U.S. corn rating improves, soybeans hold

This year’s U.S. corn and soybean crops continue to look very, very good overall.

As of Sunday, 34% of corn is silking, compared to 15% a year ago and the five year average of 33%, with 76% of the crop in good to excellent condition, up 1% from last week.

41% of soybeans are blooming, compared to 24% last year and 37% on average, with 72% rated good to excellent, unchanged from a week ago, but with 1% moving from good to excellent.

The winter wheat harvest is 69% complete, compared to 66% this time last year and 68% on average. 69% of spring wheat has headed, compared to 67% a year ago and 68% on average, with 70% called good to excellent.

55% of U.S. pastures and rangelands are in good to excellent shape, 1% less than last week.

Quiet week for export inspections

USDA reports soybean export inspections for the week ending July 10 were slightly larger than expected, while corn and wheat were within pre-report estimates. All three were less than what’s needed weekly to meet USDA projections for the respective marketing years.

Wheat came out at 377,520 tons, down 92,852 from the week ending July 3 and 290,106 lower than the week ending July 11, 2013. For the 2014/15 marketing year to date, wheat inspections are 2,697,972 tons, compared to 3,750,356 in 2013/14.

Corn was reported at 926,329 tons, 337,338 less than the previous week, but 511,417 more than this time last year. At this point in the 2013/14 marketing year, corn inspections are 40,051,018 tons, compared to 15,398,274 in 2012/13.

Soybeans were pegged at 115,280 tons, up 22,582 from the week before and 15,110 higher than a year ago. So far this marketing year, soybean inspections are 42,810,027 tons, compared to 35,190,268 last year.

Sorghum inspections totaled 204,680 tons. That’s an increase of 139,629 tons on the week and 199,556 on the year. 2013/14 sorghum inspections are 3,839,351 tons, compared to 1,500,103 in 2012/13.

USDA increases ending stocks projections

USDA has raised its 2013/14 corn and soybean ending stocks projections, along with larger 2014/15 estimates for corn, soybeans, and wheat. The 2014/15 marketing year for wheat started June 1 and begins September 1 for corn and soybeans.

Supply and demand breakdowns for selected commodities:
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USDA lowers corn estimate, raises soybeans

USDA has lowered its production outlook for corn, while raising the projection for soybeans.

This year’s corn crop is now estimated at 13.860 billion bushels, down 75 million from June on a lower harvested area estimate, based on the June 30 acreage numbers. The average yield guess was left unchanged and old and new crop ending stocks were both up on the month.

Soybeans are seen at 3.8 billion bushels, 165 million more than a month ago, on a larger harvested area projection. The average yield estimate for soybeans held steady and old and new crop ending stocks figures were both slightly larger than anticipated.

USDA also raised its domestic wheat production estimate, with a bigger spring crop offsetting a smaller winter crop, and the ending stocks guess was well above the average expectation.

Of course, there is still a long way to go until the corn, soybean, and spring wheat crops are made, and the winter wheat harvest is still ongoing. For corn and soybeans, the first survey based production projections are out August 12.

Final steps for animal disease traceability in Indiana

Animal Disease Traceability is one stop closer in Indiana.  Indiana State Veterinarian Dr. Bret Marsh says the changes to Indiana’s livestock identification and documentation requirements will put Hoosiers in compliance with the federal animal disease traceability rule that was implemented in 2013.  “It basically says there are certain specific identifications for livestock that move in interstate commerce and specific types of documentation,” he says.  “The advantage we have in Indiana is that we’ve already been doing a lot of this work for a long time.  Many of the things produces won’t see a big change with as livestock moves inter or intra state.”

Marsh tells Brownfield the rule needs to go through some final steps in the Governor’s office and will be ready for implementation around January 1, 2015.

But in the meantime – there are ways for producers to be prepared.  “First is to have your premises registered,” he says.  “It doesn’t take much more information than you might find in a phone book.  We’re not concerned with how many animals are on a site – just that it is a site that has animals on it.  Particularly as it deals with traceability.”

Dr. Marsh details species specific premises registration in the interview below.

AUDIO: Dr. Bret Marsh, Animal Disease Traceability (3:30mp3)

Vetter confirmed as Ag Negotiator

USDA Photo

USDA Photo

The U.S. Senate has confirmed Darci Vetter as Chief Agricultural Negotiator for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. The former Deputy Undersecretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services told the confirmation hearing the USTR and Congress need to work together in areas such as market access for U.S. dairy in Japan and Canada as well as solving the Geographic Indicators dispute with the European Union.

The confirmation is drawing praise from a number of ag groups including the American Farm Bureau, American Soybean Association and the International Dairy Foods Association.

Her USDA bio follows:

Before joining USDA, she served as an International Trade Advisor on the Democratic Staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance, where she advised Chairman Max Baucus and other Committee members on trade issues relating to agriculture, the environment and labor, including the 2008 Farm Bill and pending legislation on climate change. Prior to her work on the Finance Committee, Darci spent six years at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), most recently as Director for Agricultural Affairs. At USTR, Darci was responsible for facilitating NAFTA implementation and resolving agricultural trade issues with Canada and Mexico, as well as participating in the WTO Doha Round negotiations. Darci also served as the Director for Sustainable Development in USTR’s environment office, where she negotiated the environmental provisions of the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement and negotiated trade provisions in U.N. environmental treaties, including the World Summit on Sustainable Development. Darci received her Master of Public Affairs degree and a Certificate in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton, and her undergraduate degree from Drake University in Des Moines. She grew up in Nebraska on a family farm


Good week for old crop corn, soybean sales

USDA reports wheat export sales for the week ending July 3 were below pre-report estimates, while corn, soybeans, and soybean products all fell within expectations. Physical shipments of corn and soybeans were above what’s needed weekly to meet USDA projections for the 2013/14 marketing year, but wheat was below its mark for 2014/15.

Wheat came out at 338,100 tons (12.4 million bushels). The Philippines purchased 107,200 tons and Saudi Arabia bought 68,300 tons, while unknown destinations canceled on 43,500 tons. Roughly a month into the 2014/15 marketing year, wheat sales are 300.1 million bushels, compared to 390.9 million in 2013/14.

Corn was reported at 363,000 tons (14.3 million bushels), up 25% from the week ending June 26 and 36% higher than the four week average. South Korea picked up 199,000 tons and Japan purchased 188,600 tons, but unknown destinations canceled on 424,900 tons. For the 2013/14 marketing year to date, corn sales are 1.873 billion bushels, compared to 730.7 million in 2012/13. Sales of 381,600 tons (15.0 million bushels) for 2014/15 delivery were mainly to Egypt (176,000 tons) and unknown destinations (122,500 tons).

Soybeans were pegged at 56,300 tons (2.1 million bushels), 39% more than the previous week, but 59% less than the four week average. China bought 59,200 tons and Taiwan picked up 27,000 tons, while unknown destinations canceled on 86,000 tons. So far this marketing year, soybean sales are 1.675 billion bushels, compared to 1.351 billion this time last year. Sales of 526,500 tons (19.3 million bushels) for 2014/15 delivery were primarily to China (399,500 tons) and unknown destinations (108,000 tons).

Soybean meal came out at 48,800 tons, down 41% on the week and 26% lower than the four week average. Mexico purchased 14,600 tons and the Philippines bought 13,900 tons. At this point in the marketing year, soybean meal sales are 9,862,300 tons, compared to 9,483,200 a year ago. Sales of 93,500 tons for 2014/15 delivery were primarily to unknown destinations (82,500 tons) and the Dominican Republic (4,000 tons).

Soybean oil was reported at 12,800 tons, a decline of 34% from the week before and 51% below the four week average. Unknown destinations picked up 10,000 tons, Nicaragua purchased 1,100 tons, and Guatemala bought 1,000 tons. 2013/14 soybean oil sales are 771,100 tons, compared to 886,500 in 2012/13.

Net beef sales totaled 17,900 tons, up sharply on the week and 58% higher than the four week average. The listed buyers were Japan (9,500 tons), Mexico (2,400 tons), Hong Kong (2,100 tons), South Korea (1,700 tons), and Canada (800 tons).

Net pork sales totaled 8,900 tons, down 27% from the prior week and 19% lower than the four week average. The reported purchasers were Mexico (3,900 tons), Japan (1,300 tons), Canada (800 tons), South Korea (700 tons), and China (500 tons).

U.S. and South Korea Organic Equivalency in effect

An Organic Equivalency agreement is now in effect between the U.S. and South Korea. This means organic farmers and businesses wanting to sell products in either country need only obtain certification from one country. Prior to this, organic products would need certification from both countries meaning two sets of fees, inspections and paperwork.

The arrangement covers organic milk, condiments, cereal, baby food, frozen meals and other processed products.

The U.S. has similar organic equivalency agreements with Canada, the European Union and Japan.


CWT assists in more dairy exports

Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) has accepted 21 requests for export assistance from Dairy Farmers of America, Land O’Lakes, Michigan Milk Producers Association, Northwest Dairy Association (Darigold) and Tillamook County Creamery Association to sell 15.615 million pounds of Cheddar, Gouda, Monterey Jack cheese, 1.246 million pounds of butter (82% butterfat) and 837,757 pounds of whole milk powder to customers in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, South America and Oceania. The product will be delivered July 2014 through January 2014.

Year-to-date, CWT has assisted member cooperatives in selling 74.377 million pounds of cheese, 48.767 million pounds of butter and 15.406 million pounds of whole milk powder to 41 countries on six continents.

US farmers participate in oilseeds dialogue

US soybean farmers were in Paris for the International Oilseed Processors Dialogue to discuss issues related to approval processes for genetically modified organisms, sustainability and global demand.

United Soybean Board Chairman and Minnesota soybean farmer Jim Call says it’s important to keep the dialogue between oilseed producing countries open.  “The conversations were mostly around new GM trait approvals,” he says.  “Also, we visited a lot about government approvals.  We visited a farm in France and talked with some of the farmers there about some of the concerns they have.”

American Soybean Association president and Iowa farmer Ray Gaesser says they are focusing on how they can improve the markets on a large-scale.  “We asked the farmers the question – “What do you wish you would have done to avoid the consumer attitudes towards biotechnology?,” he says.  “They all said they wish they would have been more active in sharing the farmers’ message.”

The group met with farmers from the European Union and South America.

Gaesser said the countries also agreed to work together to create better market accessibility and to improve the consumer perception of agriculture.