HarvestingCorn800

Record harvests of corn and soybeans that fortified bearish arguments in 2016

The big crops keep coming

With 2016 nearly in the history books, it seems fair to say that the year will be remembered for its record corn and soybean harvests. Never before has any country ever produced 15.23 billion bushels of corn or 4.36 bb of soybeans, let alone both in the same season.

Not only was 2016 a year of good harvest, it was the fourth consecutive year of good harvests and, because of that, ending surpluses grew larger. According to USDA, U.S. ending corn stocks will total 2.4 billion bushels in 2016-17 or 16.4% of annual use. That is the highest stocks-to-use ratio in 11 years, an impressive accomplishment that took DTN’s national index of cash corn prices below $3.00 a bushel in the fall to its lowest level in eight years. Read more

GrainBins_800b

Soybean futures – will they outperform in 2017 too?

Soybean futures outperformed in 2016, rising for the first time in four years, by 14.4%, compared with a 1.9% decline in Chicago corn futures, and a 13.2% drop in wheat.

While the US harvested a record crop, demand has been strong too – supported by Chinese imports which also set a record high, with demand supported by a recovery in the fortunes of the country’s important hog producers.

Meanwhile, values of soybean oil have been supported by disappointing global output of rival palm oil, with the latest El Niño casting a long shadow over South East Asian production.

But will such factors continue to support soybean futures in 2017? Or will the US produce another record harvest to dampen price prospects?

Read more

loonie piggy bank image

Loonie the No. 1 Trend to Watch in Agriculture: FCC

The Canadian dollar will have the biggest – and a mostly positive – impact on Canadian agriculture in 2017, according to Farm Credit Canada (FCC).

In its annual list of main industry drivers farmers should keep an eye on in the New Year, FCC said the loonie will impact every business across the entire agri-food supply chain in 2017. “Varying against the relative value of the American dollar, it can uniquely drive profits either higher or lower and is therefore our No. 1 trend to watch.”

To that end, FCC forecast the loonie in 2017 will pick up right where it left off in 2016: It will be a generally positive trend for Canadian agriculture, remaining below its 5-year average of 88 cents US, and hovering around 75 cents throughout the year.

“Watch the loonie in 2017. It could easily have the largest impact of all possible trends and drivers on the profitability of Canadian agriculture and agribusiness throughout the year,” FCC said. “It’ll certainly show up in the prices Canadian ag producers will get and ultimately, their farm cash receipts. A low loonie makes Canadian manufactured food products more competitive in foreign markets, and domestically, it’ll help shield Canadian firms from foreign competition.”

Meanwhile, FCC also compiled a list of four other drivers it believes will also impact Canadian agriculture throughout 2017.

  1. Energy prices

The West Texas Intermediate oil price benchmark is expected to remain around the US$50 per barrel threshold. Commitments to cut oil production by major oil producing countries strengthened the outlook for oil recently. But there are serious questions about the likely supply and strength of demand throughout the year.

  1. Commodity prices

With production growth and high ending stocks the big story for 2017, commodity prices aren’t likely to get much better for Canadian producers. Will lower commodity prices keep consumption and export demand strong enough?

  1. Investment landscape

The U.S. Federal Reserve chose to hike its key interest rate in December. Interest rates should rise both in the U.S. and Canada, but it’s the spread between the different rates that matters. With an outlook for this spread to grow slightly in 2017, how much investment potential will the Canadian economy hold?

  1. Global economy

The global economy will be a bit of a wild card in 2017. It’s going to impact demand for ag commodities. But as China-U.S. trade flows evolve, the question of their capacity to influence commodity prices and the long-term health of Canadian ag exports remains.


Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.

Information contained herein is believed to be accurate but is not guaranteed by the parties providing it. Thompsons, DePutter Publishing Ltd. and their information sources assume no responsibility or liability for any action taken as a result of any information or advice contained in these reports, and any action taken is solely at the liability and responsibility of the user.

WorkingLand_Cropped

Iowa Farmland Values Slide for Third Straight Year

Gains in Canadian farmland values may be slowing; in Iowa they are continuing to slide.

According to the results of an Iowa State University survey released this week, the average value of Iowa farmland has shown a decline for the third year in a row — the first three-year losing streak since the 1980s farm crisis. At US$7,183, the average per acre price of farmland in the state was down $449 or almost 6% from November, 2015 and is now 17.5% below the historic high of $8,716 reached in 2013.

“The golden era of phenomenal, yet abnormal growth in farm income and land values, as we saw from 2006 to 2013, is already behind us,” said Wendong Zhang, assistant professor of economics at Iowa State University, who led the annual survey. “The land market is going through an orderly adjustment while the U.S. agricultural sector, a competitive industry, is trying to adjust to the old normal of zero industry-wise net profits.” Read more

RobWallbridge

Ontario crop retailer takes deeper jump into organics

By John Greig OrganicBIZ.ca.


RobWallbridge

 

One of the biggest challenges for organic crop farmers is to find solid agronomic information and markets that are reliable.

Larger conventional farm retailers have only made cautious steps into the organic market.

Thompsons Limited, however, has been putting more resources and focus on organic crops since July. The Ontario-based crop supply and marketing company has seen potential in the organic market, which makes some sense as it has a long history in marketing specialty crops.

The company hired Rob Wallbridge, a well-known organic consultant and former certifier to lead its greater push into organics. He’s also a Certified Crop Advisor.

“Thompsons has been in the organic grain markets for a number of years,” he says, including sourcing organic soybeans as part of its identity preserved and non-GMO soybean purchasing. “They found a growing demand for other organic crops.”

Thompsons is now buying organic corn, wheat, soybeans and some rye.

In the past Thompsons would have bought organic soybeans from a farmer, but the farmer would have had to find markets for his or her other crops. A more diverse crop rotation is necessary for organic production, and finding reliable markets for all of their organic production has proved challenging and a barrier for some farmers.

He’s very very knowledgeable. He’s farmed, he’s done the whole gammit. – Steve Hartman, organic crops and milk seller

Steve Hartman sells crops and milk organically, including some soybeans in the past to Thompsons in Granton. He says the hiring of Wallbridge shows that Thompson is serious about organics. Read more

soyField

London soybean farmers hope to match record set by wheat crop

By John Miner, The London Free Press


After harvesting a record wheat crop earlier this summer, some farmers in the London region are looking at scoring a repeat with soybeans.

“Soybeans are much better than anyone anticipated. Many people in the London area are having record yields,” Peter Johnson, a Southwestern Ontario-based agronomist with Real Agriculture, said Wednesday.

Soybeans are Ontario’s biggest cash crop with sales in 2015 at the farm gate exceeding $1.4 billion. In Middlesex County, soybeans typically bring in more than $100 million a year.

While the London region and much of Southwestern Ontario fared well, it wasn’t the same story in the Niagara Peninsula where it remained dry through most of August. Read more

GLASI_map_CG

Success on Great Lakes phosphorus

Dry beans, peas and pulses

Hasta la vista, meat; more pulses needed to feed hungry world

Call to reduce world meat consumption could benefit Canada’s pulse growers

By

Everyone from university professors to investment bankers and even Arnold Schwarzenegger are adding their voices to calls for reducing world meat consumption, in favour of a greater focus on plant-based proteins. As that sentiment mounts, it could bode well for Canada’s pea and lentil growers.

A group of investors representing US$1.25 trillion in assets is the latest voice calling for a shift away from meat-based diets towards a greater focus on plant-based protein. The investment group, linked through FAIRR (Farm Animal Investment Risk and Return) and ShareAction, sent a letter to more than a dozen global food companies, including Kraft Heinz and Nestle, highlighting the risks of an over-reliance on factory farmed livestock and the need to diversify into plant-based proteins.

A recent report from the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food, published in April, expressed a similar sentiment, with the study focusing on both the environmental and health benefits to be gained from lowering the amount of animal-sourced foods in diets.

Even Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Cameron are campaigning in support of a Chinese government led initiative to reduce meat consumption by 50 per cent, under the tagline ‘Less Meat, Less Heat.’ Read more

RobWallbridge

Thompsons welcomes Rob Wallbridge as Organic Specialist

Blenheim, Ontario, Canada –  July 14, 2016

Thompsons Limited is pleased to announce that Rob Wallbridge has joined the company as Organic Specialist.

Rob grew up on conventional dairy and cash crop farms in Central and Eastern Ontario. He comes to Thompsons with more than 15 years of experience in organic crop certification, production and marketing.

Rob is a registered Certified Crop Advisor (CCA-ON) and is a board member with the Organic Council of Ontario. He is also a volunteer member of both the AAFC Organic Value Chain Roundtable and the Livestock Working Group of the Canadian General Standard Boards’ Organic Technical Committee.

This appointment will help solidify and build Thompsons profile as a major international player in the organics supply chain.

Follow Rob Wallbridge on Twitter.

About Thompsons Limited

Established in 1924, Thompsons was purchased by The Andersons, Inc., and Lansing Trade Group, LLC in 2013. Thompsons is an integrated supplier of value-added agricultural products and services to growers in Ontario, Minnesota and North Dakota and to food processing customers worldwide. Thompsons owns and operates 12 elevators, 11 retail farm centers, 2 seed processing plants, 5 bean processing plants, a wheat processing plant, and 9 certified organic facilities. For more information, visit Thompsons Limited online at www.thompsonslimited.com.


Media Contact:

Dawn Betancourt, President, Thompsons Limited
Phone: (519) 676-5411

Brazil

Brazil opens two new rail-port grain terminals in north

Source: DTN, Alastair Stewart South America Correspondent

VLI, a Brazilian logistics operator, announced it had opened two new grain terminals in the northern state of Tocantins, continuing the improvement in logistics in Brazil’s expansion regions.

The terminals serve the north-south railroad, also essentially controlled by VLI, on which beans and corn from Maranhao, Tocantins, Piaui, Bahia and eastern Mato Grosso will be transported to the northern port of Itaqui.

The R$264 million ($73 million) investment will increase grain capacity along the north-south route by up to 6 million metric tons (mmt), estimates VLI. Read more