AgFax Grain Review: Expected Record for U.S. Soybean Acreage; Weather Hurts Brazilian Crops


    • reports that Goldman Sachs has raised short-term prices for grains, noting stronger than usual seasonal exports for corn and especially for soybeans and a lack of expected cancellations of soybean sales by China despite a record harvest and cheaper prices in Brazil. The investment bank has pegged U.S. soybean ending stocks at 139 million bushels, 6 million bushels below the latest USDA estimate, as the U.S. may over-export beans and force higher bidding over very tight stocks. However, Goldman continues to predict a decline in prices in the second half of 2014 as large expected production faces competition from left-over supplies from Brazil’s large harvest.
    • Isis Almeida and Whitney McFerro report on Bloomberg that heavy rains in Brazil have delayed soybean harvest which in turn has delayed corn planting and raising concerns some acres may not get planted. In addition, the lack of sun has slowed crop development for the young corn crop and may hurt yields.
    • A Press Release from DuPont reports that the company outlined growth drivers for the seed business at the Eighteenth Annual Goldman Sachs Agribusiness Conference, noting in particular that “Over the next five years we anticipate about half of our growth in the Agriculture segment will come from outside of North America.” With population growth triggering increased urbanization and a rapidly-growing middle class, the company hopes to offer science-based, sustainable solutions to improve crop production in developing areas to make more efficient use of available land-base.




    • USDA increased U.S. corn exports by 25 million bushels, lowering domestic ending stocks by the same amount and narrowing the projected price range by 5 cents on each end.
    • USDA lowered U.S. soybean ending stocks by 5 million bushels to 145m bushels, higher than most trade expectations, while raising export projections to a record 1.53 billion bushels. USDA also cited increased imports and weaker than expected domestic demand.


    • reports that with the USDA’s reduction of Brazil’s soybean harvest this season, the U.S. has reclaimed its spot as the number 1 soybean producer for this year, though Brazil is still expected to lead in global soybean exports.
    • reports that USDA has pegged China’s soybean imports for 2014-15 at a record 72 million tonnes, up 4 million tonnes from last year. Rising livestock feed demand and declining domestic production are the main reasons given, with Chinese production falling to a scant 12 million tonnes, the lowest since 1992.
    • Ed Clark reports on that the global corn market is more likely to react to supply shocks in the future than to demand changes. U.S. corn production has remained relatively reliable in recent years, while developing countries are more prone to swings in production levels. As a result, growers are advised to market more than one crop at a time during price spikes and avoid overextending on liabilities. As one expert says, “We’re living from crop year to crop year.”
    • Tom Polansek reports for Reuters that Syngenta is requiring U.S. farmers to sign an agreement pledging not to sell any corn grown using their new Duracade variety seeds to grain facilities that ship to China or the European Union, where the variety has not receive regulatory approval. Syngenta is also urging farmers to only plant the variety in it own field surrounded by buffer rows to prevent possible contamination. These steps come as a result of top grain traders refusing to accept the new variety until they approved by major importers.
    • Tom Polansek also reports that Syngenta has agreed to halt the sale of Duracade seeds in Canada in 2014, recalling any seeds already sent to retailers, for the same global trade concerns. Canadian farmers who had planned to plant the Duracade variety will either switch to other Syngenta hybrids or cancel their orders and obtain products from other companies.
    • Bloomberg reports that China has no official time frame for discussing the approval of Syngenta’s GMO corn variety, and while one official has said it’s possible the variety may be approved in the first half of 2014 he has also acknowledged that he is not a member of the committee that will review the variety and is no position to say what the committee’s decision might be.


    • Mike Rankin reports on that while soybeans are a heavy user of manganese, routine applications of manganese are not advised by Extension experts. Instead growers are urged to identify fields with the highest likelihood of deficiencies and test soils and plants before making spot applications. It is also urged not to mix manganese with a glyphosate application as there is a poor interaction between the chemicals that limits root uptake of manganese nutrients.


    • Rachel Sheeley reports for that a man from Richmond, Indiana was trapped in a grain bin for 2 hours Saturday before being rescued. George Staley was helping to load a truck with corn from the bin when the auger got stuck, and went into the bin to work on the problem while his partner worked on the auger. The corn in the bin rolled over on top of Staley, covering him to the shoulders before the auger was able to be shut off. Firefighters were called and punched holes in the grain bin to release the corn until Staley could be pulled free.

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