A total of seventeen budding companies were able to make presentations on their wares to potential investors during the Ag Innovation Showcase in St. Louis. It’s the second annual event of its kind and drew more interested venture capitalists than last year. The common thread among these companies is the fact that there is plenty of intuition and entrepreneurial spirit that may likely be the next big thing in agribusiness. Organizer Vicki Gonzalez talked to Brownfield about it.
The preliminary All Farm Products Index of Prices Received by Farmers from USDA shows farmers got 2.2 percent more for their products in May compared to April. The Crop Index was up 0.7 percent while the Livestock Index increased 3.1 percent.
For the Crop Index, farmers received more for hay, fruits and nuts which was enough to more than offset lower prices for wheat, soybeans, sorghum, cotton and vegetables. Corn prices were unchanged from April at $3.41 per bushel, soybeans were down 19 cents at $9.28, and the all wheat price was 3 cents lower at $4.39 per bushel while sorghum grain slipped 8 cents from April to average $5.31 per hundredweight. All hay was $116 per ton, up $7.00.
On the livestock side, hog, beef, milk, poultry and egg prices were all higher than a month ago. The May hog price averaged $62.30 per hundredweight, up $5.80 from April. Beef were 80 cents higher at $96.50. Broilers were 3 cents higher and turkeys were up 1.4 cents.
The May all milk price comes in at $15.00 per hundredweight, up 40 cents from April and $3.40 above a year ago. Fluid grade price is 40 cents higher than April while manufacturing grade increased 20 cents per hundred.
The Index of Prices Paid by Farmers in May was unchanged from April. Higher prices for nitrogen, mixed fertilizers, diesel, hay and forages offset lower prices for feeder cattle, feeder pigs, complete feeds and concentrates.
Compared to a year ago, the prices received by farmers are up 8.5 percent while the prices paid increased 1.7 percent from last May.
Read the full NASS report here:
The long awaited extension of the biodiesel tax credit is one of two prominent ag issues that advanced with the passage of the House tax extenders package today.
The House bill restores the $1 a gallon biodiesel tax credit that Congress let expire at the end of last year and it continues the credit through the end of this year. The legislation also restores a number of other tax breaks and continues unemployment insurance.
The lapse of the biodiesel credit has slowed biodiesel production to nearly a halt and has caused the bleeding of thousands of industry jobs.
The National Biodiesel Board commends the House for passing the tax credit, saying over its six year existence the industry created tens of thousands of green jobs, adding more than 4 billion to the nation’s gross domestic production. But NBB’s Manning Feracci says since the lapse of the tax credit the industry has been struggling to survive. He says “timely reinstatement of (the) incentive will undoubtedly reverse this troubling trend and allow the industry to create over 12,000 new jobs in this year alone.”
The American Soybean Association praised the House for its action and renewed a nationwide Action Alert asking its members and supporters to contact their Senators and urge them to pass the tax credit extension upon their return from the Memorial Day recess.
In addition, the House bill approves a settlement of the Pigford black farmers’ discrimination case against the USDA.
The Senate did not vote on the measure Friday but will take it up after the Memorial Day recess.
A new report shows continued improvement in the efficiency in the process used to make 90 percent of the ethanol in this country. Research conducted by Dr. Steffen Mueller at the University of Illinois at Chicago compared the dry-mill production of ethanol in 2008 to 2001 and found thermal energy use was reduced 28 percent, electricity use was reduced 32 percent, total water use was down significantly to 2.72 gallons per gallon of ethanol produced while ethanol yields increased 5.3 percent compared to 2001.
In addition, the study found 30 percent of the respondents produce corn oil in addition to distillers grains. It also found that the average corn draw was a 47.1-mile radius around the facility and the 72 percent of the ethanol produced is then shipped by rail.
The research; published in the scientific journal “Biotechnology Letters” covered responses from approximately two-thirds of the nation’s dry-mill ethanol capacity of more than 12 billion gallons. Bob Dineen with the Renewable Fuels Association says the study shows the ethanol industry continues to evolve, “Perpetually improving its efficiency and enhancing the environmental benefits it already offers.”
Read Dr. Mueller’s reoport here:
Darren Barker, agronomist for Southeast Nebraska reports that corn planting is nearly complete and corn emergence is looking good so far. There are some crusting and insect issues in the area but no reports of major problems. Soybeans are still in the process of planting due to rain delays and should be wrapped up by the end of the weekend. Barker does tell producers to keep a particular eye out for black cutworm in corn this year and as post emergence herbicide begins to be applies to always follow the label recommendations.
It’s being called the “Iowa-Mississippi Farmer to Farmer Exchange”.
A group of Iowa farmers and ag leaders travelled south this week to meet with some of their Mississippi counterparts to discuss the issue of hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico. The goal of the exchange is to develop relationships between ag leaders in both states and to share information and technologies that will help address the hypoxic area—or “dead zone”—in the Gulf. Farmer Paul Dees of Greeneville, Mississippi, says he welcomed the visit from the Iowans.
“Between the two groups, we’ll get an exchange of ideas,” Dees says, “but we’re also hoping to figure out a way to scale things up, so that it isn’t just the Mississippi Delta and parts of Iowa that are implementing these best management practices—but the whole Mississippi River Basin.”
Dees raises corn, soybeans and rice in northwest Mississippi. As to what steps he has taken to reduce runoff, Dees says he’s working to reduce the amount of water used in rice production.
“To use water efficiently in our rice production system, we’ve put a lot of our fields on zero-grade which uses markedly less water than an unformed field where you have contour levies—and even less water than a field that has been formed, but still uses straight levies,” says Dees.
Dees says he has also planted buffer strips on several areas of his farm. Dees and the rest of the Mississippi delegation will make their visit to Iowa in early July.
When it comes to Greenhouse Gas legislation or regulation, researcher’s findings vary across the nation. Texas A & M University predicts that many producers may convert cropland to forests in order to earn offset income in a cap and trade system. Pat Westhoff, co-director of Food and Agriculture Policy Research Institute says FAPRI does not have any findings to support that there will be a large shift to forests in such a system.
“We’re skeptical of some of the earlier estimates [that] show lots of acres shifting to trees, but we certainly agree there will be more incentives for forestry production, more incentives for switch grass and other energy crop production than exist currently,” said Westhoff.
FAPRI does agree that if enough farmers do switch from cropland there will be less land for the major food production and therefore would drive up food and feed prices for consumers.
Soybeans were lower on technical selling, profit taking and spillover from the outside markets. The dollar was higher while the Dow and crude oil were lower following a downgrade of Spain’s credit rating. Crop weather was also a negative with most areas of the Midwest expected to see good planting and development conditions. End of the month position squaring was also a feature and commodity futures markets are closed Monday for Memorial Day. USDA’s crop progress report, out Tuesday, is expected to show soybean planting around 75% to 85% planted. Soybean meal and oil were lower on spillover pressure and profit taking.
Corn was lower on end of the month fund and technical selling, in addition to profit taking and outside market direction. Corn also had pressure from the forecasts for more warm weather across most of the Midwest. Additionally, there’s rain expected in the coming week, which should prevent heat stress. USDA’s crop progress report, out Tuesday, should show corn planting as nearly complete. Ethanol futures were lower. Taiwan’s Maize Industry Procurement Association bought 60,000 tons of U.S. corn from Mitsui at $232.60 per ton.
The wheat complex was lower on technical selling and profit taking along with spillover from corn, beans and the outside markets. Fundamentals are mostly priced in but do remain very negative. Also, harvest is about to start in many winter wheat growing areas with Texas and Oklahoma expected to start in the next few days and Kansas not long after that. Egypt once again bypassed all other origins for 180,000 tons of Russian wheat which is cheaper priced than most other exporters at $179.50 per ton. European wheat was mixed on Egypt buying from Russia, uncertainty over rainfall totals and the lower Pound and Euro; November Paris was down .9% and November London was up .2%. According to Dow Jones Newswires, flour mills in South India have resumed buying Australian wheat due to high domestic prices. Japan bought 28,325 tons of food wheat in a sell-buy-sell tender.
Cattle trading in the Texas Panhandle and Colorado was mostly inactive on Friday. In Kansas trading was limited on very light demand. Nebraska trading was slow on light demand and there were not enough sales in any feeding region for a fully established market trend. Cattle this past week traded from 93 to 94 on a live basis and mostly 150 to 152 dressed. Negotiated sales were confirmed at 128,155, head about 10,000 less than the previous week. Cattle slaughter is estimated at 671,000 head for the week 10,000 less than the previous week and 40,000 more than last year. Boxed beef cutout values were lower on light to moderate demand and offerings. Choice beef was down .80 at 164.03, and select down 1.45 at 156.07.
Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle contracts settled 50 to 105 points lower with traders taking protection ahead of the long holiday weekend and close of trade for the month. August futures triggered sell orders and moved below the 10 and 100 day moving average. June settled 1.05 lower at 90.52, and August was down 1.52 at 89.25.
Feeder cattle settled 07 to 40 points lower on spillover pressure from the live pit and profit taking. August settled .07 lower at 108.42, and September was down .10 at 108.50.
Feeder cattle receipts at Missouri auctions this week totaled 30,088 head. Compared to last week feeder steers were 2.00 to 9.00 lower, heifers 2.00 to 6.00 lower. Feeder steers medium and large 1 and 1 to 2 weighing 500 to 600 pounds traded from 105.00 to 136.00 per hundredweight, 5 to 6 weight heifers from 98.00 to 122.25.
Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade closed 1.75 higher at 78.00 on a carcass basis, the west was .96 higher at 77.46, and the east was .43 higher 75.74. The Missouri direct base carcass meat price closed steady to 2.00 lower from 72.00 to 74.00. The weekly hog slaughter is estimated at 1,924,000 head 81,000l less than last week, and 102,000 more than a year ago. Packers upped their bids on Friday afternoon as they are thought to be short bought going into next week.
Lean hogs settled mostly higher with only July and August in the red by 10 points. Some support trickled back into the market as traders squared their positions ahead of the long weekend and the end of the month. The upcoming holiday weekend is expected to help support overall pork demand. Recent reports about expected increased travel and consumer spending due to lower gasoline prices may create additional retail market support according to DTN’s Rick Kment. June settled .67 higher at 81.85, and July was down .10 at 82.60. Pork trading was moderately active with light to moderate demand and offerings. Pork carcass cutout value was down 1.10 at 86.85.
Pork bellies were unquoted in most months but July closed .85 higher at 102.90 on short covering.
July corn closed at $3.59, down 14 and 1/4 cents
July soybeans closed at $9.37 and 3/4, down 14 cents
July soybean meal closed at $273.50, down $2.50
July soybean oil closed at 37.61, down 57 points
July wheat closed at $4.57 and 3/4, down 10 cents
June live cattle closed at $90.52, down $1.05
June lean hogs closed at $81.85, up 67 cents
July crude oil closed at $73.97, down 58 cents
July cotton closed at 80.05, down 123 points
June Class III milk closed at $13.60, down 29 cents
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 10,136.63, down 122.36 points