Analyst: Bayer, Monsanto Still Far Apart On Deal | AgriMarketing

St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports:

"Two months after Bayer went public with its offer for Monsanto, the deal doesn’t seem any closer to happening.

After the latest moves in this slow-moving courtship, the market’s calculation of the odds hasn’t changed much. As of Friday, Monsanto’s shares traded at a 15 percent discount to Bayer’s sweetened offer of $125 a share, or $64 billion.

That’s after Bayer raised its price slightly and offered a breakup fee, meeting one of Monsanto’s demands. Monsanto dismissed the higher bid as inadequate but didn’t rule out a deal.

The market is expressing substantially more doubt than it did on May 25, the day after Monsanto rejected Bayer’s initial offer. Then, Monsanto shares were only 8 percent below the $122-a-share bid.

Matt Arnold, an analyst at Edward Jones, estimates that Monsanto’s board won’t accept an offer for less than about $140 a share, and he doesn’t think Bayer is willing to go that high.

‘We don’t think the odds of a deal have changed a lot,’ Arnold says. ‘We still view it as a bit of a long shot.’

He gets to more than $140 a share by taking Monsanto’s estimated operating earnings and multiplying them by 17. That’s the fairly rich multiple that Monsanto was willing to pay for Syngenta, a Swiss agricultural company, last year.

Syngenta sold itself to ChemChina, a state-owned Chinese company, instead but the offer remains an important marker for what Monsanto believes a leading seeds-and-farm-chemicals business should be worth.

Bayer’s offer falls short of that marker. Why would Monsanto sell itself for less than it valued a competitor just a year ago?

Besides, Monsanto has assets that it considers crown jewels. Its seed business holds more promise than Syngenta’s. Its agricultural data unit, built around the $930 million acquisition of Climate Corp. in 2013, isn’t a contributor to earnings yet but could produce a sizeable revenue stream in a few years.

‘We don’t feel Monsanto is going to be an eager seller unless they get a price that compensates them for all the investing they have done over many years,’ Arnold says.

Bayer’s second bid, announced July 14, was only 2 percent above its first one. ‘It didn’t demonstrate at all that much willingness to move higher,’ Arnold adds.

Even the $1.5 billion breakup fee that Bayer offered – which was meant to address concern that the deal might run into regulatory problems – isn’t all that large.

Monsanto had offered Syngenta a $2 billion breakup fee. Halliburton paid $3.5 billion to oil-services rival Baker Hughes when antitrust enforces scuttled their merger – and their deal was less than half as valuable as Bayer’s bid.

Monsanto will probably insist on both a higher price and a bigger breakup fee. It said as much when it responded that the offer was ‘financially inadequate and insufficient to ensure deal certainty.’

Bayer, for its part, may not be willing to go much higher. Its shareholders would rather see Bayer invest in its pharmaceutical business. Some are already voicing complaints about the pursuit of Monsanto. Such dissent will grow louder if the deal gets significantly more expensive.

Essentially, Bayer views Monsanto as a conventional agriculture company that should be valued based on its current earnings capacity. Monsanto sees itself as a technology platform worthy of a super-premium price because of its potential to disrupt markets.

Unless one side comes around to the other’s way of thinking, there isn’t much middle ground to get a deal done."

Source: Analyst: Bayer, Monsanto Still Far Apart On Deal | AgriMarketing


Buenos Aires Cereal Exchange: Argentina Applied Less Technology Over Last Five Years | AgroNews

"Two economic problems faced in recent years by the agricultural sector in Argentina due to policies that did not foster production have had the direct consequence of reducing applications of technology, prioritizing other types of expenditure or investment instead.

A study introduced by the Buenos Aires Cereal Exchange confirms this trend. During the 2014/15 period, only 30% of the producers invested in advanced technology, a strong decline from five seasons ago, when 46% of producers had done so.

"Two economic problems faced in recent years by the agricultural sector in Argentina due to policies that did not foster production have had the direct consequence of reducing applications of technology, prioritizing other types of expenditure or investment instead.
A study introduced by the Buenos Aires Cereal Exchange confirms this trend. During the 2014/15 period, only 30% of the producers invested in advanced technology, a strong decline from five seasons ago, when 46% of producers had done so.

Data

The survey, called ‘Applied Agricultural Technology,’ covers the 2014/15 season. The main factors behind this reduced adoption of technology are the use of smaller doses of fertilizer , a decline in the use of the no-tillage system, and an increase in the use of herbicides because of inefficiencies in the process of controlling weeds and plagues.
In the case of no-tillage, for instance, although 94% of producers used the system during the 2010/11 crop season, this dropped to 90% in the 2014/15 season for the six major grains planted in Argentina. This was mostly because of problems with weeds and water scarcity.

Crops

According to the Buenos Aires Cereal Exchange, sorghum has seen poor adoption of technology, with 69% of producers across the country investing in low-level technology, while a minority invested in mid-level technology.

In barley, there was a more significant drop in the use of technology compared with all other crops. It received small doses of fertilizer with nitrogen or phosphate.
Corn showed average densities of planting in Argentina, though overall numbers have declined. For the 2014/15 season, the average planting was around 62,000 plants per hectare in the early season and 58,000 plants per hectare for the second crop. This suggests large amounts of corn were included in the late planting season in Argentina, but the large harvest may also be related to the regional adoption of technology or a cost-cutting strategy.
For corn, there was also an increase in the volume of insecticides applied to the crop, dependent on the type of hybrids used. The incorrect use of glyphosate in some areas broke the crop’s resistance. The use of refuge with corn had a 22% adoption at the national level.

For soybeans, there were variations in the use of herbicides. The data show a change in the use of concentrated glyphosate versus the classical formula and an increase in the need for complementary weed management."
Data

The survey, called ‘Applied Agricultural Technology,’ covers the 2014/15 season. The main factors behind this reduced adoption of technology are the use of smaller doses of fertilizer , a decline in the use of the no-tillage system, and an increase in the use of herbicides because of inefficiencies in the process of controlling weeds and plagues.

In the case of no-tillage, for instance, although 94% of producers used the system during the 2010/11 crop season, this dropped to 90% in the 2014/15 season for the six major grains planted in Argentina. This was mostly because of problems with weeds and water scarcity.

Crops

According to the Buenos Aires Cereal Exchange, sorghum has seen poor adoption of technology, with 69% of producers across the country investing in low-level technology, while a minority invested in mid-level technology.

In barley, there was a more significant drop in the use of technology compared with all other crops. It received small doses of fertilizer with nitrogen or phosphate.

Corn showed average densities of planting in Argentina, though overall numbers have declined. For the 2014/15 season, the average planting was around 62,000 plants per hectare in the early season and 58,000 plants per hectare for the second crop. This suggests large amounts of corn were included in the late planting season in Argentina, but the large harvest may also be related to the regional adoption of technology or a cost-cutting strategy.

For corn, there was also an increase in the volume of insecticides applied to the crop, dependent on the type of hybrids used. The incorrect use of glyphosate in some areas broke the crop’s resistance. The use of refuge with corn had a 22% adoption at the national level.

For soybeans, there were variations in the use of herbicides. The data show a change in the use of concentrated glyphosate versus the classical formula and an increase in the need for complementary weed management."

Source: Buenos Aires Cereal Exchange: Argentina Applied Less Technology Over Last Five Years | AgroNews


Canada Proposes to Increase Pesticide Registration Fee | AgroNews

"The Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) of Health Canada proposes to carry out new Pesticides Fees Regulations, to replace the current fees regulation which remained unchanged since 1997 despite the increased costs of providing these services.
 

Update of existing fee schedules in the Regulations

 
Overall, the proposed Regulations would increase pesticide application fees to cover a higher share of Health Canada’s costs to review these applications. The proposed fees would be equivalent to approximately 30%, on average, of service delivery costs, with adjustments to several specific fees where necessary to ensure they do not exceed the corresponding fee of the U.S. EPA Office of Pesticide Programs, which is the U.S. government authority responsible for pesticide regulation. Requiring a higher private sector share would have resulted in a large number of specific application fees exceeding comparable U.S. EPA fees. Such a scenario could create a disincentive to registering new pesticides in Canada.
 
The proposed fees are listed in Schedules 1, 2 and 3 (pdf link)below. Details are also provided where proposed fees deviate from the 30% level of cost recovery; represent a new approach from the 1997 fees; require an explanation of rationale; or were changed as a result of stakeholder comments.

Establishing fees for microbial agents and semiochemicals

When Health Canada’s current fees came into effect in 1997, the pesticidal use of microbial agents and semiochemicals (e.g. bacteria and insect pheromones) was considered to be a new and emerging technology. Since the scientific methodologies and data requirements remained under development, it was not possible to accurately determine the full costs to review applications to register products within this class. Therefore, these substances were exempt from application fees associated with scientific review; currently, applicants are only required to pay the basic administrative fee payable for all types of applications.

Since this time, Health Canada has gained considerable experience with reviewing these products. In developing proposed fees for this class of products, Health Canada reviewed applicable U.S. EPA fees, where applications to register these types of products normally receive the maximum fee reduction available. Given the U.S. EPA’s approach to fees for these products, and to facilitate the registration of products with lower risk profiles, the proposed Canadian fees for this class of product are equal to the minimum U.S. EPA fee.
 
Health Canada prescribes fees for a number of review activities that may not result in the registration of a pesticide, or the amendment of an existing registration, or do not otherwise fit within the fee schemes of Schedule 1 or 2. These activities and their proposed fees are described in Schedule 3.

Basic application fee

An updated basic application fee of $1,133 is proposed and would apply to each application made under Schedule 1 and for pesticides listed in section 3 of the proposed Regulations. The current basic application fee is $262, and the average cost to Health Canada of processing an application is $3,777. Thus the proposed fee represents 30% of the cost to Health Canada.

Minimum fee

The minimum fee is for applications that are received through streamlined processes and do not require significant science review. This proposed minimum fee would be applicable to those applications not included in either Schedule 1, 2 or 3. The proposal would see the minimum fee increased to $247 from the current amount of $150 set in 1997. This amendment to the minimum fee is directly related to the average level of effort required by Health Canada to process an application that does not require significant science review. The average cost to Health Canada for processing these applications was $825. The $247 represents approximately 30% of the average costs.

Annual adjustment of application fees

The proposed Regulations would establish an annual adjustment to increase user fees associated with applications in relation to pesticides by 2%. The annual fee increase would be applied automatically on April 1 of each year rounded up to the nearest dollar.

Consistent with other policies already in place at Health Canada, the 2% annual fee adjustment is based on a five-year weighted average of public service wage adjustments and the Core Consumer Price Index (CPI) — Weighted Index.

Annual fee adjustments are consistent with other international jurisdictions, which make adjustments to their fees to reflect changing costs and workload. For example, the U.S. EPA pesticide application fees increase by 5% every second year.

The current lack of adjustment capability has not allowed fees to keep up with inflationary increases to Health Canada costs. Increasing fees in small increments on an annual basis would provide sustainable funding, operational predictability for both Government and industry, and lessen the impact of more substantial increases at a later time.

Annual charge

The annual charge applies to each registered product. Revenues from the annual charge help defray the costs of post-market regulatory activities essential to health and environmental protection, including the cyclical reevaluation of older pesticides and special reviews. These regulatory activities help ensure that registered products continue to meet evolving scientific requirements and are adequately regulated throughout their lifecycle. Under this proposal, the maximum annual charge would be increased from $2,690 to $3,600 and the minimum annual charge would be increased from $75 to $100. These proposed increases were calculated based on applying a cost of living increase to the current minimum and maximum annual charge, taking into account similar charges in other jurisdictions, the results of the costbenefit analysis and stakeholder input.

The United Kingdom and Australia apply annual charges in combination with annual levies based on a percentage of product sales for each registered pesticide. The U.S. EPA has the authority to charge each registrant a maintenance fee up to a maximum amount, which is updated every five years through its regulations. To accommodate small business, the U.S. EPA can adjust the maintenance fees based on company size.

The proposed annual charge applied to each registered product is the lesser of $3,600 or 4% of annual sales with a minimum of $100. The policy of providing incentives to register niche products with low sales has been in effect since the cost recovery regime was first established in 1997. This policy supports the availability of niche products of importance to Canadian users (e.g. the agriculture sector).

The annual adjustment of 2% would not apply to the annual charge, as this could result in the annual charge rapidly exceeding the average comparable charge applied by the U.S. EPA.

Visit Health Canada’s website to know more details.

Source: PMRA – Canada proposes to increase pesticide registration fee-Agricultural news-Agropages.com


French Wheat Yields Seen Worst in 30 Years on Rain Damage | Agweb.com

"French farmers are getting the smallest wheat yields in three decades after waterlogged fields decimated crops, according to a farm adviser.

The European Union’s biggest wheat producer is reaping about 5.5 metric tons of the grain for each hectare (2.5 acres), the lowest since 1986 and 24 percent below the five-year average, CRM AgriCommodities said. Some northern areas, the worst hit by floods this year, may yield just 3 tons per hectare, according to the Newmarket, England-based company.

The rain damage has put wheat in the worst shape in years and CRM sees the crop dropping by about a quarter to the lowest since 1993. With grain in poor quality and unable to compete with cheaper supplies from the Black Sea region, traders haven’t bothered offering French wheat in recent tenders to Egypt, the biggest buyer. Still, as conditions continue to deteriorate, prices in Paris rebounded over the past three weeks.

‘We are seeing very, very shocking yields this year,’ Benjamin Bodart, founder of CRM, said by phone on Monday. ‘Just seven to nine weeks back, we were talking about the French crop being between 36 and 38 million tons and now we have got confirmation that we could see a crop below 30 million tons.’

Harvest Estimates

A harvest of that size would be smaller than other estimates. German commodity trader BayWa said last week that the crop will drop to 34 million tons this year. That’s lower than the 37 million tons forecast by France’s Agriculture Ministry on July 12 and down from 40.9 tons last year. Group Soufflet has pegged this year’s crop at 35 million tons and InVivo chief Thierry Blandinieres told Les Echos a drop to 32 million tons ‘seems excessive.’

Just 42 percent of French soft wheat was in good or very good condition by July 18, crops office FranceAgriMer said Friday. That’s down from 49 percent a week earlier and 76 percent at the same time last year. The country’s harvest was 17 percent complete, it said.

French Wheat Touches 6 Week High 20160728

Milling-wheat futures gained 7.5 percent since July 1 and touched a six-week high on Euronext on Monday. In contrast, prices on the Chicago Board of Trade, a global benchmark, reached a decade-low last week amid expectations of ample supplies from Russia and the U.S., the world’s largest exporters.

Higher prices would further curb demand for French wheat from countries like Egypt, which imports massive amounts to provide citizens with cheap bread.

‘France exports wheat to Egypt and North African countries, so price competition with Black Sea wheat could cap any sustainable rally on the Euronext,’ CRM’s Bodart said."

Source: French Wheat Yields Seen Worst in 30 Years on Rain Damage | Agweb.com


How do Pesticides Protect Crops? | ScienceDaily

"New research published today could lead to the fine-tuning of pesticide formulations to further increase crop yield. The findings also show a way to develop advanced performance formulations which will interact reversibly with plant surfaces and will leave their protective cuticles unharmed.

Scientists from the University of Manchester have created a model of a leaf’s wax surface similar to those found in wheat crops, in a project supported by the agrochemical company, Syngenta. They are now using the model at the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s ISIS Neutron and Muon Source research facility to study how surfactants, a key component in pesticide formulations, interact with the leaf surface to get into the plant and take effect.

This is the first time anyone has used extracted waxes to recreate the wax shield plants use for protection against pests and water loss. The new tool enables scientists to study how pesticides cross the wax barrier on the leaves of crops such as wheat and barley. The breakthrough is another step towards fine-tuning the chemicals used in agriculture to optimise crop yields without damaging the plants, in an attempt to meet the demand of feeding an ever growing global population.

The results, titled ‘Structural Features of Reconstituted Wheat Wax Films’ have been published in the Royal Society journal, Interface.

Waxy cuticles are essential for the well-being of all plants. The cuticle, made up of a thin coating of wax on plant leaves, acts as a protective shield against attack from pests, prevents the loss of nutrients and water from the plant and is involved in transporting water and nutrients across the plant surface for plant growth.

To add an additional layer of protection against pests, farmers use pesticides on their crops in an attempt to maximise their yields.

Julian Gold, Farm Manager of the Hendred Estate in Oxfordshire said: ‘Farmers are harvesters of sunshine and the growing of crops aims to turn as much of the sun’s energy as possible into food via photosynthesis. Pesticides play a vital role in ensuring plants can maintain the maximum area possible of green leaf for photosynthesis rather than losing surface area to pests and diseases.’

‘We are currently facing multiple challenges on the pesticide front as there are increasing levels of resistance developing in weeds, pests and diseases as well as a reducing pesticide armoury due to tighter conditions being imposed for registration of products. Any research that can improve the efficacy of products through a better understanding of the way that diseases and pesticides penetrate the waxy layer on leaf surfaces should be incredibly useful.’

However, the structure of wax cuticles and the way pesticides modify the barrier to get inside and protect the plant are not fully understood.

Lead author of the study, Elias Pambou from the University of Manchester said: ‘By understanding how surfactants in pesticides interact with the plant you can fine-tune the ingredients of the pesticide to not only further increase crop yield but take away some potential negative side effects, including the removal of some of the waxes which leaves the plant susceptible to other sorts of diseases and attack from bacteria and microbes. This opens the door to crop-safe formulations which will reversibly interact with the plant waxes.’

‘We’re finding out important information about how plants operate which is something we previously did not have the tools to study.’

To make the model of the leaf surface, scientists first extracted real plant wax from barley and wheat leaves. This was made possible by a new technique called supercritical carbon dioxide extraction, where scientists dissolve the wax off the surface of the leaf using a carbon dioxide solvent under its supercritical condition at a very high temperature and pressure. When the pressure and temperature is reduced, the carbon dioxide evaporates, leaving behind the wax. This technique was developed in the Green Chemistry Department at the University of York.

The team from the University of Manchester then took the extracted wax and spin coated it onto a flat a silicon support in order to model the leaf surface. Imaging techniques allowed the team to see that the wax model was very similar to the structure of the wax on a real leaf, meaning the model could be used to realistically study how pesticides cross the wax barrier to get into the plant.

In a technique known as neutron reflectometry, the team used ISIS instrument, INTER to bounce neutrons off the surface of the wax model. They found that the wax was made up of a thin underlying film covered by large crystalline structures.

Professor Robert McGreevy, Director of the STFC ISIS Facility said: ‘Neutrons offer a unique tool for seeing deep into all sorts of materials. The Manchester team used the INTER instrument here at ISIS to see what the wax film was made up of and how water crossed the barrier at the molecular level. But we can also use the same technique to study new magnetic materials for computer data storage.’

Elias Pambou added: ‘Neutron reflectometry is so effective because not only can we look at the thickness of the wax films but also the change in density over the thickness range. We’re able to look at the amount of water penetrating into the leaf at the surface of the wax compared to the bottom of the wax closest to the epicuticular plant cells. That could give us a lot of information regarding how the water is diffusing through the plant.’

The project is being supported by the agrochemical company, Syngenta. Dr Gordon Bell, a senior scientist at Syngenta said: ‘This research has furthered our understanding of the kinetics of plant uptake. It has shown that water can penetrate into leaf wax. This simple observation explains a lot of the basic science behind pesticide uptake into plants.’

Story Source:

The above post is reprinted from materials provided by EuroScience Open Forum 2016 (ESOF 2016). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Cite This Page: EuroScience Open Forum 2016 (ESOF 2016). ‘How do pesticides protect crops?.’ ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 July 2016.."

Source: How do Pesticides Protect Crops? | ScienceDaily


North American Farmers Top Up Rye Plantings as Whiskey Sales Soar | Country Guide

"Winnipeg / Reuters – North American farmers are turning back to a neglected crop, sowing fields with the largest rye crop in years partly as consumers satisfy a growing thirst for whiskey.

Rye, planted in autumn and harvested in mid-summer, fell out of favour during the past decade as other crops produced bigger profits. But whiskey demand as well as new varieties of rye that offer greater yields have renewed interest.

U.S. farmers planted 1.76 million acres (712,250 hectares) for the 2016/17 season, the biggest area since 1989 and a 12-per cent year-over-year increase, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture.

In Canada, a major rye exporter along with the European Union and Russia, farmers sowed 405,900 acres, the biggest rye area in seven years, Statistics Canada reported.

‘In our area, no one would have even considered rye,’ said Manitoba farmer David Hamblin, citing its unprofitability compared to other crops. ‘I think it’ll be a fixture for years to come.’

Rye is also used in animal feed and as a ‘cover crop’ to prevent soil erosion.

Demand from bread millers and distillers has been a main driver of the crop’s resurgence, said coarse grains analyst John Pauch at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, who expects Canadian exports to nearly double in 2016–17.

U.S. whiskey sales rose nine per cent on the year to June 18, to $4.1 billion, topping the six per cent demand growth for total spirits, according to Nielsen data provided by Beam Suntory Inc , distiller of Jim Beam whiskeys.

Rye whiskey’s 33 per cent growth outpaced both categories, albeit at a more modest $94 million.

Consumer demand for whiskey has left distillers such as Brown-Forman Corp’s Jack Daniel’s hustling to keep up, given whiskey maturation can take four to seven years.

‘Years ago, we probably underestimated the market,’ said Jeff Arnett, master distiller at Jack Daniel’s.

Distiller Jim Beam has added several new rye whiskey brands recently, including a 100 per cent Canadian Club rye whiskey.

The pick up in supplies has already diminished prices and may limit farmers’ enthusiasm for planting rye this autumn, said Blake Gamroth, a Canadian rye merchant at Scoular.

The average U.S. farm price of rye has declined two years in a row, although the $6.52 per bushel farmers earned in 2015–16 was still 26 per cent higher than five years earlier, according to USDA."

Source: Rod Nickel – North American Farmers Top Up Rye Plantings as Whiskey Sales Soar | Country Guide


Nortox Defines Strategies to Compete With Global Agrochemical Giants | AgroNews

"The commercial director of Nortox S/A, João Marcos Ferrari, affirmed that the strategy of the Brazilian company to compete with global giants in the agrochemicals industry was ‘to do more with less,’ allying ‘quality with simplicity. In an interview with Global Agrochemicals, the executive confirmed that this positioning was ‘more than a strategy (and) is in our philosophy, our DNA developed through all these years.’

Ferrari, an agronomist who worked at multinationals such as Bayer, Cyanamid, DuPont, and Arysta, assumed the role of commercial director of the north in 2016. ‘For our customer strategy, we are implementing a policy of defined and clear distribution,’ he said.

Speaking of the role of the cooperatives in input distribution, he noted, ‘Generalizing in Brazil is not effective because of the different mergers of cooperatives and dealerships and the size of the rural area in each region. The role of the cooperative is fundamental for input supply, sales of the products, and for the farmers in general. Besides this, the cooperative also has a technical/agronomic and social function.’

Ferrari attributes the fall in sales of agrochemicals to the devaluation of Brazil’s real compared with the US dollar. ‘There is no reduction in product volume. But, as far as Nortox is concerned, we could not evaluate the performance of the company in the market last year because we had to restructure the commercial department and create the marketing strategy. Therefore, our growth in the first semester was fantastic! For the second semester, we are closely following developments in regions that are negatively affected by the climate and monitoring the large debts of the farmers. However, we are very optimistic about most of the regions and crops, where prices and the climate forecast are favorable.’

Talking about the sugarcane market, the executive pointed out that the sector showed signs of recovery in the short term, after suffering some unfavorable crop seasons. ‘Obviously, this recovery will not happen in one year. We need a longer period of good results. It is hard to predict, but we believe in the sector and have an important portfolio, as well as a strong partnership and relationship customers dating back several years. We will continue to invest in the development and launch of new products. This year, we will hire staff exclusively for our sugarcane department, a clear sign that this sector is important to Nortox,’ he concluded.

A Brazilian company founded on April 14, 1954, in Apucarana (Paraná), Nortox started out in the powder insecticide industry, aiming to combat the coffee berry borer. Over a period of some decades, it has expanded into new markets, such as insecticides and herbicides for several crops, before entering the market of sugarcane and pasture in 2010."

Source: Nortox Defines Strategies to Compete With Global Agrochemical Giants | AgroNews


Soybean Futures See ‘Corrective Rally’ | Agrimoney

"Soybean markets continued to bounce back, helped by a hotter August outlook.

Next month will be key to soybean yields, and with above average temperatures now indicated across the US Midwest, there is some weather risk to put back on after a precipitous sell-off in last two weeks.

‘I would say that fundamentally the market bounce is a reaction to heat to the six to ten day forecast,’ Jim Sullivan, at Leese Trading Group, told Agrimoney

‘This really is really just fine tuning weather risk premiums,’ he said.

Kim Rugel, at Benson Quinn Commodities, noted ‘the potential for hot temperatures’ in early August.

Chinese buying

There was some support from the demand side as well China came back into the picture.

The USDA reported export sales to China of 131,000 tonnes of soybeans, of which 65,000 tonnes were delivery this year, the USDA said.

Richard Feltes, at RJ O’Brien said that markets ‘will be watching Friday’s China soybean reserve auction carefully’ in order see if sales slow, indicating government unwillingness to discount prices.

‘Slower soybean reserve sales would boost interest in foreign soybean purchases although analysts note that Chinese soy imports typically slow appreciably in late summer,’ Mr Feltes said.

Mr. Feltes suggested that the ‘sudden return of China as an active soy buyer in concert with sub-optimal US August weather would be highly supportive to the soybean market’.

November soybean futures finished up 1.3% on the day, at $9.86 a bushel.

No trouble sourcing old crop

But Darrell Holaday noted that the heavy exports, that have been booked for the rest of the marketing year, should be pushing up soybean basis, and August-November spreads.

‘Neither of these has occurred,’ Mr Holday said.

‘Normally commercials would be scrambling to obtain product to fill these ships this time of year.’

‘Obviously, they are not having trouble sourcing the inventory of old crop production,’ Mr Holaday said.

Correction of oversold markets

But although prices were up for the second day running, this may not be enough to generate upward technical momentum.

‘While the bean price action in the last two days looks impressive, the reality is we broke so far and so fast , that for the this rally to mean anything technically further price action will need to be accomplished,’ Mr Sullivan said.

‘At the very least November beans need to close the week over $10 a bushel, or this rally is just correction of oversold conditions,’ he said.

Ethanol turns lower

Limiting upside for soybeans, energy prices continue to slide. September Brent crude oil futures were down 2.9%, to $43.59 a barrel, their lowest level since May 10.

Ethanol futures jumped, briefly, as the US energy agency announced ethanol production was down 31,000 barrels day, from last week’s record levels, to 998,000 barrels a day.

And stocks of the corn based biofuel fell even faster, down 767,000 barrels a day, reflecting falling demand.

But ethanol prices were weighed down by the slide in oil prices, down 1.2%, to $1.437 a gallon.

The USDA announced fresh export sales of 247,912 tonnes, of which 74,064 tonnes if for deliver in 2015–16.

December corn futures finished up 1.0%, at $3.43 a bushel.

Pressure from heavy stocks

But wheat futures edged down, under pressure from heavy world stocks.

Ikar lifted its forecast for the Russian wheat harvest by 1.0m tonnes, to 69.0m tonnes, 4.0m tonnes ahead of the USDA’s official forecast.

But the consultancy warned that rains were hitting wheat quality.

Chicago wheat futures finished down 0.2% on the day, at $4.41 ½ a bushel.

Sugar tumbles on technical weakness

Raw sugar futures slid to a fresh five week low, in a market that is starved of bullish news, with the size of fund long positions still hanging over the picture.

The Brazilian cane belt has been drying out, allowing harvesting to pick up pace there.

‘The fundamentals will be given an update when Unica’s report for the Centre South Brazilian crush during the first half of July on Monday,’ said Nick Penney, at Sucden Financial.

‘This is expected to show some very high numbers,’ he warned.

And Mr Penney also noted technical pressure, after front-month sugar settled below 20 cents a pound in the previous two session.

‘The inability to close above 20 cents has not been constructive and we continue to believe that the 19 cent level is still vulnerable,’ Mr Penney said.

October raw futures fell as low as 18.99 cents, settling down 2.6%, at 19.1 cents a pound."

Source: Agrimoney.com | soybean futures see ‘corrective rally’


Syngenta’s Manitoba Agricultural Research Facility Focuses on the Future | AgroNews

"The Syngenta Grow More Experience site is located southeast of Portage la Prairie at Elm River Research Farm, and is bringing advancements to seeds and the fight against disease and pests. The facility screens soybeans, cereal and canola genetics. Agronomic service rep for Manitoba Doug Fotheringham explains how they’re investing in the future fungicide market.

‘Our fungicide portfolio is looking quite exciting,’ he says. ‘Moving forward, we’ve got new products coming out in multiple crops. One of the ones coming out for 2017 is a product called Trivapro with three active ingredients… including a new active for us called Solatenol. So it’s an exciting space to be in right now.’

He says they also have a fairly significant cereal breeding program based out of Manitoba.

‘A lot of our wheat varieties are bred here in the valley and produced for Western Canada. Our efforts are in all the different classes. So, the Hard Reds and the CPS’s and the new Canadian Northern Hard Red class as well.’

In the last two years, Syngenta has also more than doubled their investment in soybean research and development for Western Canada, which soybean breeder Jake Delheimer explains.

‘We’ve gone from just a handful of locations testing within Manitoba to actually testing in Manitoba and Saskatchewan,’ he says. ‘Now we’re looking at hundreds and even thousands of new varieties that can potentially have a commercial launch and be fit for growers in Western Canada.’

Marc Brown is a soybean research associate, and explains important points to consider when breeding for Western Canadian farmers. He says breeding out here requires the researchers to focus on yielding, then fitting maturity and other disease traits typical for the province, such as resistance for phytophthora root rot. Brown notes Syngenta’s DNA molecular technology handles the disease quite easily. He says white mold in soybeans is also a focus. A white mold disease screen exists at the Portage farm. Another disease they’re dealing with is abiotic stress, or iron deficiency chlorosis. A lot of the screening for that is done in the USA, but every variety they have is tested for several years for tolerance to iron uptake."

Source: Steinbach Online – Syngenta’s Manitoba Agricultural Research Facility Focuses on the Future | AgroNews


Vive Crop Protection Launches Nanotech Products in US | AgroNews

"After being introduced to the market in March, two products that feature a new nanotech delivery system for fungicide and insecticide have performed well in field observations.

The technology, called Allosperse™, uses polymer nanoparticle shuttles to control how and when crop protection products are delivered to the plant after being applied. This is new technology for agriculture that is comparable to how some pharmaceuticals are delivered to precise targets within the human body.

Farmers in Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa and Illinois applied the two new products, AZteroid™ and Bifender™, to corn and soybean acres this spring. In addition, trials were conducted in potato and sugarbeet plots.

It’s still too early to assess yield results, said Dr. Darren Anderson, chief communications officer for Vive Crop Protection, but producer feedback and field observations have been excellent. ‘AZteroid is the first fungicide built for compatibility with liquid fertilizer , and producers were pleased with their new-found ability to apply starter fertilizer and fungicide in-furrow in a single pass.’

In field observations, corn and soybean plants grown with a combination of starter fertilizer and AZteroid applied in-furrow were larger with significantly more root mass when compared with plants that only received starter fertilizer.

This combination of AZteroid and fertilizer was applied as one uniform mixture, thanks to the Allosperse technology. Crop protection products typically fail to mix thoroughly with liquid fertilizer. However, with Allosperse this problem is no longer an issue. As a result, multiple products can be conveniently applied in a single pass across the field.

‘One producer relayed a story of mixing AZteroid with starter fertilizer in the tank, only to be delayed for four days because of rain,’ Dr. Anderson explained. ‘When he was finally able to get in the field, there was only a small amount of residue in the check balls and even that came right off once he got moving.’

Producers said the products worked well when mixed directly in the fertilizer tank as well as when applied through a Dosatron. There were no problems even with a high-zinc starter fertilizer, and the products exhibited excellent mixing properties with glyphosate and Capture® LFR®.

About AZteroid and Bifender

AZteroid contains azoxystrobin and provides broad-spectrum control for a variety of seed and seedling diseases. Bifender contains bifenthrin and provides broad-spectrum control of many serious insect pests dwelling at or below the soil surface.

Bifender has the same excellent fertilizer compatibility as AZteroid and can be tank-mixed with AZteroid by growers who want to simultaneously control seedling disease and soil-borne insect pests. Bifender is particularly useful applied to seed that has not received a seed treatment, but both Bifender and AZteroid can also be used to provide extra protection to treated seed."

Source: Vive Crop Protection Launches Nanotech Products in US | AgroNews