The United States and Mexico are among the world’s largest corn producers, and both are expanding production. A USDA report says that despite their geographic proximity, there are fundamental differences in the “corn economies” of the two countries.
Last summer, researchers from Mars Inc. and UC Davis announced the "discovery" of a variety of corn grown in Oaxaca that fixes its own nitrogen through mucus-covered aerial roots. Their study, in the journal PLOS Biology, touched off a debate—in Mexico and beyond—about the effectiveness of global policies designed to safeguard the genetic resources of indigenous communities, according to FERN's latest story, published with Yale Environment 360.
The loss of nearly 6 million acres of corn and soybeans to a cold and rainy planting season this year will be felt into autumn 2020 and beyond, said the government on Thursday, as fat U.S. stockpiles will be drawn down to compensate for short crops.
The USDA took a 9 percent whack out of its projected U.S. corn harvest last week and economist David Widmar said on Monday that more adjustments will be forthcoming due to a remarkably rainy and prolonged planting season in the Farm Belt. "The implications of the slow, wet spring will take a while to be fully realized," wrote Widmar at the Agricultural Economic Insights blog.
The United States could be headed for its smallest corn crop – 13 billion bushels – since the scorching 2012 drought, according to estimates circulated ahead of USDA projections due today at noon ET. One of every six acres intended for corn, or 15.7 million acres, is yet to be planted because of a cold and persistently rainy spring, and yields per acre drop precipitously for late-planted corn.
USDA lawyers may have an answer this week on whether Trump tariff payments, intended to mitigate the impact of the trade war, can be given to farmers unable to plant a crop this year, said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Monday.
Normally, the corn-planting season is over by the first week of June, but this year, 31 million acres — one-third of the intended corn land nationwide — have yet to be sown due to a persistently rainy spring. Soybean planting is also far behind schedule.
Corn and soybean planting is running roughly 30 percentage points behind normal in a cold and rainy spring, said the weekly Crop Progress report on Monday. "Delayed planting has set the stage for potential corn yield reductions at the national level," but not guaranteed them, wrote economist David Widmar in a blog about the implications of one of the five slowest corn planting seasons on record.
Wet weather is holding corn and soybean planting far behind usual rates for the first week in May, the USDA said Monday. Economist Scott Irwin of the University of Illinois said on social media that half of the corn crop must be planted in the next two weeks to avoid the large yield losses that accompany later-than-optimal seeding.
Midwestern farmers are likely to see “very low returns” from corn and soybean crops this year, said economist Gary Schnitkey of the University of Illinois as spring planting gets under way. When overhead costs such as seed, fertilizer, equipment and insurance are counted, returns …