(GallatinRiverCapital) It’s been two years of relative calm across the European Union (EU) following years of political turmoil, debt crises, and protests that pushed the EU to the brink of collapse. Many economic reforms have been enacted since the peak of the European debt crisis in 2012, including relaxing deficit-reduction requirements and increasing monetary stimulus measures. Although these reforms brought about stabilization to European financial markets there is still a long way to go to reduce unemployment, accelerate economic growth, and ignite inflation throughout the EU. ...continue reading
Combines and grain carts can only mean one thing, harvest has begun. Farmers across the U.S. have taken to their fields to reap the benefits of their labor. While corn prices may be low, farmers will be able to preoccupy themselves with their production data, which according to the USDA is expected to be record breaking.
Colvin & Co. wants to wish all farmers a safe and plentiful harvest.
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Soybean sales exploded after ending the marketing year on three straight weeks of reductions. Corn sales also increased, while wheat sales decreased. Soybean exports also increased substantially reaching levels not seen since mid-May. Corn and wheat exports also increased, it was the first time since July that all three commodities saw export increases in the same week.
Weekly U.S. net corn sales for the week ending September 11th in the 2014/2015 marketing year were 659,700 MT, a 17% increase from last week and 225% increase from the prior 10-week average. Increases were reported from Peru, Japan, Mexico, Guatemala, and South Korea. Decreases were reported from unknown destinations. Exports were 722,400 MT. The primary destinations were Mexico, Japan, South Korea, Colombia, Egypt, Peru, Guatemala, and Venezuela. ...continue reading
(Reuters) U.S. Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack met with Warren Buffett last week to urge the billionaire investor to make sure his BNSF railroad is ready for an expected record corn and soy harvest this year.
Vilsack said on Tuesday that Buffett, who heads the sprawling conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway, recognized the challenge and indicated his company was taking steps.
"I said, 'Warren, you've got to make sure that your railroad understands what's going on here,'" Vilsack said he told Buffett during a 45-minute conversation. "There is pressure now, but as soon as this crop is harvested, there will be more pressure." ...continue reading
Farm equipment makers insist the sales slump they face this year because of lower crop prices and farm incomes will be short-lived. Yet there are signs the downturn may last longer than tractor and harvester makers, including Deere & Co, are letting on and the pain could persist long after corn, soybean and wheat prices rebound.
Farmers and analysts say the elimination of government incentives to buy new equipment, a related overhang of used tractors, and a reduced commitment to biofuels, all darken the outlook for the sector beyond 2019 - the year the U.S. Department of Agriculture says farm incomes will begin to rise again. ...continue reading
(WSJ) In a fight that highlights global sensitivity over genetically modified crops, Cargill Inc. sued Syngenta AG, claiming that the Swiss seed maker's push to sell bioengineered corn seeds that weren't approved in China cost the U.S. grain company $90 million when Beijing rejected corn shipments.
The suit, filed on Friday in Louisiana state court, escalates tensions that have shaken U.S. agribusiness since China last year sharply curtailed imports of U.S. corn. Beijing's move all but closed off a major market for the grain, contributing to a sharp decline this year in prices for the U.S.'s biggest crop by value and costing shippers hundreds of millions of dollars, according to U.S. grain groups.
China's government began rejecting U.S. corn shipments in November after its tests found that some shipments of U.S. corn contained Agrisure Viptera, a genetic modification developed by Syngenta that enables the plants to produce proteins that ward off pests. China hasn't approved the product, although Syngenta says it applied for approval in 2010. ...continue reading
Farmers in Illinois and Indiana were only able to scratch the surface on a corn harvest that is expected to yield record breaking production. Rain and cold temperatures have forced farmers to wait for the ground to dry, much like the planting season this spring. Corn and soybean conditions remained unchanged for the second straight week despite a frost threat to the upper Midwest. Many operators have expressed concern over the mild summer temperatures which have caused maturity estimates for both corn and soybeans to fall behind their respective five-year average.
Corn conditions were estimated by the USDA at 74% in “Good” or “Excellent” condition, unchanged for the past two weeks, but a 21% increase from last year. 19% was considered “Fair,” unchanged from last week, while only 7% was considered “Poor” or “Very Poor.” Of the Corn Belt states, Illinois had the most corn rated “Excellent” at 31%, followed by Iowa with 25%, and Indiana with 23%. ...continue reading
US farmland, cropland and ranch values have been increasing – by nearly 8 percent this year compared to last, according to the US Department of Agriculture – but recent decreases in trading prices for crops like corn and soybeans has prompted speculation that US farmland and related investment vehicles could lose value. Soybean prices have dropped more than 15 percent since July, for example, while corn prices are expected to fall by 20 percent by year-end.
Farmland investment managers, however, are quick to say such speculation fails to appreciate that price volatility for crops is part and parcel of the agriculture investment world. ...continue reading
Iowa State University is one of the national leaders in agricultural research. They perform a number of experiments focusing on a number of different topics including; soil and water preservation, wind and water erosion, plant biomass, and best farming practices. These experiments keep farmers abreast of the best ways to increase their productivity while improving stewardship through improved conservation methods.
Below is a photo of the BioCentury Research Farm located in Doane, IA near the Iowa State campus. Students and faculty use this property to take their theories from the classroom to the field and put theory into practice. Shown in the photo are fields used for research on plant biomass.
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2014 average corn yields are estimated at a record 171.7 bushels per acre, an increase of over four bushels from last month, according to the USDA. Adjusting for corn's 2014/15 record production, the ending stocks-to-use ratio is now estimated at 14.7%, compared to the five year average of 8.8%. Corn exports are estimated higher for the 2014/15 crop season due to favorable U.S. pricing.
Domestic soybean production was also increased to an average yield estimated of 46.6 bushels per acre. The USDA estimates world ending stocks for 2014/15 at a record 90.17 million bushels due to production increases in the U.S. and South America. ...continue reading