“WINNIPEG — The harvest of crops in Saskatchewan was only two percent complete as of Aug. 25, which was down from the five-year average of six percent for this time of year due to rain seen in most areas of the province during the week.
At the same time in 2013, five percent of the crop had been combined, the latest crop report from the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture said.
Pre-harvest activities were also underway, with 12 percent of the crop swathed or ready to straight cut, which compares with last year and the five-year average, both at 14 percent.
The southwestern part of the province has seen the most harvest activity, as seven percent of the crop there has been combined. Yields are reported as being average in most areas.
Fall rye crops were the furthest along in harvest, with 27 percent combined, followed by 13 percent of winter wheat, 12 percent of field peas and eight percent of lentils.
Canola crops were 22 percent swathed or ready to straight cut, with mustard at 14 percent swathed or ready to straight cut.
Rainfall across the province ranged from trace amounts to several inches, with some areas in the east-central region receiving up to 141 millimetres.”
“It was another relatively dull day in the crop futures markets, marked by a pleasantly upward trend for almost all crops, with canola doing better than most.
November canola futures rose $3.30 per tonne to $425.20 and January rose $3.50 to $431.
Soybeans were up as were the wheats, while oats futures were generally flat.
The days before the Labour Day holiday are often ones of light trade, as many market participants are on vacation, and while that can lead to volatility if anything big happens, if little happens it’s hard for much price action to occur.
With no major weather scares or delights out there, markets have had little inclination to move much.
‘It’s pretty quiet,’ said Ken Ball, a broker with P.I. Financial in Winnipeg.
‘The market’s kind of on hold.’
The frost scare from two days ago has not been followed up with any reports of significant damage, so there’s little impact from that, and with much of the wet weather moving out of Western Canada, traders expect farmers to get out there soon and start the bulk of harvest.”
“John Steinbeck and Sonora Babb painted vivid pictures of the Dust Bowl in their novels The Grapes of Wrath and Whose Names Are Unknown. The stories showed the migration of impoverished farmers west from the Great Plains to California, where some found work and others found more pain in the orchards and fields of the Golden State.
Now, eight decades later, Mother Nature has flipped the script and has sharply depleted the water supply of the nation’s top agriculture state just like she did in Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, and other Plains states in the 1930s. Now, California’s agriculture and population in general is in danger of massive losses because of a years-long drought. The drought is yet to cause a human exodus like it did in the Plains during the Dust Bowl, but it is already causing massive cuts in crop and livestock production in the nation’s largest agriculture state.”
“Grains headed reasonably resilient into a long US weekend/month- end/ first notice day for September contracts, although whether they can stay that way afterwards…
For wheat, there remains good cause for investors to steer shy of heavy selling, with the Russia-Ukraine tensions remaining heightened.
Nato officials are holding an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian separatists are trying to capture the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea.
And US President Barack Obama blamed Russia for the escalation, if stopping short of terming its activity in Ukraine an invasion.
“There is no doubt that this is not a home-grown, indigenous uprising in eastern Ukraine,” he said.
“The separatists are trained by Russia, they are armed by Russia, they are funded by Russia.”
‘Risk premium is being added back’
With Russia and Ukraine both major exporters of competitively-priced wheat, the wheat market has been something of a barometer of regional tensions.
“Supplies of wheat in the world are ample, but risk premium is being added back into futures prices as tensions in Ukraine escalate,” CHS Hedging said, adding that “the West is still reluctant to call the situation a war, but things are moving in that direction”.
Chicago soft red winter wheat, the world benchmark, added 0.6% to $5.75 a bushel for December as of 09:45 UK time (03:45 Chicago time), cementing its place above its 50-day moving average, which it closed over in the last session for the first time in three months.
Kansas City hard red winter wheat for December was 0.4% higher at $6.47 a bushel, holding its place above its 40-day moving average.
And Minneapolis hard red spring wheat, the type under threat from a wet US harvest, gained 0.5% to $6.35 ¾ a bushel, just below its 40-day moving average.”
“Germany’s farm ministry lifted ideas on the size of the domestic wheat harvest, but cautioned over some loss of quality to persistent rains which had left some crops not worth harvesting.
The ministry pegged the German wheat crop, the European Union’s second biggest after that in France, at 27.94m tonnes, a rise of 11.7% from last year’s 25.02m-tonne crop, and well above expectations from some other forecasters.
The US Department of Agriculture has pegged the harvest at 25.6m tonnes, and industry group Coceral at 25.38m tonnes.
The ministry’s figure includes an estimate for winter wheat of 27.57m tonnes, up 11.9% year on year, and above expectations from the DBV farmers’ association of 26.2m tonnes, and of 26.04m tonnes from ADM Germany, formerly Toepfer International.”
“Loveland Products, Inc., a subsidiary of Agrium, and Actagro®, LLC announced that the companies have entered into a commercialization and technology development agreement for soil and plant health nutritional products based on the Actagro Organic Acids Technology Platform™. The agreement gives Loveland Products, expanded distribution, commercialization and development rights to the platform in the Eastern United States, Canada and Australia.
‘We are very focused on providing a fully integrated portfolio of plant health and nutrition products to our global customers through our integrated Agrium Retail channel in the US, Canada, and Australia,’ said Brent Smith, Vice President of Loveland Products. ‘Partnering with Actagro will allow Loveland Products to deliver new solutions to growers that complement conventional plant nutrition programs.’”
“BASF’s acaricide Nealta (cyflumetofen) obtained approval from the Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Authority (PMRA), to control European red mite and twospotted spider mite and McDaniel spider mite on pome fruits, grape, strawberry, and tomato. Cyflumetofen is a new active ingredient which is concurrently being registered in Canada and the United States. The MRLs proposed for cyflumetofen in Canada are the same as promulgated in the United States, except for berries and livestock commodities.
Cyflumetofen is a compound in the benzoylacetonitrile class of chemistry. It interferes with energy production within cells when in contact with spider mites.”
“One of the major difficulties for the registration of new agrochemicals in Brazil is the ‘political factor’. This is the evaluation of agronomist Flávio Hirata, from AllierBrasil, a company specialized on the registration and markets of agrochemicals at the seventh Brasil Agrochem Show, held last August 18 in São Paulo.
‘It is very hard to project something on a mid-term scenario because of decisions related to the new regulations of product registration – which is the bigger challenge – depends on the political decision. So getting out from the technical scope – it is law that changes the regulation. What is going to happen it is not very predictable in political terms’, explains Hirata.”
Imagine that? This is what happens when you remove scientific regulation and move to sociology. The province of Ontario is no different.
“Syngenta and Monsanto held preliminary talks with advisers earlier this year about a combination that never came to fruition, people familiar with the matter have said. Syngenta’s willingness to have such conversations signals it’s open to a deal, whether as an acquirer or as a target, according to shareholder Wintergreen Advisers LLC. With shares down 9.5 percent in the last 12 months amid slowing revenue growth, Berenberg Bank said an acquisition could help the crop chemicals company improve its prospects.
One option for $34 billion Syngenta is a takeover of Dow Chemical Co. (DOW)’s agricultural business, said Alembic Global Advisors and SunTrust Banks Inc. Dow Chief Executive Officer Andrew Liveris has suggested the company is open to divesting that unit. DuPont Co. (DD) and Basel, Switzerland-based Syngenta could also merge and then spin off the U.S. company’s non-agricultural businesses, said Zuercher Kantonalbank.”
Makes you wonder what it would take to trigger an anti-trust regulation – another political force at work.
“Ray Harrington considered catching, carting, cremating and cooking weed seeds to control the herbicide resistant varieties that were plaguing farmers across Western Australia.
He settled on a fifth C: crushing.
Now the developer of the Harrington Seed Destructor is testing a combine-mounted model that will replace the prototype pull-behind unit that first gained attention in Australia and elsewhere.
‘We’ve come along in leaps and bounds the last two years,’ said Harrington at an Aug. 12 presentation in Lethbridge.
‘The trail behind is working, but people don’t want it. I don’t want it. I’m just trying to get rid of two. I’ve got two and they’re both on the market.’
Tests show the pull-behind units destroy 92 to 98 percent of weeds seeds at harvest.”