Aided by attractive prices early this year, sunflower oil will account for 12 percent of the world's food use of vegetable oils, its highest share ever, said the USDA on Thursday. "The shift towards sunflower is driven by demand for higher-quality oils as global incomes rise," said the Oilseeds: World Markets and Trade report.
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.
In a novel step, cotton growers would be eligible for two different crop-subsidy programs under a provision in the USDA-FDA funding bill approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee. The provision designates cottonseed, harvested from the boll along with cotton fiber, as one of the "other oilseeds" that can collect Price Loss Coverage subsidies while USDA runs a separate, insurance-like subsidy program for cotton fiber.
In an academic letter parsing "four indicators that explain world grain and oilseed market developments" since 1980, two University of Missouri economists draw a sanguine conclusion about feeding the world at mid-century. It will be a challenge "but it would require a much smaller proportional increase in world grain and oilseed production over the next 35 years than was achieved over the last 35 years," write economists Pat Westhoff and Wyatt Thompson. That's because "Chinese demand and biofuel production account for the entire net increase in world per-capita grain and oilseed consumption since 1980."
The Argentine weather agency says the late-season rains that swamped the soybean harvest have reduced the crop by 9 million tonnes, or 15 percent, said Reuters.
Karl Kupers was an early convert to no-till wheat in the arid and erodible Palouse region of the U.S. Northwest, where wheat is dominant, says a reader-funded story on Flux.
Growers plan "a massive shift into soybeans" and away from corn in 2015, according to an email survey of 1,650 farmers by Farm Futures that concluded a few days ago.
Strong demand in the opening weeks of the marketing year and lower market prices are forecast to result in record exports of U.S. soybean meal, said USDA. It estimated sales of 12.8 million short tons, up 10 percent from 2013/14.
U.S. growers will harvest a record 2.5 billion pounds of canola this season, thanks to above-average yields and near-record plantings, says USDA in its Oil Crops Outlook report.
Canadian growers reduced their wheat sowings by 7 percent from 2013 and put more land into canola and soybeans, says Stats Canada.
The Ethiopian mustard plant could be used to help canola varieties resist the fungal disease blackleg, says a researcher at the University of Alberta.