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Maps show average corn and soybean yields

Corn and soybean producers faced dry weather in some areas last summer and yields varied across the province, but where faced low yields, Production Insurance helped out. A couple of areas were affected more severely by the dry weather and experienced yields lower than the historical average. Other parts of the province saw the highest […]

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Why every bushel of corn matters for U.S. balance sheet

Source: Reuters – Karen Braun (Karen Braun is a Reuters market analyst. Views expressed are her own.)


The United States will certainly harvest a huge corn crop in 2016, so it hardly matters if yield falls by a couple of bushels, right? Actually, it does.

Without dissecting the balance sheet and crunching the numbers, it might be hard to understand why slight variations in yield make a big difference in domestic supply.

Last month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture projected that domestic farmers will harvest 15.15 billion bushels of corn over the next couple of months, which would easily set a new record for the world’s leading corn supplier.

USDA also penciled in 2.409 billion bushels of corn carryover at the end of the 2016/17 marketing year, which began on Sept. 1. This would be the largest such volume since the late 1980s. Read more

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North American Harvest Report

Too much of a good thing?

A publication of BMO Capital Markets Economic Research • Douglas Porter, CFA, Chief Economist

Seldom is there a dull moment in the agriculture business. Only two short years ago, crop prices in North America were flirting with all-time highs after several years of lacklustre growing conditions were capped by the worst U.S. drought in 25 years. Today, prices are mining new lows under the weight of a second huge harvest. But, while lower crop prices are good news for food processors, livestock producers, and consumers, they are also taking a bite out of farmers’ bottom lines.

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Combine photo

Farmers count cost of bumper global harvest

By Jane Craigie

The story is as clear in Iowa, the mega farming US state, as it is in Scotland – world commodity prices are worryingly low for arable farmers following a bumper world harvest this year.

Denny Friest and his son, Brent, farm 1,400 acres in northern Iowa. They grow corn (maize) and soya beans and have 225 breeding sows producing 6,000 fat pigs per year. At an average deadweight of 290lb (130kg), and what they regard as the buoyant current price of $1.08/lb (£1.48/kg), pigs will pay this year, but cropping won’t.

The Friests share the same stark reality as commodity crop growers around the world – they will have to make some big cost savings over the coming season if they are going to earn any return at all from corn and soya. “One month ago, soya was trading at $600 a tonne, it’s now $380 a tonne,” said Denny on his farm last week.

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A farmer winnows wheat with a rake at a farm in Liquan county, Shaanxi province June 13, 2012.
CREDIT: REUTERS/ROONEY CHEN

China to step up control on grain imports as stockpiles rise | Reuters

(Reuters) – China will strengthen control over grains imports and crack down on illegal activities like smuggling in a bid to cut oversupply, with record stockpiles creating storage problems for the new harvest, China’s vice premier said on Friday.

China’s stockpiling policy, under which it buys from farmers at inflated prices, has made cheaper overseas supplies more attractive for end-users like feed mills, forcing the government to take action to try to curb surging imports.

“We will strengthen import and export controls for grains while severely cracking down on irregularities like smuggling in order to stabilizes the domestic market,” vice premier Wang Yang said at a national conference.

China’s rejection of cheap U.S. corn cargoes on the grounds that it contained a genetically-modified strain not permitted for import was also seen as part of Beijing’s efforts curb cheap imports and support domestic corn prices.

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Harvesting Soybeans

What can be done to expedite soybean harvest operations? | MSU Extension

The advantages and disadvantages of various options for increasing soybean harvest efficiency.

According to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, 23 percent of Michigan’s soybean crop was harvested as of Oct. 19, 2014. The average harvest progress on this date for 2009 to 2013 is 60 percent. Because of this, soybean producers are looking for ways to expedite harvest operations. Below are several options for speeding up the 2014 soybean harvest.

Increase combine ground speed when possible

When conditions are suitable, increasing your ground speed may be an easy way to increase harvest capacity when faced with a short harvest window. Increasing harvest losses and plugging the combine are the biggest potential downsides of this option. Increasing combine ground speed increases the potential for gathering losses, threshing and cleaning losses. Gathering losses due to higher speeds occur when the cutter bar rides over plants before cutting them off, stripping pods from the plants or leaving them attached to the stubble. Frequent and careful “fine-tuning” of reel speed and position are necessary at higher ground speeds. Tall, uneven stubble and loose pods on the ground are indicators that ground speed is too fast. Threshing losses occur when the combine’s threshing/separating capacity is exceeded. Draper heads optimize combine capacity and minimize threshing losses by providing more uniform feeding than auger heads.

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Corn Maturity and Drydown

Can I capture an early market premium?

It’s that time of year again when growers look at their corn crop and go through the exercise of deciding when to harvest. They also wonder if they will be able to harvest a bit early to capture an early market premium for their corn. With the overall later planted crop and cool summer temperatures, corn maturity and drydown will likely occur later for most and harvesting to capture this market premium will be more difficult.

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