“The dollar set another four-year high early on Monday, which was hardly the best omen for agricultural commodity prices.
The greenback was boosted in part by the cautious market sentiment provoked by pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.
These demonstrations sent Hong Kong stocks down 1.8% although, perhaps in a sign of some success by authorities in preventing the unease spreading to mainland China, Shanghai stocks ended up 0.4%.
Whatever, a stronger dollar is viewed as undermining prices of dollar-denominated commodities by making them less affordable to buyers in other currencies.
China soybean fears
Still, ag commodities did not perform too badly, especially by recent standards, in early deals, although soybeans, of which China is the top importer, did weaken by 0.5% to $9.06 a bushel for November delivery, as of 09:45 UK time (03:45 Chicago time).
That was the lowest for a spot contract since February 2010, with nerves over China particularly high given the talk of the country now taking aim at imports of US soybeans, in terms of taking issue with an (unknown) genetically modified variety, after rejecting cargos of US corn thanks to biotech worries.
“Concerns over a GMO soybean variety have added some concern to the soybean market, questioning Chinese soybean purchases,” CHS Hedging said.”
“The following MAFRD weather maps illustrate Accumulated Precipitation, Corn Heat Units (CHU) and Growing Degree Days (GDD), along with Percentage of Normal for Precipitation, CHU & GDD for data collected through the Manitoba Ag-Weather Program from May 1, 2014 to September 21, 2014.”
“WINNIPEG, CHICAGO Sept 26 (Reuters) – ICE Canada canola futures eased on Friday and recorded a small weekly loss, weighed down by weakness in soybeans and soybean oil.
Commercial hedge pressure also pressured canola, as farmers delivered the harvest.
Canola was underpinned by a weak Canadian dollar and forecasts for cooler, wetter weather in Western Canada next week, with much crop still to be harvested.
November canola fell $1 to $395.30 per tonne. Registered 0.6 percent weekly loss.
Malaysian November palm oil slipped 1 percent.”
Canada weekly canola crushings fall 6.2 percent to 134,704 tonnes. That represented a capacity use of 76.5 percent.
U.S. corn futures slumped to a five-year low Friday while soybeans notched a fresh four-year low amid ideal weather conditions for record harvests in the Midwestern crop belt while new highs in the dollar made the supplies less competitive in global markets.
Wheat futures were mostly lower, pressured by prospects of a record global crop this season.
The U.S, dollar widened gains over a basket of other currencies, giving shippers in Europe and South America more room to undercut United States corn, soybeans and wheat.
“Nufarm’s crop protection business accounted for 94% of group revenues and grew sales by 15.5% to $2.48 billion. These sales generated an average gross margin of 26%. Underlying earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) was $200.6 million, up by 7.4% on the $186.8 million generated in the 2013 financial year. Underlying net profit after tax was $86.4 million, up 3.8% on the previous year. This included foreign exchange losses of $12.6 million reported as part of net financing expenses. “
“Weather also a concern | Cool temperatures in July and August have delayed maturity, and lodging could pose a problem
ZURICH, Ont. — It’s going to take spectacular fall weather to finish Ontario’s grain corn crop.
Sixty percent of the 1.9 million acres that were planted this spring is at risk.
‘To me there’s no point of worrying about this, but it’s going to be a worse than 2009,’ said Mike Nuttall, a private agronomist in the province.
‘I’m concerned about the test weight and I’m concerned about the fill.’
Nuttall, who was speaking at a Farm for Profit field day near Zurich, pointed to Ontario’s seed corn crop as an indicator. Harvest usually begins around Sept. 15, but this year it’s about two weeks behind.
Nuttall and other agronomists, including Greg Stewart, a corn specialist with Ontario’s agriculture ministry, said sunshine and warm weather are what’s needed, at least until mid-October.
The 2009 growing season was cooler, but there was an important difference: most of the crop was planted in a timely fashion in April, Stewart said.
This year, thanks to repeated rain delays, more than half the field corn was planted in late May or early June. The situation was further complicated by unusually cool temperatures in July and the first half of August.
‘It’s going to be hard for the late-planted corn to put weight on and finish, especially the stuff that decided not to pollinate until the third week of August,’ Nuttall said.”
“The number of cases of a devastating potato fungus continues to grow on Prince Edward Island.
So far, 13 cases of late blight have been confirmed in some potato fields in Freetown, Breadalbane, Summerside, Spring Valley, Wilmot Valley, New Haven, Knutsford and Kensington. It has also been confirmed in tomato plants in the Charlottetown and Brookfield areas.
Late blight is a serious fungus that can affect a number of crops, but potatoes and tomatoes in particular.
Gary Linkletter is chair of the P.E.I. potato board and calls this strain of blight an aggressive one.
‘The windy, damp weather has been great for blight conditions so there is a bit more than we like to see,’ he said. ‘I would think there’s been quite a few more cases. I know we reported our first one to the lab here on our farm and we’ve had two or three other fields show up since then.’”
“Many growers and crop advisers assumed the worst after 150 to 200 millimetres of rain fell in late June on western Manitoba and eastern Saskatchewan.
Most people thought the grain and oilseed crops would never recover from the deluge and that yields would drop significantly. In the end, the canola, soybean and cereal plants were hardier than predicted.
‘I think guys are a little bit surprised by the yields,’ said Lionel Kaskiw, a Manitoba Agriculture crop production adviser in Souris, Man.
‘It did a lot better than we were thinking.’
Kaskiw said growers in the region are reporting spring wheat yields of 30 to 50 bushels per acre and canola yields of 15 to 45 bu. per acre.
The yields are respectable, considering that many crops in southwestern Manitoba had to tolerate soaked soil or standing water for a couple of weeks in early July.
Kaskiw said there are drowned-out patches that produced no grain this year, which means total production will take a hit.”
“Australian farmers and beekeepers now have access to a world-first smart-phone application to help ensure the safety of bees during normal farming practices. CropLife Australia, the peak national organization for the plant science sector, has launched BeeConnected, a first of its kind geomap based, user-driven communication and coordination tool to help protect Australia’s honey bee population.
Chief Executive Officer of CropLife Australia, Matthew Cossey, said ‘Australia has one of the healthiest honey bee colonies in the world, responsible for the pollination of many of Australia’s food crops and it’s therefore essential we all assist in keeping it that way.
CropLife Australia’s consultation on new and world leading stewardship programs with both farmers and beekeepers identified an opportunity to enable easy and effective communication between the parties. For this reason, CropLife Australia, in partnership with the Australian Honey Bee Industry Council, has launched BeeConnected, a world-first innovative communication tool to enable collaboration between farmers and beekeepers.’”
Why not adopt an app like this? Effective lines of communication between beekeepers and farmers are best for the bees.
“(Reuters) — Monsanto Co.’s experimental genetically engineered wheat, never approved for sale, has been found growing in a second U.S. state, and regulators said on Friday they could not explain how the plants escaped field trials that ended almost a decade ago.
Roughly a year after the discovery of the company’s unapproved wheat in a single Oregon field disrupted U.S. wheat export sales, the GMO wheat has also been found in Montana, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service said on Friday.
APHIS launched an investigation into the Montana incident on July 14, said Bernadette Juarez, director of investigative and enforcement services for APHIS.
The wheat was found growing at a research facility for Montana State University in Huntley, Montana, where field trials of Monsanto’s wheat were conducted between 2000 and 2003, she said in a news conference.”
“Sept. 11, 2014 – Usually wet seasons favour crop development, but incidence of storage rots is a concern, especially if rainfall occurs late in the growing season, advises Eugenia Banks in her latest potato update. Tubers from risky areas such as low spots, compacted areas, or any area where drainage was poor and/or you suspect the crop was under water stress are prone to soft rots. Serious economic losses are caused by the following storage rots:
- Most of the late blight seen this summer was caused by the strain US 23, which is very aggressive on tubers. Recommendations to protect your crop from late blight rot in storage are:
- Harvest the crop at least two weeks after topkilling. This interval minimizes the chance of tubers getting contaminated with late blight spores during harvest and allows previously infected tubers to decompose in the field.
- Spray the dying canopy with copper hydroxide (Kocide or Parasol) to kill any late blight that may still be active in the green areas of dying stems.
- Apply phosphorous acid (Phostrol or similar products) when potatoes are being stored. This helps to reduce the risk of late blight in storage.
- Make sure that tubers go into storage dry. Manage the air temperature and humidity in storage to keep the tubers dry. Warm, moist air circulating over cold tubers will result in condensation. Wet tubers infected with late blight will start to produce spores, and the disease may spread in the pile.
- Hold the potatoes at the lowest temperature consistent with their ultimate use (table or processing). Most fungi do not grow much at temperatures of 38 F or lower, but some development will occur at higher temperatures.
Pink rot is a late-season rot that is most common in wet soils.
- Avoid wounding tubers at harvest.
- Do not harvest when tubers are wet.
- Apply phosphorus acid when the tubers are being stored. Phostrol or similar products reduce the spread of pink rot in storage.
Pythium leak usually develops when potatoes are harvested under hot, humid conditions but occasionally it can be also found on tubers in wet areas of fields before harvest.
- Do not harvest the crop when tuber pulp temperatures are above 65 F, especially when the weather is warm and it would be difficult to remove field heat from stored tubers.
- Minimize bruising.Soft rot
A number of bacteria cause soft rots; the most common is Pectobacterium carotovorum (formerly Erwinia carotovorum). This bacterium is often found on the tuber surface or in the lenticels and wounds of harvested tubers. If moisture levels during storage are too high, leading to condensation on the tuber surface, then rapid multiplication of the bacteria leads to soft rotting, accompanied by an increase in temperature of the pile which itself is favourable for further decay. These ‘hot spots’ can rot healthy tubers because soft rot will spread from tuber to tuber wherever tubers are in contact. Tubers affected by late blight, pink rot or pythium leak often develop soft rot as well.
Soft rot can rapidly get out of control in storage and create hot spots that can rot healthy tubers. Practices that reduce soft rot in storage include:
Do not harvest under wet conditions and do your best to store dry potatoes.
Minimize tuber bruising.
Increase air circulation and lower humidity if stored potatoes are at risk of soft rot.
Monitor storage closely, and market the crop promptly if soft rots begin to develop.
Hydrogen peroxide (Storox) is registered for soft rot treatment to post-harvested potatoes in storage. According to the label, Storox is applied as a direct injection into humidification water. Apply the diluted product for at least 20 minutes per day, based on a humidification airflow rate of 0.6 cfm.)
This year, the risk of tuber rot in storage is high after a wet season. Check the tubers from risky areas – low spots, compacted areas, areas of poor drainage and areas that were flooded – before harvesting. It may not be worth it to mix these tubers with healthy tubers. This preventative practice will help you to maintain a good quality crop in long-term storage.”