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News Flash: October 24, 2014

INDUSTRY

Corn and Soybeans Decline as U.S. Harvest Accelerates

Corn futures dropped from the highest price in seven weeks as dry weather helps farmers harvest the biggest crop ever in the U.S. Soybeans also fell. Conditions in the southern and eastern Midwest are improving after rains delayed work in the fields. 31% of the corn crop was collected as of Oct. 19, behind the five-year average of 53 %, according to USDA. Corn futures for December delivery lost 0.8 % to close at $3.53 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade after touching $3.61, the highest since Sept. 3. U.S. output will climb 3.9 % to an all-time high 14.475 billion bushels, the USDA reported Oct. 10. While rain is forecast for parts of the Corn Belt through next week, the harvest will not experience major setbacks. “There’s going to be a lot of corn and beans delivered to elevators,” Bennett said. Soybean futures for November delivery declined 0.2 % to $9.6275 a bushel after rising to $9.825, the highest since Sept. 18. The price has fallen 26 % this year as the USDA forecasts the domestic crop will climb 17 % to a record 3.927 billion bushels. Bloomberg

 

CANOLA

Wet weather heightens disease risk for oilseed rape

Current wet weather is set to raise the risk of yield reducing oilseed rape diseases, such as phoma and light leaf spot, for already hard-pressed growers. The onset of these diseases was delayed due to a dry September, but now experts believe phoma is likely to spread and light leaf spot emerge. Growers are already being hit hard by slumping rapeseed prices and higher input costs from insect damage and tougher weed control. Farmer’s Weekly (UK)

 

SOYBEAN

SDSU molecular biologist uncovering path to drought tolerant soybeans

Hot, dry conditions can wreak havoc on a field of soybeans. According to the National Center for Soybean Technology, “drought is the greatest threat to profitability.” Work underway at South Dakota State University may change that. Assistant professor Jai Rohila of the biology and microbiology department is uncovering the molecular mechanisms that lead to drought and heat tolerance. This will help breeders develop soybean varieties that can survive heat and drought. “Ultimately our goal is to help the farmers in the field,” Rohila said. To do this, he is working with University of Minnesota soybean breeder Jim Orf, who provided Rohila with two varieties of soybeans, one that has greater tolerance to hot, dry conditions, and another that is susceptible. The project, which began in 2010, is supported by the South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council. SeedQuest

 

U.S. EPA concludes that neonicotinoid seed treatments are of negligible benefit to soybean production

On Oct. 15, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a report on the benefits of neonicotinoid insecticidal seed treatments to soybean production in the United States. Neonicotinoid insecticidal seed treatments include imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, and clothianidin. According to University of Illinois crop sciences professor Mike Gray, the analysis concentrated only on the potential benefits of imidacloprid and thiamethoxam used as seed treatments. “Although clothianidin is registered for use as a soybean seed treatment, the authors of the report considered its use ‘minor’ as compared with the other two neonicotinoids,” Gray said. SeedQuest

 

PALM

Palm prices seen up from current levels by end-2014; oilseeds supply eyed

Palm oil futures may end the year 2 % above current levels due to lower output in second-biggest producer Malaysia, but abundant supplies of rival oilseeds mean prices will still close down about 19 % for the year, a Reuters poll showed. Reuters

 

Indonesian Palm Oil Reserves Shrinking Most in 19 Months

Palm oil stockpiles in Indonesia slumped last month by the most since February 2013 as a dry spell reduced output in the largest supplier. Futures rose. Inventories dropped 12 % from August to 2.2 million metric tons, according to the median of six estimates from planters, traders, analysts and refiners compiled by Bloomberg. Production fell 9.8 % to 2.3 million tons, the biggest decline this year, the median of five estimates shows. Futures plunged 20 % this year on swelling global supplies of cooking oils, including a record U.S. soybean harvest. That spurred Indonesia and Malaysia, which is the second-largest producer, to waive export duties. Futures rose 0.4 % to 2,139 ringgit ($656) a ton on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives today, after touching 1,914 ringgit on Sept. 2, the lowest since 2009. Shipments fell to 1.696 million tons in September from 1.72 million tons a month earlier, the Indonesian Palm Oil Association, said in a statement. Bloomberg