corn

Drought imperils production of corn, a vital food, in southern Africa

Hot and dry weather has reduced corn yields throughout southern Africa, “threatening food security for millions of households depending on this key staple for a significant share of calories consumed on a daily basis,” said the IFPRI think tank. In South Africa, the region’s major corn grower, the harvest could fall by 18 percent from the previous crop, said the USDA on Thursday.

Brazil, an agricultural giant, could expand cropland by 35 percent, say analysts

Already a major soybean, corn, and cotton grower, Brazil could expand its crop area by 35 percent through the conversion of overgrazed and overgrown pastureland, according to a research agency that is part of the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture. Besides the potential addition of 70 million acres of cropland, Brazil could increase production by devoting more land to second-crop corn, said a team of U.S. university economists.

Big crops and lower prices for U.S. farmers in 2024

American farmers will harvest monster corn and soybean crops this year, including the largest soybean crop ever, at 4.5 billion bushels, and the third corn crop in four years to top 15 billion bushels, projected the Agriculture Department on Thursday. Season-average prices for the crops would fall for the second year in a row from the spike in commodity markets created by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

U.S. crop prices head downhill after roller coaster climb

After soaring to sky-high levels following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, U.S. corn, soybean, and wheat prices are coming back to earth as supplies expand worldwide, said the Agriculture Department. The average price for corn this marketing year will be 27 percent lower, wheat 18 percent lower, and soybeans 10 percent lower than last season, said USDA analysts in a new look at global supply and demand.

Drought more widespread in corn and soybean areas than wheat territory

Half of U.S. corn and soybean territory is in drought, compared to one-third of wheat land, said weekly drought reports on Thursday. Drought is far less prevalent for winter wheat than it was a year ago, while conditions for soybeans are little changed and corn has seen an 11 percentage point decline, said the USDA’s Ag in Drought report.

Ethanol supporters argue for fuel diversity

Rather than promoting electric vehicles, the government should adopt “a diversified portfolio of approaches” in the transportation sector such as flex fuel vehicles, said three ethanol advocates on Monday. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court refused to hear a challenge of the Minnesota rule that …

Precision ag usage is highest in top row-crop states

Farmers in the top corn, wheat, soybean, and hog states are twice as likely as farmers in smaller-volume states to use precision agriculture practices, such as GPS guidance, said the USDA’s farm computer report on Thursday. Usage often topped 50 percent in the top row-crop states, while the U.S. average was just 27 percent.

GM crops grown on 55 percent of U.S. cropland, says USDA

Farmer adoption of genetically modified crop varieties is spreading beyond the well-known dominance of the major field crops of corn, soybeans, and cotton, said a USDA report. When lesser-known GM crops such as canola, potatoes, and apples are counted, about 55 percent of U.S. cropland is planted to GM varieties, said the Economic Research Service report.

Winter wheat crop in slightly better condition

Nearly half of the U.S. winter wheat crop is in drought but its condition improved slightly in the past week, said the USDA on Tuesday. The weekly Crop Progress report also showed growers in the upper Midwest were rushing through corn and soybean planting after a slow start due to cold and wet weather.

Corn and soybean returns sink as market prices fall

For the first time since 2015, Midwestern farmers face negative returns from corn and soybeans grown on rented land, three agricultural economists said Tuesday at the farmdoc daily blog. They estimated a loss of $99 an acre for corn and $13 a bushel on soybeans, based on rising production costs and a downturn in market prices.

Settlement proposed in green group challenge of RFS

The EPA, to settle a lawsuit over biofuel regulation, said on Monday it would consult with federal wildlife agencies on whether the Renewable Fuel Standard adversely affects endangered species. The consultation would be performed before the EPA finalizes the RFS for 2023-23, now expected in June.

Climate change threatens large portion of U.S. cropland – report

Three of every 10 acres of U.S. corn and winter wheat are under increased threat as climate change boosts temperatures and makes rainfall more erratic in the Midwest and Plains, said new report on Tuesday. Commissioned by the American Farmland Trust, the report said the 2023 farm bill should embrace climate mitigation and provide the money to help farmers adapt to global warming.

U.S. calls for consultations with Mexico over GMO corn ban

The United States asked for technical consultations with Mexico over its agricultural biotechnology policy on Monday, the first formal step toward a challenge under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada free trade agreement. Mexico, the leading customer for U.S. corn exports, said in mid-February that it would ban entry of GMO corn used in making tortillas but accept GMO corn intended for livestock feed and industrial processors.

USDA ‘disappointed’ by revised Mexico corn ban

In a step to defuse trade tensions with the United States, Mexico removed a looming ban on most imports of GMO corn and said it would only block genetically modified corn that would be used in making tortillas. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Tuesday the USDA was dissatisfied by the revisions.

U.S. rejects Mexico proposals on GMO corn trade

Mexico has failed to satisfy the "grave concerns" of the United States over a potential ban on imports of U.S.-grown GMO corn said trade officials after negotiations in Mexico City on Monday. "We made it clear today that if this issue is not resolved, we will consider all options, including taking formal steps to enforce our rights under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.”

Poll: Ethanol is more popular than crude oil

More than half of Americans have a favorable view of ethanol as a fuel source, compared to 45 percent for crude oil, according to a poll commissioned by the Renewable Fuels Association. The trade group said the results "demonstrate that Americans strongly support expanded use of lower-cost, lower-carbon renewable fuels like ethanol."

USDA corn estimates are accurate overall, says review

The government often is the best source of information about U.S. corn plantings, yields per acre, production and likely season-average prices, said three researchers who analyzed 80 studies on the accuracy and market impact of USDA reports involving corn. "USDA helps uncover these market conditions for all market participants, thereby providing a level playing field for all, even though the process is sometimes bumpy," they concluded.

Revise GMO corn decree or face U.S. challenge, Vilsack warns Mexico

Ahead of a visit by Mexican government leaders, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said on Thursday that the Biden administration was ready to challenge Mexico under North American trade rules unless it “rectifies” a presidential decree that would ban imports of genetically modified corn at the start of 2024.

World grain stocks to fall for sixth straight year, says IGC

With world corn production down 4 percent, the global stockpile of grain will shrink for the sixth year in a row, said the International Grains Council on Thursday. In a monthly report, the IGC said the 2022/23 global harvest would be 1 percent smaller than last season’s record output.

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