After roller-coaster ride, food prices are back at starting point
Global food prices skyrocketed following the Russian invasion of Ukraine last February, but they have returned to earth, said the FAO Food Price Index, based on monthly changes in a basket of food commodities.
Drought pares U.S. corn and soy harvest, say traders
With the fall harvest getting under way, traders expect the USDA to trim its estimate of the U.S. corn crop by more than a quarter-billion bushels on Monday but to stick to its forecast of the largest soybean crop ever, at roughly 4.5 billion bushels. Dry weather in the western Corn Belt, including powerhouses Iowa and Nebraska, will lower corn production to just below 14.1 billion bushels, or 1 billion bushels less than last year, according to the average estimate from traders surveyed by wire services.
Highest-ever ethanol mandate will boost homegrown biofuels, says EPA
As part of an effort to "re-set and strengthen" the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), the EPA set the corn ethanol mandate at its highest level ever, 15.25 billion gallons, for this year. Ethanol is cheaper than gasoline at present, so biofuel backers said consumers would benefit at the fuel pump with more ethanol in the gasoline supply.
War drives UN food index to highest level ever
The UN index of food prices, already at a record high, rose by 12.5 percent in reaction to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, with world wheat prices soaring nearly 20 percent, said the Food and Agriculture Organization. Wheat prices were so high, said USDA analysts in a separate report, that consumers in sub-Saharan Africa may find it cheaper to eat rice, ordinarily the more expensive staple grain.
Cellulosic ethanol plant is retooled for renewable natural gas
Verbio North America says it will more than double the capacity of its plant in central Iowa to produce renewable natural gas from corn stover, and it plans to begin production of corn ethanol in the final months of the year. The facility was the first of three plants in the nation to return to biofuel production after faltering as a producer of cellulosic ethanol, made from grasses, woody plants and crop residue.
Vilsack says USDA and White House close to deal on biofuel aid
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the administration appeared "very close" to releasing a long-promised $700 million in pandemic aid to biofuel producers. The aid was announced in March as part of a remodeling of coronavirus relief programs by the incoming administration.
Derecho blows away expectations of a record-setting U.S. corn crop
The windstorm that blasted across Iowa — "basically a 40 mile-wide tornado," in the words of Gov. Kim Reynolds — wiped out 9 percent of the crop in the nation's No. 1 corn state and obliterated the chances for a record-large corn harvest nationwide, said the USDA. Farmers will see notably higher season-average prices for the smaller, but still ample, crop that remains in the field.
Siding with farmers, Trump tells EPA to deny retroactive biofuel waiver requests
With an eye toward shoring up Farm Belt support less than two months before the election, President Trump directed the EPA to deny dozens of oil refiner requests for retroactive waivers from U.S. biofuel laws, Reuters reported on Wednesday.
Coronavirus may bring lowest season-average corn price in 14 years
This year's corn crop could sell for the lowest price in years — probably around $3.10 a bushel — depending on how quickly demand for ethanol rebounds and whether or not farmers plant less corn land than they planned to in March, said an economist at Kansas State University. (No paywall)
Sharply lower farm-gate prices forecast for U.S. crops
Farmers growing the three major U.S. crops — corn, soybeans and wheat — can expect a sizable decline in the average sales price for this year's harvest instead of the mild upturn that was forecast in late February, said the USDA. In its first projection of the fall harvest, the USDA said season-average prices for the three crops would be 8 to 10 percent lower than anticipated at its Outlook Forum.
Glut of white corn, used in tortillas, sends prices lower
With commodity prices in a trough since 2013, U.S. farmers have tried to bolster their income by diversifying their crops, such as planting white corn, the variety used in corn chips and tortillas. That decision is now coming back to bite them because overproduction is driving down the price of white corn.
U.S. corn stockpile swells by half a billion bushels in one year
U.S. grain bins hold the largest stockpile of corn in three decades — 32-percent larger than a year ago — and there will be little chance to reduce it given that a bumper crop is being harvested this fall. The outlook suggests comparatively low market prices through late 2018 at a minimum, possibly adding to pressure for larger federal supports as Congress writes the new farm bill.
The trials of agriculture: corn exports gone awry and was ‘pink slime’ defamed?
In Kansas City, a class-action lawsuit says Syngenta should be held liable for corn shipments rejected by China early this decade. And in Elk Point, South Dakota, Beef Products Inc. (BPI) is seeking billions of dollars in damages from American Broadcasting Companies Inc. (ABC) for reporting that used the name "pink slime" to refer to BPI's "lean finely textured beef."
Farmers optimistic at planting time though dubious about crop prices
Purdue’s monthly survey of producers reported a small uptick in farmer confidence with the arrival of the spring planting season despite an undercurrent of pessimism about what corn and soybean prices will be at harvest time.
FAPRI forecasts stability in farm income while land values slip
After suffering a 31-percent drop in net cash income in three years, the U.S. farm sector will see stable to modestly rising income in coming years, while farmland values will fall 11 percent before leveling off at the end of this decade, says the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute. The University of Missouri think tank says farm debt will rise, as will indicators of financial stress, such as the debt-to-asset ratio.
Corn prices stall below $4 with few paths for an increase
For the past 27 months, farmers have been paid less than $4 a bushel for their corn crops, "and prices below $4 are expected to persist well into 2017," says economist Darrel Good of the University of Illinois. There are only two paths that could lead to higher prices, he says at farmdoc Daily: a drop-off in South America or a much smaller U.S. crop in the new year.
Grain prices to remain low into 2017
The global grain glut and weaker demand from China will keep grain prices low into next year, according to analysts at Olam International, one of the world's largest commodities traders, reports Bloomberg.