soybeans

China falls to third place as U.S. ag export market, USDA says

U.S. food and ag exports to China will fall by $6 billion this fiscal year in the biggest slump in sales since the Sino-U.S. trade war, forecast the Agriculture Department on Wednesday. Mexico and Canada will surpass China as the top customers, while the agricultural trade deficit will widen to $32 billion.

Analyst: ‘Sure looks like’ ag census undercounted corn and soybean acreage

The latest Census of Agriculture, released in February, reported a 2.2 percent decline in U.S. farmland from 2017 to 2022. A portion of that reduction, involving corn and soybean cropland, may be overstated, said Aaron Smith, a professor of agricultural economics at UC-Davis, in a blog.

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.

Serious oversupply looms for renewable diesel

The boom in renewable diesel is driving U.S. production capacity far above the market for the fuel, said agricultural economist Scott Irwin of the University of Illinois on Thursday. “It’s going to be a very ugly 2024” for refiners, said Irwin during a webinar.

U.S. crop sector insulates itself from world market with biofuels, says analyst

After decades of pursuing sales to foreign buyers, the U.S. crop sector is “once again becoming domestic market-focused, due mainly to biofuels policy,” said Scott Irwin, an agricultural economist at the University of Illinois, on Wednesday. It would be a significant, albeit gradual, change in focus.

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.

EPA order allows sale and use of existing stocks of dicamba

Retailers are allowed to sell and farmers are allowed to use existing stocks of the weedkiller dicamba on this year’s soybean and cotton crops no later than July 30, said the EPA on Wednesday. A federal judge in Arizona overturned the EPA’s approval of three dicamba-containing herbicides last week, potentially disrupting the spring planting season.

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.

Brazil a stronger U.S. competitor in soybean sales

In the past decade, Brazil has improved its network of roads, railways, and ports, “significantly altering” its competitiveness with the United States in the world soybean market, said an Agriculture Department report on Thursday. Continued improvements would bolster Brazil’s standing as the world’s largest soybean producer and exporter.

Soybean oil rapidly gaining ground as renewable diesel feedstock

The skyrocketing growth in the production of renewable diesel has been accompanied by a dramatic expansion of soybean oil as a feedstock for the fuel, said three University of Illinois agricultural economists on Wednesday. Soybean oil’s share of the feedstock market has tripled in the past few years, to 27.4 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.

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.

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.

Drought, biodiesel boom pinches world soyoil trade

The boom in production of renewable diesel fuel has pushed U.S. soybean oil prices so high the commodity is uncompetitive on the world market, said USDA analysts on Tuesday. Drought in Argentina, the world's leading soyoil exporter, also will be a major factor in the lowest volume of soyoil imports worldwide in five years.

Farmers expect a revenue payoff from growth in renewable diesel

Farmers are far more bullish about the chances of expansion of the renewable diesel industry than in ethanol, the dominant "green" fuel in rural America, said a Purdue University poll on Tuesday. The telephone survey for the monthly Ag Economy Barometer also found nine of 10 farmers expect higher soybean prices at the farm gate as more and more renewable diesel fuel reaches the market.

Global corn trade tightens as Argentine, U.S. exports dip

Drought in Argentina and lackluster sales in the United States, two of the world’s major suppliers, will reduce global corn exports to their lowest volume in three years, said USDA analysts on Wednesday. Shipments from another leading source, Ukraine, were in question because an extension of the Black Sea Grain Initiative past March 18 has not been resolved.

Low water on Mississippi hits grain prices at the farm gate

Farmers in the Midwest and the mid-South are paying the price for low water on the Mississippi River in the form of lower cash bids for their corn and soybeans — as much as $2 a bushel lower for soybeans, said USDA economists on Wednesday. At the same time, the cost of transporting fertilizer upriver has increased, and neither situation is likely to change before late winter.

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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