)

    Todd's Take

    In the twinkling of one unsuspecting weekend, everything changed for corn.

  • Less than four months into 2020, November soybean prices have been pressured lower by disappointment in the phase-one U.S.-China trade agreement and by coronavirus concerns. Amid the bearishness, the Nov/Mar soybean spread has been trading at a bullish inverse, an unexpected sign of stronger-than-expected demand for the November contract. (DTN ProphetX chart).

    Todd's Take

    The U.S. economy is bogged down by practicing social distancing, and Brazil is winning export business. Why does the market show bullish attraction for November soybeans?

  • USDA will release its latest Crop Production and World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) reports at 11 a.m. CDT Thursday, April 9. (Logo courtesy of USDA)

    USDA Reports Preview

    As coronavirus deaths continue to rapidly rise in the U.S. and economic activity is at a standstill, USDA is likely to issue lower demand estimates for corn, soybeans and possibly wheat in Thursday's WASDE report, due out at 11 a.m...

  • This chart shows a bearish consensus beginning to build among managed futures funds as cash corn prices fall to new one-year lows. By all appearances, the outlook for corn prices is bearish, but also highly uncertain early in 2020. (DTN ProphetX chart)

    Todd's Take

    Uncertainty is frustrating, but important to acknowledge when looking at markets. In the case of corn, the outlook for prices is both bearish and highly uncertain.

  • USDA will release its annual Planting Intentions and quarterly Grain Stocks reports at 11 a.m. CDT Tuesday, March 31. (Logo courtesy of USDA)

    USDA Reports Preview

    As coronavirus deaths rise in the U.S. and around the world, and we all try to keep a safe distance, USDA reveals its survey of prospective plantings and reports on March 1 grain stocks on Tuesday. DTN's post-USDA reports...

  • The Tuesday, March 31, USDA Prospective Plantings report is apt to show farmers eager to increase corn plantings in 2020, and they just might. That's unfortunate, as soybeans are the stronger bet for higher prices this fall. (DTN ProphetX chart)

    Todd's Take

    After the trade dispute with China began, the planting choice favored corn over soybeans. In 2020, the better odds for a higher return have now shifted back to soybeans.

  • The DTN National Corn Index of cash prices held above $3.50 a bushel until this week, pressured by a steep drop in oil and gasoline prices that pulled May ethanol to its lowest close on record Wednesday. (DTN ProphetX chart)

    Todd's Take

    Corn prices were weathering the storm of the coronavirus, but Saudi Arabia's reckless decision to increase oil production became too much to bear.

  • DTN's National HRW Wheat Index rallied from a low of $3.50 in early September to a high of $4.74 by Jan. 21, largely squeezing noncommercials and funds out of the short side of the market in the process. Since then, prices have fallen lower and the winter short-covering rally appears to be over. (DTN ProphetX chart)

    Todd's Take

    After a sharp sell-off last fall, HRW wheat prices managed to rally $1.24 a bushel from the September low this winter, but that was all they could muster.