The Argentinian government is struggling, and these bags have a lot to do with it. Soybean farmers in Argentina are protesting a 35% tax on exported soybeans by storing them in silage bags, a common way for farmers to store crops in Argentina. The degradation of the Argentinian Peso and attempts by the government to further lean on farmers by increasing taxes on exports has further strained the relationship between President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and Argentinian farmers.

POW 3-6-15

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For the second time this marketing year corn exports increased to over 1 million metric tons (MT), behind above average exports to Japan and Saudi Arabia. Soybean and wheat exports decreased. Sales for corn, soybeans, and wheat all increased from last week.

The majority of the transportation turmoil reported in Brazil last week has ended; only a dozen roads remained blocked by protesting truck drivers, opposed to over 100 last week. The improved transportation has allowed exports to get back on track with expectations of the first barges departing next week. Normally the presence of South American corn and soybeans causes a significant decrease in U.S. sales and exports, but currently that is not the case. ...continue reading

(Blooomberg) Steve Edgar, a fighter pilot who operated wartime drones in Iraq and Afghanistan, is back home in Idaho. Now, he plans to use unmanned aircraft for a more peaceful purpose: Improving farmer crop yields.

Edgar’s firm, Advanced Aviation Solutions, in January became the first company involved in agriculture to be approved by the U.S. to fly unmanned aircraft over farms. Three others have followed since as the Federal Aviation Administration rolls out rules on how commercial drones are used in the U.S.

When the growing season begins this month, Edgar’s drones, which cover 200 acres (81 hectares) in about 20 minutes, will use high-resolution photos to measure plant health and thermal and multi-spectrum imaging to gain hard-to-gather information on watering, weeds and harmful pests. ...continue reading

(WSJ) Agriculture companies are building sturdier digital fences to fend off cyberattacks that industry officials say are increasingly targeting the sector.

Companies including Monsanto Co. and Deere & Co. are investing more in cybersecurity as the farming business grows more datacentric, with satellite-steered tractors and algorithm-driven planting services expanding across the U.S. Farm Belt, executives said at an industry event Thursday.

Seed and chemical companies have long guarded their technology with patents and security measures, but the expanding array of farm-level data collected by high-tech combines and other farm equipment in recent years has increased concerns that the sector will become a bigger target of hackers. ...continue reading

(Reuters) Canadian farmers are plowing profits from bumper crops into fertilizer storage facilities to mitigate the pricing power held by major retailers and producers.

Having their own storage lets farmers buy nutrients more cheaply during the off-season and creates fewer transport bottlenecks in the spring planting season.

Over time, the practice might erode the steep premiums farmers pay in the spring to retail businesses owned by Agrium Inc, Richardson International and Cargill Ltd , while shifting distribution patterns of producers Potash Corp of Saskatchewan, Mosaic Co and CF Industries. ...continue reading

Below average temperatures across the Corn Belt have farmers feeling that planting season is distant, but average planting days are less than seven weeks away. Farmers and landlords have been busy throughout February taking care of updating Farm Service Agency forms in compliance of the new Farm Bill. The USDA released estimated ARC County federal crop insurance payments in February for the 2014 crop year and many of the counties in the Corn Belt will average over $60.00 per corn base acre.

Truck drivers blocked the road to the Port of Santos in Brazil while outraged by high fuel costs in February. Export shipments were quickly delayed in the largest port of Brazil in the midst of record total soybean production. In the U.S., port congestion may take as long as two months to clear, according to Reuters, due to port labor disputes on the West Coast. ...continue reading

Farmers across the U.S. have been filing into their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office over the past several weeks getting their properties signed up for the newest FSA Commodity Crop Program. The period to reallocate base acres and update yield information ends today. Significant analysis has been done to assist farmers in selecting the program that will provide them with the greatest benefit.

The picture below was created by the Farmdoc Daily team of the Illinois University Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics. The map shows the expected pay-out for corn acres enrolled into the Agricultural Risk Coverage – County Level program in each county. For more information on the farm bill and the commodity crop programs see our article below.

POW 2-26-15


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Farmland values remained stable during the fourth quarter in the Tenth Federal District amid falling grain prices and declining farm income. Irrigated farmland values reported a 0.8% annual increase across the district. Irrigated farmland in Oklahoma improved the most, increasing 18.9% from last year. Non-irrigated farmland values increased 0.1% from last year across the District. Oklahoma non-irrigated farmland improved the most, increasing 19%. Oklahoma irrigated and non-irrigated farmland values benefitted substantially from last year due to rain in the fourth quarter which improved drought conditions in the area.

Quarterly changes in farmland values were also stable. Non-irrigated cropland increased less than 1%, while irrigated farmland decreased slightly from the third quarter 2014. Demand for highly productive properties remained elevated in the District. Bankers reported level or increased demand for “good-quality cropland” but demand for more marginal ground has decreased. Rental rates decreased in the fourth quarter. Farmers cited decreasing profit potential due to stubborn input costs that have refused to fall with grain prices. ...continue reading

Wheat exports increased to their highest level in over three months behind large exports to Japan and Iraq. Corn exports increased as well, but soybean exports decreased for the third consecutive week. Wheat sales also increased this week rebounding from their second lowest level of the year reported last week. Corn sales decreased to their lowest level of 2015, and soybean sales declined as well.

Truck drivers striking in Brazil is causing significant delays in soybean transportation. The drivers are protesting the price of fuel in Brazil by blocking roads and access to ports. The protest comes at a critical time for Brazilian farmers who are finishing their first season soybean crop and starting to plant the second season “Safrinha” crop. The lack of access to transportation as well as limited access to ports prevents operators from selling and delivering their grain. ...continue reading

(Bloomberg) In Argentina, where soybeans help drive the economy, a battle over export taxes has farmers defending their fields at night amid accusations that they’re hoarding crops to undermine the government.

At issue is the growing use of silo bags, sausage-shaped sacks 12 feet (3.7 meters) in diameter and 200 feet long that can hold 12,000 bushels of grain or oilseeds for three years. Some farmers say they only use the bags to store crops until they can get them to market, while others see them as type of savings account. The government asserts the farmers are stashing crops to avoid paying a controversial 35 percent export tax that supports a third of government spending. ...continue reading