The pictures below, provided by the Iowa State University Center for Crops Utilization Research, show how many products corn and soybeans are used to make. From wallpaper to whiskey the list is almost endless.

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Soybeans sales increased significantly this week, reporting the highest level since the end of April. The large spike in soybeans sales was due to renewed interest from China who purchased more than 70% of the soybeans sold over the period. Corn sales were again boosted by Japanese demand and wheat sales reported their highest total since September 2014. Exports for corn, soybeans, and wheat all declined though. Soybean exports reported a near marketing year low and the lowest reading since September of 2014.

Weekly net corn sales for the 2014/15 marketing year were 364,900 metric tons (MT), a 63% increase from last week, but a 30% decrease from the prior 10-week average. Increases were reported from Japan, Colombia, Egypt, and Guatemala. Decreases were reported from Unknown destinations, the French West Indies, and Tunisia. Exports were 1,072,700 MT, a 7% decrease from last week, but a 3% increase from the prior 10-week average. The primary destinations were Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Colombia. ...continue reading

(MarketWatch) A searing Midwestern drought can send corn and soybean futures into the stratosphere. Too much rain, however, makes for a more complicated situation.

That is the position farmers and grain traders find themselves after spring and summer rains delayed planting of both crops across the eastern half of the Corn Belt and then continued to soak the region into early July. The Corn Belt is the corn-producing region encompassing western Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, eastern Kansas, eastern Nebraska and southern Minnesota.

“When you have a market that’s dealing with a wet weather problem, the trade generally has much more difficulty getting its arms around the extent of that problem,” said Dale Durcholz, senior market analyst at AgriVisor in Bloomington, Ill. ...continue reading

(Bloomberg) DuPont Co. cut its full-year profit forecast to adjust for the spinoff of its performance chemicals unit and the impact of lower crop prices, which are causing farmers to spend less on the company’s pesticides and seeds.

Operating earnings will be $3.10 a share in 2015, down from a prior prediction of $4, Wilmington, Delaware-based DuPont said Tuesday in a statement.

While most of the change is due to the July 1 spinoff of Chemours Co., DuPont said about 10 cents is attributable to weaker expectations for agriculture. DuPont also reported second-quarter earnings and sales that trailed analysts’ estimates. ...continue reading

(AgWeb) After the post-Acreage Report rally, it’s tough to watch grain prices sink. But watching and waiting might be the best course of action, according to Brian Roach of Roach Ag Marketing.

“I think what growers want to do is be patient and realize that weather in the future in the next year or two looks to me like it’s going to remain volatile, with El Nino coming on stronger, not weaker,” Roach said on U.S. Farm Report on Saturday, noting the recent flooding in Brazil. “If those types of weather patterns were to continue, that will affect our bean market drastically this fall.”

As of midday on Monday, November soybean futures stood at $9.38, down 27 cents. ...continue reading

Ideal weather for corn pollination continues to improve corn crop rating this week. Farmers in the western Corn Belt are more positive about their crops than those in the wetter eastern Corn Belt. The pollination window begins to close as corn maturation continues on schedule. Soybean conditions remain positive, but many farmers remain concerned about the potential for disease due to the heavy rains earlier in the season. The winter wheat harvest is nearly complete. Reports have suggested the quality of the winter wheat crop was damaged by the late season rain that delayed the harvest.

The USDA estimated corn crop conditions in the U.S. as of July 26th, at 70% as “Excellent” or “Good,” a 1% increase from last week, but a 5% decrease from last year. 21% of the crop was reported as “Fair,” a 1% increase from last week, but a 2% increase from last year. 9% was rated as “Poor” or “Very Poor”, unchanged from last week. ...continue reading

(Reuters) The U.S. House of Representatives was set to vote Thursday on a hotly debated measure that would block mandatory labeling of foods made with genetically engineered crops, including pre-empting a state law set to take effect next year in Vermont.

Dubbed the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act by supporters, but the "Deny Americans the Right to Know" or DARK Act, by opponents, the measure appeared likely to pass the House, according to lawmakers and lobbyists. It sailed through the House Agriculture Committee last week.

House passage would mark a victory for corporate food and agricultural interests that have lobbied for the bill, and a blow to opponents, which include consumer, health and environmental groups and organic food industry players. ...continue reading

Tasseling and pollination is the most important period for the corn crops maturation. Perfect weather conditions during this period include warm humid temperatures with a slight breeze. Ideal growing conditions over this period can make up for poor growing conditions earlier in the season, but poor conditions during pollination are nearly impossible for the corn crop to overcome.

Below is a picture of tasseling corn in Wisconsin. The tassels are actually the flowers of the plant, which produce pollen. The pollen then fertilizes surrounding corn plants. The result, hopefully a large yellow cob of corn.

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Increased demand for corn from Japan and South Korea has driven corn exports to their highest level since mid-April. Corn exports have struggled over the past few months as Chinese demand for U.S. corn has declined, due to foreign competition. Wheat exports also increased to their highest level over the same period. Soybean exports increased, but the strong U.S. dollar and ample global supplies have hurt demand for U.S. soybeans.

Wheat sales increased to a six month high as concern over El Nino potentially impacting wheat yields in Australia and Eastern Europe continues to build, possibly sending buyers to the American market. Soybean sales continue to increase off of marketing year lows reported earlier this month and corn sales decreased. ...continue reading

(Reuters) A quiet village in eastern France is home to an unusual greenhouse.

Farmers at the site in Laronxe, about 100 km (60 miles) from Strasbourg, are growing plants in an unconventional way so they can "milk" them for rare molecules that could be used in medicines, cosmetics and agrochemicals.

Several major companies, including German chemicals group BASF and French cosmetics maker Chanel, have teamed up with Plant Advanced Technologies (PAT) in the hope of securing privileged access to the so-called biomolecules it extracts through the use of a patented technique. ...continue reading