The bigger-than-expected corn crop in the United States is helping to drive world cereal grain production to a record for the second year in a row, said the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.
U.S. farm exports are headed uphill and downhill at the same time in the USDA’s quarterly forecast of overseas sales, the source of one-fifth of farm income. The agency forecast that exports will reach $140 billion in fiscal 2018.
For decades, corn has been the most widely planted U.S. crop. But the era of “king corn” is ending and the reign of soybeans, the versatile oilseed and the more profitable crop, is dawning, said the Agriculture Department in its 10-year agricultural projections.
Iowa is best known as the top corn-producing state in the nation, but a small and determined group of farmers is trying to chip away at that reputation by bringing back small grains like rye, oats, and triticale, Twilight Greenaway reports in FERN’s latest story, published in collaboration with Yale Environment 360.
The winner of the 2016 Iowa presidential caucuses, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas said he will block a confirmation vote on a key USDA nominee until President Trump convenes a meeting to hash out oil-state complaints about the Renewable Fuel Standard.
China's plan to move to a 10 percent blend of ethanol into its gasoline supply will be a boon for U.S. ethanol exports, said ADM chief executive Juan Luciano. Agrimoney says that Luciano told investors that China could need imports of 8 million tons a year by 2020 to satisfy the E10 target because of the nation's longer-term fuel strategy.
With the start of the new fiscal year, the USDA will issue $8 billion in crop subsidy payments, triggered by persistently low commodity prices, to hundreds of thousands of farmers. The government also said it will pay $1.6 billion in annual rental payments to landowners who enrolled fragile land in the Conservation Reserve.
Larger corn crops in Argentina and the United States will push global grain production to the second-highest total ever, just a year after the record was set, said the International Grains Council, based in London. The global appetite for grain continues to grow, likely setting its own record, so the global stockpile will shrink by 5 percent, said the council’s monthly Grain Market Report.
Ninety percent of tortillas tested by researchers from the National Autonomous University of Mexico contained traces of genetically modified corn, said the site Mexico News Daily. The lead researcher said the results were striking because “cultivation of genetically modified corn in open fields is not allowed in Mexico.”