By <a class=”colorbox” href=http://www.agcanada.com/daily/long-fund-position-could-be-bearish-for-cbot-soybeans “>dave
p>CNS Canada – Old-crop soybean futures on the Chicago Board of Trade moved sharply lower during the week ended Wednesday, with new-crop values seeing less severe losses.
The narrowing in of the old crop/new crop spread was a feature of the week’s activity. Going forward, the trend looks to bearish, according to analysts.
Values came under pressure amid reports of Chinese cancellations for old-crop U.S. soybeans, and fears that even more defaults could continue to weigh on the market.
“Right now, we’re pretty much at two million tonnes” of Chinese cancellations, said Sterling Smith, analyst with Citigroup in Chicago. “Seeing that number to three million tonnes would not surprise me in the least.”
With the South American production situation looking better, and reports that supplies from the region are moving into the U.S., the market could move down to the US$14 per bushel level, he said.
There’s also the possibility of fund selling going forward, as “we have an overabundance of funds long here, and that can certainly lead to some liquidation,” according to Smith.
But the news is not all bearish, as the market is going to need to build in planting and weather risk premiums ahead of the growing season in the U.S., he …read more
The only part of this deal that makes any sense to me is the Zip code. Platform Specialty is based in Waterbury, just a few exits up the pike from the old Chemtura Headquarters in Middlebury CT. Looking at their website Platform Specialty is a specialty chemical company, not in the crop protection business. Which makes me wonder what they will do with what they have acquired – parcel it out to others?
Looks like clubroot has mutated away (or overcome resistance) from what has been bred into Canola plants. So far it is a limited area affected. In order to protect this valuable genetic trait, the CCC will be working collaboratively throughout the canola value chain to learn more about this potential new pathotype and help prevent its buildup and movement. Factors that contribute to this risk are:
Canola rotations with less than a two year break
Fields that are known already to have high clubroot inoculum
Fields that are not scouted for clubroot regularly
Planting the same resistant canola variety in that rotation
Any tillage that is more than zero till
Operations that do not limit soil movement between fields. Keep your soil at home.
Clubroot is a serious soil-borne disease caused by the pathogen Plasmodiophora brassicae. It lowers the bottom line for canola growers each year. The disease has been advancing through Alberta at a fairly steady 20 to 25 km per year, and has been detected at low levels in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Visit www.clubroot.ca to learn more about clubroot best management practices and stewardship of resistant varieties.
A bit of a negative day for equities contrasted, as so often happens, with a firm day for agricultural commodities – especially sugar.
Stock markets succumbed to a little selling pressure after the HSBC-Markit “flash” Chinese purchasing managers’ index came in at 48.3 for April – up from 48.0 last month but still below the 50.0 neutral level.
Falls were not heavy, but widespread, with Paris stocks among the worst performers, shedding 0.7%, while the Nasdaq was down 0.8%.
Canada’s farmers, as well as grain giants such as Cargill, are investing in storage capacity to help ensure that this year’s crops – including an expected strong canola crop – are not put at risk from rail delays, as the 2013 harvest was.
Grain handlers have announced a series of expansions to their capacity in Canada, where a rail system snarled up by cold weather has proven inadequate to transport crop volumes swollen by record canola and wheat harvests last year.
Cargill, it to expand an elevator in Morris, Manitoba, while CWB, the former export monopoly for the Prairies, is building storage facilities in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
Vittera, owned by GlencoreXstrata, is to expand a Saskatchewan elevator and modernise its grains terminal at Port Metro Vancouver, where rival Richardson is also to develop its port facilities.
The Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) in Canada has granted additional label expansion approvals for DuPont™ Exirel™ insecticide（cyantraniliprole） for fruit and vegetable growers.
Fruit and vegetable growers may now use Exirel™ insecticide for managing hard-to-control black vine weevil and clay coloured weevil in bushberries, as well as flea beetles in tuberous, corm, brassica and fruiting vegetables. This label expansion comes just months after other recent label expansions that have approved Exirel™ for the control of spotted wing drosophila in stone fruits and blueberries.
Sales of DuPont’s agriculture segment, including crop protection and seed business, decreased by 5.9% to $4,394 million in the first quarter ended March 31, 2014, and the PTOI dropped by 2.6% to $ 1,442 million y-o-y.
Dust generated during the planting of neonicotinoid treated corn and soybean seed may be harmful to honey bees and other pollinators. Starting in the 2014 planting season, the new requirement is to use the Fluency Agent by Bayer CropScience to help reduce seed dust during planting.
When using a seed flow lubricant for planting corn and soybean seed treated with neonicotinoid insecticides (containing the active ingredients clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam):
Use only the Fluency Agent by Bayer CropScience.
Talc and graphite are not permitted.
23–04–2014: Using corn crop residue to make ethanol and other biofuels reduces soil carbon and can generate more greenhouse gases than gasoline, according to a study published in the journal Nature Climate Change.
The findings by a University of Nebraska-Lincoln team of researchers cast doubt on whether corn residue can be used to meet federal mandates to ramp up ethanol production and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Corn stover – the stalks, leaves and cobs in cornfields after harvest – has been considered a ready resource for cellulosic ethanol production. The U.S. Department of Energy has provided more than $1 billion in federal funds to support research to develop cellulosic biofuels, including ethanol made from corn stover. While the cellulosic biofuel production process has yet to be extensively commercialized, several private companies are developing specialized biorefineries capable of converting tough corn fibers into fuel.
The researchers, led by assistant professor Adam Liska, used a supercomputer model at UNL’s Holland Computing Center to estimate the effect of residue removal on 128 million acres across 12 Corn Belt states. The team found that removing crop residue from cornfields generates an additional 50 to 70 grams of carbon dioxide per megajoule of biofuel energy produced (a joule is a measure of energy and is roughly equivalent to 1 BTU). Total annual production emissions, averaged over five years, would equal about 100 grams of carbon dioxide per megajoule – which is 7 percent greater than gasoline emissions and 62 grams above the 60 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions as required by the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act.
Growers in the main US hard red winter wheat-growing region, whose crop prospects have been tested by drought and frost, suffered the extra blow of seeing their farmland market viewed as the country’s weakest.
Returns from the average US farmland investment slowed to 2.4% quarter-on-quarter for the first three months of the year, well below the 5.4% in the January-to-March period of 2013, according to the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries (Ncreif).
The decline reflected a drop to 1.53% in land price appreciation and a 0.88% income return.
And it reduced to 17.4%, from 20.9%, the figure for growth in returns on a full-year basis, the weakest figure since early 2012.
By <a class=”colorbox” href=http://www.agcanada.com/daily/ice-weekly-outlook-canola-down-but-still-watching-beans “>dave
p>CNS Canada – ICE Futures Canada canola contracts moved lower during the week ended Wednesday, hitting their softest levels in a month as bearish technical signals and increased farmer selling weighed on values.
While the technical bias has turned lower, the Canadian market could still find some spillover strength from the CBOT soy complex, according to a trader.
Positioning ahead of Statistics Canada’s planting intentions report on Thursday contributed to the recent weakness in canola, as industry participants generally expect to see an increase of at least a million acres in canola seedings compared to the 19.9 million planted in 2013.
However, “unless it’s a real shocker,” the report is unlikely to have a long-lasting effect on canola futures, said Keith Ferley of RBC Dominion Securities in Winnipeg.
The survey was conducted at the end of March, he said, and will already be considered old news by the time it’s out.
Spring conditions remain generally cool and wet across Western Canada, which is turning some of the attention in the futures market to planting conditions. Ferley said the late thaw and weather uncertainty were keeping some support underneath the canola market.
Canola also remains underpriced compared to CBOT soybeans, leaving room for gains relative to the …read more
By daveCNS Canada – Less grain and oilseeds being shipped off the Prairies this past winter means farmers are keeping more grain in storage, which some producers say can be a risky business.
Carrying crops over to the next spring brings many challenges that could cause grain to lose quality. Condensation and moisture in bins and silos are among those challenges.
“They (the grains and oilseeds) lose value, ultimately,” said Doug Chorney, president of Manitoba farm group Keystone Agricultural Producers. “That’s the price you pay for having quality degradation.”
Moisture in bins will not only depreciate the value of the commodity, he said, but it will also make it vulnerable to even bigger problems.
“The risk when you have spoilage from moisture is that it attracts insects or creates the habitat for insects that causes an insect infestation, which makes it unmarketable,” said Chorney. “So your grain could go from being worth market price to nothing. It could actually be worthless.”
Canola is one of the most vulnerable crops when it comes to spoilage from moisture, he said.
“It’s just the nature of canola, it’s an oilseed and it has very small compact area with minimal air transfer within the grain mass so it doesn’t aerate as …read more
By daveChicago | Reuters – Chicago Mercantile Exchange hog futures jumped two per cent on Wednesday, with some months up the three-cent limit, driven by fund buying after contracts punched through moving average levels, traders said.
May hogs closed up 2.95 cents per pound at 123.975 (all figures US$).
June and July ended up their three-cent limit at 126.25 and 124 cents, respectively. Both months landed above their 20-day moving averages of 123.951 cents and 121.037, respectively.
Futures received more lift from short-covering after wholesale pork values and prices for market-ready, or cash hogs, moved higher.
Wednesday afternoon’s average hog price in the closely watched Iowa/Minnesota market rose 48 cents per hundredweight (cwt) to $116.20, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Separate government data showed the afternoon’s wholesale pork price gained 32 cents/cwt from Tuesday to $117.41.
Some packers need hogs for Saturday to make up for downtime during Monday’s extended Easter holiday observances. And, grocers are preparing to feature pork for spring grilling demand.
Speculators bought deep deferred months in the belief that higher Chicago Board of Trade corn prices might discourage producers from feeding hogs to heavier weight, which is supportive to cash prices.
Still, some investors are nervous about futures’ bearish premium to CME’s hog …read more
By <a class=”colorbox” href=http://www.agcanada.com/daily/ex-ag-committee-chief-paradis-named-que-ag-minister “>dave
p>A former agriculture critic for Quebec’s provincial Liberals and former chair of the assembly’s agriculture, fisheries and food committee is the province’s new agriculture minister.
Announcing his cabinet Wednesday following the April 7 election [Related story], incoming Premier Philippe Couillard named Pierre Paradis, the MNA for the Monteregie riding of Brome-Missisquoi since 1980, as the province’s new minister for agriculture, fisheries and food.
Paradis, 63, a lawyer by education, founded the law office of Paradis, Paradis and Associates in 1975 before moving to provincial politics. He has served in previous Liberal cabinets in portfolios including environment (1989-94), housing, municipal affairs (both 1988-89) and labour (1985-88), and as the Liberals’ house leader both in government (1992-94) and opposition (1994-2003).
His resume also includes stints as the Liberals’ opposition critic for both the agriculture and rural affairs portfolios from 2000 to 2003, and as chair of the assembly’s agriculture committee from 2007 to 2012. On the same committee, he served as vice-chair (2012-14) and as a member (1994-97, 2001-03, 2005).
Paradis is also well known for his run at the leadership of the Quebec Liberals in 1983, placing a distant second in what became the political comeback for ex-premier Robert Bourassa.
Couillard on Wednesday also named …read more
By <a class=”colorbox” href=http://www.agcanada.com/daily/u-s-grains-corn-gains-on-firm-cash-market-rain-delayed-planting “>dave
p>Chicago | Reuters – U.S. corn futures advanced for a second straight session on Wednesday, adding more than one per cent on firm cash markets and as cooler and wetter weather in the central U.S. stalled planting of the crop in the western corn belt.
Soybeans were mixed, with nearby prices pressured by spread trading activity and expectations of more U.S. imports of South American beans amid weak near-term demand from China.
Wheat was pressured early in the day on crop boosting rains in parts of the U.S. Plains winter wheat belt before turning higher on short-covering and technical buying.
“We’re looking at some planting delays over the next few days with the heavy moisture,” said Rich Nelson, chief strategist at Allendale Inc.
“But we are finding some resistance at higher prices as we move above this $5 (per bushel) level in corn,” he added (all figures US$).
Chicago Board of Trade May corn rose 7-1/4 cents, or 1.5 per cent, to $5.03-1/2 a bushel in a second straight day of gains after sinking to a three-week low on Monday.
A storm system was expected to bring up to an inch of rain to parts of the Midwest through Thursday, including major corn production areas in …read more
Dry getting drier, wet getting wetter – Drought MonitorRain and snow last weekend and early this week was enough to put a dent in the general drought conditions in some key crop areas, while others saw just limited precipitation, leaving things shrouded by continued dryness, according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor update released Thursday morning.
Investors remained sanguine on US corn sowing prospects despite plantings proceeding at a far slower pace than expected, particularly in the key Corn Belt states.
US growers had planted 6% of their corn as of Sunday, up 3 points week on week, but well below the average of 14% by now, US Department of Agriculture data showed.
The figure was far lower than expectations of more than 9% forecast by investors, and in area terms, the lag behind the average is equivalent to more than 7m acres, nearly the size of Belgium.
And it and was most marked in Tennessee, where 19% of corn was seeded – 25 points behind the average.
“Cool soil temperatures and rain again hampered corn and cotton plantings,” USDA scouts said.
‘Waiting for soil temperatures to improve’
However, delays were also marked in Illinois, typically the second-biggest corn producing state, where “corn planting progressed to 5% complete but remained well behind the five year average of 22%”, USDA scouts said.
In neighbouring Indiana – where plantings, at 1% completed were 13 points behind the average – sowing had begun “in very limited quantities, restricted mostly to southern districts”, scouts said, adding that “most farmers are still waiting for soil temperatures to improve”.
Further north in Minnesota, another big corn growing state, most farmers “are still waiting for suitable conditions to begin planting”, with sowings registered at zero, compared with the 9% usually completed by now.
And in Iowa, the top corn state, seedings were 2% complete, 9 points behind the average pace.
“Rain and cool temperatures early in the week continued to slow fieldwork,” scouts said.
US farmers have not done nearly as well on corn sowings as investors thought.
There had been big ideas over the amount of corn that growers would have in the ground as of Sunday, a figure released in the US Department of Agriculture’s weekly Crop Progress report overnight.
Allendale, for instance, had noted that “trade is expecting as much as 15% planted versus 18% average”.
However, the figure as it turned out was only 6% completed. (The average was actually 14%.)
The disappointing data helped set in train something of a Turnaround Tuesday feel in Chicago, where traders believe that the second session of the week often reverses a strong trend in the first.
(And Monday saw sharp losses.)
Not that the revival in Chicago prices was huge.
After all, it is still early days for plantings, and US farmers last year showed they can sow a huge area of corn, some 40m acres, in one week if push comes to shove.
Richard Feltes at RJ O’Brien said: “The corn market won’t get excited about the corn situation unless delays persist beyond the Monday May 5 update,” with some viewing May 1 as a key sowing deadline, after which yield potential falls, although other commentators use mid-May.
The recovery in crop prices has slowed, but not reversed, the decline in US land prices, a leading survey showed, adding a warning that rising borrowing costs may make even this relief short-lived.
An index of US farmland prices compiled by Creighton University rebounded 2.0 points to 42.9 this month, the first rise since November.
The increase came amid some signs of recovery in the US rural economy overall, said the university, flagging the impact of the revival in crop prices from early-year lows, with Chicago soybean and wheat futures up some 15% so far in 2014, and corn up 17%.
“Recent boosts to agriculture commodity prices should boost the economy in the months ahead,” said Creighton economics professor Ernie Goss, who oversees the survey.
‘Even more downward pressures’
However, farmland index remained below the 50.0 figure indicating a neutral market.
“This is the fifth straight month that the farmland and ranchland-price index has moved below growth neutral,” Professor Goss said, holding out little hope of a sustained recovery.
“With the Federal Reserve continuing to withdraw its economic stimulus, I expect rising interest rates to put even more downward pressures on farmland prices and cash rents.”
He was downbeat over the farm equipment market, despite some recovery, by 7.4 points to a “frail” 36.7 in the index for agricultural machinery sales.
“Agriculture equipment and implement dealers in the agriculture based areas are experiencing very weak sales,” he said.
Difficult to control weeds – whether due to herbicide resistance or cut rates or too tall weed height/maturity or all of the above – must be taken very seriously and moved to the top of your agronomy to-do list for 2014.
Effective weed management should be planned out for each field and each crop, over multiple years in order rotate modes/sites of action
By <a class=”colorbox” href=http://www.agcanada.com/daily/cp-cn-book-higher-q1-grain-revenue-smaller-grain-handle “>dave
p>First-quarter revenue from grain handling is up at both Canadian Pacific (CP) and Canadian National (CN) Railways as the two companies both reported higher overall quarterly profit.
CP on Tuesday booked overall first-quarter net income of $254 million on revenues of $1.509 billion for the period ending March 31 — the company’s best-ever Q1 result, and up from $217 million on $1.495 billion in the year-earlier period.
CN, also on Tuesday, reported overall first-quarter net income of $623 million on revenues of $2.693 billion, up from $555 million on $2.466 billion during the same period in 2013.
CN for its Q1 reported $431 million in revenue from grain and fertilizer traffic, up six per cent from $408 million in the year-earlier period. Grain and fertilizer carloads hauled were down one per cent at 140,000, for revenue per carload of $3,079, up seven per cent from $2,873 in its 2013 Q1.
CP, for its 2014 Q1, reported $327 million in grain freight revenue, up four per cent from $314 million in the year-earlier period. Grain carloads hauled, however, were down six per cent at 101,000, for increased grain revenue per carload at $3,238, up 11 per cent from $2,906 in its 2013 Q1.
CP’s total Q1 …read more
By <a class=”colorbox” href=http://www.agcanada.com/daily/oacs-kemptville-campus-funded-for-skills-training “>dave
p>The Ontario government has put up $2 million to extend skills training programs at the Ontario Agricultural College’s (OAC) soon-to-be-shuttered Kemptville campus for the coming academic year.
The province announced the funding Tuesday for the campus to continue to host skills training programs that “support the agricultural sector in eastern Ontario,” including the agricultural equipment technician, heavy-duty equipment technician, truck and coach technician, welder, horticultural technician and dairy herdsperson training programs.
On top of its regular apprenticeship training, the province said, the Kemptville campus will continue to offer pre-apprenticeship programming, plus its co-op diploma apprenticeship program, which allows participants to earn diplomas while completing in-class apprenticeship training.
Students already enrolled in the Kemptville campus’ associate diploma programs in agriculture, equine care and food science will be able to complete their programs at Kemptville for 2014-15.
“We are committed to working with our partners in the agri-food and education sectors to ensure the work the University of Guelph has been doing in Kemptville continues to benefit the region and our province as a whole,” Premier Kathleen Wynne said in a release.
The University of Guelph, which operates OAC, last month announced it would wind down operations at the Kemptville and Alfred satellite campuses, and suspended academic …read more