When U.S. farmers bring their crops to market this year, they will see “the beginning of gradual price increases that are expected to continue through the decade,” ending the slump that began in 2013, said USDA projections. Prices for most crops, however, will remain below their 10-year average.
Prices of wheat and corn — among other agricultural products — are as low this year as they’ve been since 2014. But despite falling prices and an oversupply of the commodities, farmers continue producing grains at record-breaking rates, reports the Wall Street Journal.
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.
Goldman Sachs said agricultural commodity prices are on course for a fourth year of decline, with corn prices at the end of 2018 running 33 cents a bushel below the current futures price for December 2018 delivery, said Agrimoney.
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.