Crop outlook tainted with uncertainty

Corn and soybean plantings by U.S. farmers are sure to surge this spring, according to USDA and private analysts, but the coronavirus pandemic is creating uncertainty about whether there will be enough buyers for a bumper crops this fall. The economic slowdown is likely to reduce demand for corn ethanol, hitting corn growers in the wallet, but the alternative crop for many farmers, soybeans, faces a glut of its own.

Coronavirus darkens income prospects for grain farmers

Seven weeks ago, the USDA forecast the highest U.S. net farm income since 2013. Since then, the coronavirus pandemic has driven down grain prices and “reduced (the) grain farm income outlook for 2020,” wrote five university economists on Tuesday. “Given current expected …

Brazil and Argentina grow half of world’s soybeans

The U.S. share of global soybean production is falling for a second year while its two South American oilseed rivals pass a milestone. Brazil and Argentina will grow 53 percent of the world’s soybeans, with a combined output of 180 million tonnes in 2019/20, estimated the USDA in its monthly …

Chance of trade war payments ‘less than 10 percent’

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said the odds of a multibillion-dollar round of trade war payments to farmers this year are “less than 10 percent,” although a senior lawmaker said the payments may be "absolutely vital" for survival in the Farm Belt. China will turn to the U.S. market for soybeans “late this spring, this summer,” Perdue predicted during a House Agriculture hearing on Wednesday.

With agreements in hand, fewer farmers expect trade war payments

Farmers are optimistic about the resumption of trade with China and, as a result, fewer of them believe the Trump administration will send trade war payments to producers this year, said a Purdue University poll on Tuesday. Fewer than half of the producers contacted by the Ag Economy Barometer said they anticipated payments this year, compared to nearly six out of 10 last fall.

Soy mania among U.S. farmers a risk, even if China makes large purchases

If farmers rush into soybeans this spring, they could produce too much of the oilseed even if China, as required under the “phase one” agreement, makes large purchases of agricultural exports, according to a university economist. Meanwhile, China said it would allow importers to seek tariff …

Larger soybean and cotton plantings due to trade deal?

The "phase one" trade agreement with Beijing will bring larger U.S. plantings of soybeans and cotton this spring than now projected by USDA, as growers aim for revived exports to China, analysts said over the weekend. China is the world's largest importer of the commodities but U.S. ag exports to China were halved by the tit-for-tat tariffs of the Sino-U.S. trade war.

Will total U.S. ag exports rise if China buys more?

Without a doubt, the best outcome from the "phase one" agreement with China "is the possibility of U.S. exports to China returning to pre-trade war levels," says economist Dave Widmar. But it's not clear how larger sales to China would affect overall U.S. ag exports, which are forecast at $139 billion this year and have varied from a low of roughly $130 billion to a record-high $152 billion over the past several years.

Painful ag restructuring if Sino-U.S. trade war persists

If there is no near-term resolution of the Sino-U.S. trade war, the Trump administration will need to spend billions of dollars in additional trade war payments to farmers and ranchers or watch farm income sink, said two economists on Monday. Either way, there would be painful restructuring in the sector, which has collected more than $10 billion in Trump tariff payments this year.

Late harvest, bad weather put revenue pressures on country elevators

Between a weather-delayed harvest and uncertainties about the demand for their crops, farmers have been slow to sell corn and soybeans this fall. One consequence is tighter margins and revenue pressures on country elevators, said a report from ag lender CoBank.