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flood damage in corn and wet fields

Weak El Niño may mean wetter than normal summer Midwest weather

Commodity weather group forecasts wet summer will boost corn, soybean yields.

A weak El Niño pattern will develop in the Pacific, meaning there’s the likelihood of a wetter summer in the Midwest, Commodity Weather Group, the Bethesda, Maryland-based forecaster, said in a seasonal report Tuesday.

The wetter-than-normal weather likely will have a negative effect on planting but a positive impact on crops that get planted due to ample moisture, the forecaster said. The El Niño pattern will mean warmer waters near the Baja Peninsula and relatively cooler waters in the Pacific Northwest.

“The central (and) southwest Midwest is at most risk for slower-than-average corn (and) soy seeding, but rains aid moisture for the heart of the Corn Belt heading into summer,” CWG said in the report. “Summer temperature outlook trended warmer in the eastern U.S., but mostly unchanged in the Corn Belt, keeping the threat for notable Midwest-focused heat low this season.” Read more

Planting seeds in field photo

Weather uncertainty still supportive for soybeans

U.S. weather uncertainty will continue to be a source of support for downtrodden soybean futures, regardless of rising South American production prospects, according to a U.S. analyst.

“There appears to be a reluctance in getting short before planting and the growing season,” said Sean Lusk of Walsh Trading in Chicago.

Chicago soybean futures actually fell to their lowest level of the past year earlier this week, but bounced off those lows as uncertainty about new-crop production and chart-based buying offered support. As the chart below shows, the May soybean contract fell heavily throughout March, dropping over US$1/bu before showing some mettle on Wednesday and early Thursday. Read more

Corn field photo

Global Corn Ending Stocks Build on Larger Crops

U.S. corn ending stocks for 2016-17 didn’t get any heavier this month, but global stocks did.

Updated supply-demand estimates released by the USDA on Tuesday pegged estimated worldwide corn ending stocks for the current marketing year at 222.98 million tonnes, up from 220.68 million last month and roughly 11 million above the previous year.

The bulk of the increase in global ending stocks can be attributed to higher global production, with the USDA once again raising its estimate of this year’s Brazilian crop, which is now seen at a whopping 93.5 million tonnes. That’s up from 91.5 million in March and represents an increase of 7 million tonnes from just two months ago. The latest Brazilian government data indicates Read more

Photo of corn harvesting

Huge U.S. corn exports face hurdles from South American rivals

The United States appears well on its way to exporting the largest volume of corn in nine years, but there will be some hurdles to overcome in order to meet the full expectation for the season.

The United States is the world’s No. 1 source for corn and while not the primary form of domestic use, exports are crucial in keeping the supply from piling up, something that was a bit of an issue early on last season.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has 2.225 billion bushels (56.5 million tonnes) of corn slated to ship by Aug. 31. If realized, the 2016/17 season would rank as the fifth-largest U.S. corn export campaign of all time, behind 2007/08, 1979/80, 1980/81, and 1989/90. Read more

Fall good time to buy fertilizer

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Farmers are better off buying fertilizer in fall or winter rather than waiting until spring 90 percent of the time, according to Alberta Agriculture.

The department has tracked urea, ammonia and phosphate prices for the past 10 years.

“There has only been one year, and that was in 2008, that spring prices were lower than fall-winter prices,” said Jennifer Stoby, an agricultural input market analyst with Alberta Agriculture.

She encouraged farmers to talk with their retailers this fall about their upcoming needs, especially for nitrogen fertilizers.

“With lower crop prices, guys have been hesitant to buy fertilizer and not really making any decisions,” said Stoby. “If they do wait until spring, there might be some problems actually even getting product.”

Growers who haven’t pre-bought product have faced supply shortages for the last few years, and it could be the same scenario next year.

“Retails aren’t bringing in nearly as much product just to have on hand the same as they have in the past,” said Stoby.

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