AgFax Grain Review: Dow Gets USDA Approval for Enlist; Still No Price Bottom in Sight


    • Matt McKinney reports for Futures Magazine that while corn and soybean futures have hit 4 year lows there are still no indications of a bottom in sight and prices are likely to continue to slide as the country moves further into harvest. Fundamentally, “We have bumper crops and prices suck!”, while technically the markets remain in a steady down trend. McKinney provides a futures chart for the soybean market to support his technical analysis.
    • reports that Morgan Stanley and several other major ag brokers are fueling a debate over the accuracy of USDA’s September acreage reports for corn and soybeans. Data released from the FSA last week showed planting area considerably below USDA’s numbers, down 4 million acres for corn and nearly 7 million acres for soybeans. Morgan Stanley has warned investors to “dismiss the latest [FSA] data at their peril,” while Informa cut its estimates for harvested corn and soybeans to 2.2 million acres below USDA’s forecast and 1.2 million acres below USDA respectively. The market has so far shown no reaction to the data, however, and some brokers are arguing the FSA numbers are an underestimate and will be revised higher. The only general consensus is that October’s WASDE report is expected to show a decline in corn acres, though how big a decline remains up for debate.
    • Ed Clark reports on that the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute at the University of Missouri lowered average farm corn prices to $3.50 per bushel for 2014-15 and soybean prices to $9.92 per bushel, with corn prices expected to improve slightly in 2015-16. The Institute also predicts corn usage rising over the next 5 years while exports are predicted to decline this marketing year before also rising above current levels. Soybean usage and exports are expected to remain stable.
    • Michael Sheffield reports for the Memphis Business Journal that Cargill will be closing its Memphis corn mill due to underutilization and the high cost of transporting grain to the facility. The mill employes 440 workers, 120 of whom were contract workers, and Cargill has stated it will be offering the employees jobs in other state facilities as well as providing career fairs and job training to help them find other jobs. A corn oil refinery will remain operational at the Memphis facility. It is currently unknown what Cargill intends to do with the property.


    • A Press Release from Dow AgroSciences reports that USDA has approved the company’s Enlist corn and soybean varieties, designed for use with the new Enlist Duo herbicide which mixes the popular 2,4-D and glyphosate herbicides. The new varieties would give farmers another tool in the fight against resistant weeds and has been eagerly awaited by U.S. growers. The product now awaits approval by EPA before it can enter commercialization.
    • Mike Staton of Michigan State University reports that harvest losses typically reduce marketable soybean yields by one to two bushels per acre but can significantly increase if there is lodging, the crop is short, or harvest is delayed. With low grain prices reducing yield losses is more important than ever, and so MSU will be holding a soybean harvest field day on Thursday, October 9, to discuss harvesting techniques and equipment to reduce harvest losses.

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