Archived Posts

News Flash: May 8, 2014



U.S. grain exports to Mexico rise in value to $7.3 billion

U.S. exports of grains and oilseeds to Mexico averaged 22.2 million metric tons per year from 2008-2012 with an average annual value of $7.3 billion, according to a report by the Center for North

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American Studies at Texas A&M University. Soybeans, crushed for meal and oil, accounted for 13 percent of exports. North Texas E-News

Increased drought portends lower future U.S. Midwest crop yields

Increasingly harsh drought conditions in the U.S. Midwest’s Corn Belt may take a serious toll on corn and soybean yields over the next half-century, according to research published today in the journal Science. Corn yields could drop by 15 to 30 percent, according to the paper’s estimates, although soybean yield losses would be less severe. North Carolina State University’s Roderick Rejesus, associate professor of agricultural and resource economics and a co-author of the Science paper, says that corn and soybean yields show increasing sensitivity to drought. The study period of 1995-2012 revealed that such crops struggled during this period. “Yield increases are getting smaller in bad conditions,” Rejesus said. “Agronomic and genetic crop improvements over the years help a lot when growing conditions are good, but have little effect when growing conditions are poor, like during droughts.” U.S. corn and soybeans account for approximately 40 and 35 percent of global production, respectively, making the results important to the world’s food supply. Using field data over an 18-year period, the researchers point to the effects of vapor pressure deficit (VPD) on corn and soybean yields. VPD includes temperature and humidity measures. Extremes at either end of this variable signify drought or too much water for crops. Some 29 climate estimates modeled in the paper suggest that VPD will rise significantly over the next 40 years, bringing on more severe drought conditions. Seedquest




Palm oil stretches losing streak into 5th day

Malaysian palm oil futures crept lower on Tuesday, extending a losing streak into a fifth day as weakness in comparable overseas markets put a strain on the oil. Uncertainty ahead of a key industry report due next week kept prices locked in a tight range between 2,558 and 2,586 ringgit, as most investors avoided risky bets. Malaysian Palm Oil Board data will detail palm production, exports and stocks in the second-largest grower on Monday. In competing vegetable oil markets, the U.S. soyoil contract for July edged up 0.2 percent in late Asian trade, while the most active September soybean oil contract on the Dalian Commodities Exchange fell 0.7 percent. The Star (Malaysia)



USA – Soybean request for referendum begins

The USDA has announced that the Soybean Request for Referendum has begun and will run through May 30, 2014. The program will be operated by USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) county offices. A request referendum is required to be held every 5 years by The Soybean Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Act. Producers participating in the voluntary referendum request must certify and provide supporting documentation that they, or the entity they are authorized to represent, were engaged in soybean production and paid an assessment between January 1, 2012, and December 31, 2013. A referendum will be held if at least 10 percent of all eligible soybean producers, no more than one-fifth of which may be soybean producers in any one state, submit a request. Seedquest


Research proves herbicide selection non-issue with sudden death syndrome (SDS) in soybeans – Researchers dispel glyphosate myth

A collaborative effort of soybean researchers in the United States and Canada has found that glyphosate does not increase SDS severity in soybean crops. Scientists from five Midwest universities and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs, led by Daren Mueller of Iowa State University (ISU) in Ames, participated in the three-year study. “A common claim out there is glyphosate is making SDS worse,” said Mueller, a plant pathologist specializing in SDS and other soybean diseases. “This research proves that there are other factors much more important to the development of SDS than herbicide selection.”Seedquest


Soybeans Slip as Inventories Are Forecast to Reach Record

Soybean futures dropped to a five-week low on speculation that a U.S. government report this week will show record global production and ample stockpiles. Meanwhile, corn advanced. World soybean inventories may rise to an all-time high of 79.68 million metric tons before the start of the 2015 harvest in the Northern Hemisphere, a Bloomberg survey revealed. A separate survey projected U.S. output at an all-time high this year. The USDA will release its forecast of world grain supply and demand on May 9. The USDA report “probably is going to signal our first increase in potential supplies for next year,” Don Roose, president of U.S. Commodities Inc. in West Des Moines, Iowa, reported. Soybean futures for July delivery fell 0.3 percent to close at $14.595 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, after touching $14.4325, the lowest since March 31. The price has dropped in four of the past five sessions. Reserves in the U.S., the largest exporter after Brazil, may double from this year to 297 million bushels. U.S. farmers planted 5 percent of the soybean crop as of May 4, trailing the five-year average of 11 percent, the USDA reported. Bloomberg


Iowa, Nebraska farmers say corn planting on track

Iowa and Nebraska farmers say they are on schedule to get their corn planted despite cold, wet weather that slowed the start of the planting season. USDA data released on Monday shows that 23 percent of Iowa’s corn crop has been planted, an increase from last week’s 15 percent. The percentage likely will rise quickly this week, as farmers have several warm, dry days before rain returns to the forecast. Nebraska is closer to completion, with 44 percent of its corn crop planted. Three-fourths of the fields in the state should be planted by the third week of May, with planting completely wrapping up by the end of the month. Associated Press

Corn Futures Drop as Conditions for Planting Improve

U.S. corn prices slumped nearly 2% amid speculation that drier weather will hasten planting of the grain after weeks of delays. Heavy rains in much of the Midwest have created unfavorable, muddy conditions for planting and prevented farmers from using equipment over the past month. Additionally, unseasonably cold weather has made soil temperatures too cool for planting in some regions. About 19% of the U.S. crop was planted as of April 27, trailing the 28% average over the past five years, according to USDA. Improved conditions were experienced in the corn belt this week. Wall Street Journal



Big year ahead for canola

In spite of a narrowing spread between canola and cereal prices for the upcoming 2014-15 season, Australian farmers are expected to flock to the oilseed crop, drawn by a combination of still high prices and good seasonal conditions. Nick Goddard, of the Australian Oilseeds Federation (AOF) said he was expecting canola acreage this season to consolidate on the past three years, which have seen a quantum leap in Australian canola production. Farm Weekly (Australia)


Crisis to hit sunflower, maize crops in Ukraine, Russia

Ukraine and Russia are among the world’s largest producers and exporters of corn and sunflower crops. Therefore, a stand-off between the former Soviet states has fuelled volatility on international grain markets in recent weeks. Farmers have seen their financial position weakened by a slowdown in bank lending and a currency slide, and analysts have been expecting a reduction in Ukraine’s crop area, notably in relatively cost-intensive corn production. The area sown with sunflowers is down by about 5 percent compared with last year in Ukraine and Russia. Reuters