Category Archives: Agricultural Exports News

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3 Big Things Today, August 23

Byline:

1. Crops Little Changed Overnight as Tour Wraps Up

Crop futures were little changed overnight amid mixed results from another day on the Pro Farmer crop tour.

Iowa corn yields were pegged at 182.8 bushels an acre while soybean pods were measured at 1,106.91 per 3×3-foot square, Pro Farmer said. That’s down from the USDA projection of 191 bushels an acre and the previous year’s 196 bushels an acre.

Minnesota corn yields, meanwhile, were estimated at about 170.4 bushels an acre with soybean pods of 965.31 pods per 3×3-foot square. The forecast is down from a government projection of 173 bushels an acre and the prior year’s 182 bushels an acre.

Traders also are keeping an eye on the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China. In-person talks between the sides are expected to resume next month, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Thursday.

Soybean futures for November delivery rose 1¢ to $8.69¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal gained 60¢ to $299.90 a short ton while soybean oil added 0.04¢ to 28.94¢ a pound.

Corn futures for December delivery fell 2¢ to $3.69 a bushel.

Wheat for September delivery lost ¼¢ to $4.71½ a bushel, while Kansas City futures added ¾¢ to $4.05 a bushel.

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2. Corn, Soybean Export Sales For 2019-2020 Down Slightly Week-to-Week

Export sales of corn and soybeans for delivery in the 2019-2020 marketing year that starts on Sept. 1 were down slightly week-to-week, according to the USDA.

Corn sales totaled 301,600 metric tons in the seven days that ended on Aug. 15, down from the 307,600 tons the previous week, the USDA said in a report.

Mexico was the big buyer at 155,400 metric tons, followed by South Korea at 65,200 tons, Jamaica at 47,500 tons, and Canada at 20,300 tons, the agency said.

Sales for delivery in the current marketing year that ends on Aug. 31 came in at 119,300 metric tons, up noticeably from the previous week and 31% from the prior four-week average. Mexico bought 96,900 tons, Japan purchased 61,700 tons, Canada took 10,600 tons, Honduras was in for 8,200 tons, and Guatemala took 7,800 tons from U.S. supplies, the USDA said.

Soybean sales for delivery in the next marketing year were reported at 792,600 metric tons, down from 817,400 tons the previous week.

An unknown buyer purchased 421,000 metric tons, Mexico was in for 111,500 tons, China bought 66,000 tons, Egypt was in for 55,000 tons, and Japan took 5,200 tons, the government said.

For 2018-2019, sales totaled 25,900 metric tons as purchases by Germany for 68,500 tons, Indonesia for 56,000 tons, Bangladesh for 53,100 tons, Portugal for 35,000 tons, and Italy for 30,100 tons were partially offset by reductions by unknown buyers who canceled a cargo of 169,000 tons.

Pakistan nixed a shipment for 62,500 tons, and Japan canceled an order for 27,300 tons, the USDA said.

Wheat sales for delivery in the grain’s current marketing year that started on June 1 totaled 594,600 metric tons, up 29% from the previous week and 19% from the four-week average.

Mexico was the big buyer at 113,800 metric tons, followed by Guatemala at 60,500 tons, Thailand at 60,000 tons, Peru at 53,100 tons, and Taiwan at 48,100 tons, the agency said.

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3. Flood Watch in Effect for Central Nebraska, Northeastern Oklahoma Under Flash Flood Warning        

A flood watch is in effect for parts of central Nebraska from this evening through tomorrow morning as excessive rainfall is expected to hit the area.

“Thunderstorms capable of producing 2 inches of rainfall in an hour or less are expected to develop,” the National Weather Service said in a report early this morning.

Two to 3 inches of rain are expected to fall in a short amount of time, which likely will result in flooding, the agency said. Localized precipitation totaling about 5 inches is possible.

Farther south, heavy rain also is forecast for northeastern Oklahoma and some counties in northwestern Arkansas.

Flash flood warnings and flood watches are in effect in the area as showers and storms continue to roll through, the NWS said. Locally heavy rain fell in parts of eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas, and any more rain will likely lead to flooding.

For the weekend, thunderstorms and heavy rain are possible, the NWS said.

3 Big Things Today, August 22

Byline:

1. Soybeans, Grains Little Changed in Overnight Trading

Soybeans and grains were little changed as results from the Pro Farmer crop tour were mixed.

In Illinois, corn yields were pegged at about 171.2 bushels an acre, down from the USDA outlook for 181 bushels an acre.

The tour measured 997.7 soybeans pods per 3×3-foot square in the state, which is down from the 1.328.9 pods found last year.

In western Iowa, yield was seen from 184.9 bushels an acre to 192.7 bushels, according to Pro Farmer. Soybean pod counts ranged from 1,095.9 pods per 3×3-foot square to 1,221.1 pods.

Soybean futures for November delivery rose 1¢ to $8.74 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal gained 30¢ to $300.60 a short ton, while soybean oil added 0.04¢ to 29.16¢ a pound.

Corn futures for December delivery gained ½¢ to $3.70¾ a bushel.

Wheat for September delivery rose ½¢ to $4.68½ a bushel, while Kansas City futures added 2¢ to $4.02½ a bushel.

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2. Ethanol Production Drops to Lowest in More Than Four Months, POET Shuts Indiana Plant

Ethanol production plunged to the lowest level in more than four months last week, and stockpiles also declined, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Output in the seven days that ended on August 16 averaged 1.023 million barrels a day, the EIA said in a report. That’s down from 1.045 million barrels a day, on average, and the lowest level since April 12.

Midwestern production, by far the biggest in the U.S., declined to an average of 945,000 barrels a day from 969,000 barrels the previous week. West Coast output fell to 15,000 barrels a day from 17,000 barrels.

East Coast production, however, increased to 26,000 barrels a day from 22,000 barrels, the EIA said.

Gulf Coast output was unchanged at 24,000 barrels a day, on average, while Rocky Mountain production stayed at 13,000 barrels a day, the agency said.

Stockpiles, meanwhile, decreased week to week to 23.367 million barrels from 23.883 million, the government said.

POET, the largest producer of ethanol in the U.S., said it shut a plant in Indiana due to what it called “mismanagement” of the ethanol mandate. It wasn’t the first.

The Renewable Fuels Association has said 13 ethanol plants – not including the Indiana facility – have been shut partly due to “to the demand loss resulting from the administration’s abusive exploitation of the small refiner waivers.”

The EPA earlier this month granted 31 so-called hardship waivers to small refineries. Farm and ethanol groups say the waivers undermine the renewable fuels standard that dictates how much ethanol must be blended into gasoline.

The National Corn Growers Association said on its website that since early 2018, the Trump administration has granted 85 RFS exemptions to refineries totaling 4.04 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons of renewable fuel.

“Corn farmers have until August 30 to submit comments to the EPA, urging the agency to keep the Renewable Fuel Standard whole,” the NCGA said.

**

3. Flooding Expected in Band From Northeastern Oklahoma Through Central Illinois      

Flash flood warnings, flood warnings, and flood advisories are in effect in a narrow band from northeastern Oklahoma into south-central Illinois as storms roll through the region.

A large storm will continue to bring rainfall and strong winds to the area today, according to the National Weather Service. Winds topping 40 mph are expected.

Three to four inches of rain have fallen in the past five hours across the area, which has led to flash flooding, the NWS said in a report early this morning. More precipitation is expected throughout the day.

Farther east, in south-central Illinois, as much as 4 inches of rain had fallen as of about 2:30 a.m. local time.

The storms will continue throughout the day, creating dangerous conditions in low-lying areas.

“Some storms could be strong to severe with damaging wind gusts being the primary threat,” the NWS said. “Locally heavy rainfall continues to be possible along and south of Interstate 70 today.”

3 Big Things Today, August 21

Byline:

1. Soybeans, Corn Slightly Higher on Crop Tour Results

Soybeans and corn were modestly higher in overnight trading as findings from an annual crop tour rolling through the Midwest indicate worse-than-expected crops.

In Indiana, those on the Pro Farmer Crop Tour said they expected yields of about 161.5 bushels an acre, which follows the Ohio outlook for about 154.4 bushels an acre. Those are down from the USDA forecasts for 166 and 160 bushels an acre, respectively.

Soybean pod counts in Indiana were reported at 923.94 per 3×3-foot square. In Ohio, counts were reported at 764.01 pods.

Reports coming from the fields indicated that progress was behind due to late planting and that the soybean crop was of concern in the eastern Midwest so far.

Nebraska corn yields, meanwhile, were pegged at about 172.5 bushels an acre, which is still down from the USDA projection for 186 bushels an acre. Pod counts were seen at about 1,211 per 3×3-foot square, Pro Farmer said.

Soybean futures for November delivery rose 4¾¢ to $8.73 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal gained $1.50 to $301 a short ton, while soybean oil added 0.18¢ to 28.97¢ a pound.

Corn futures for December delivery gained ¾¢ to $3.69½ a bushel.

Wheat for September delivery fell 3¾¢ to $4.62¾ a bushel, while Kansas City futures lost 2¾¢ to $3.99¼ a bushel.

**

2. Trade War Continues as Sides Negotiate by Phone, Trump Admits Short-Term Recession Possible

Not much news has emerged in terms of actual movement in the trade war between the U.S. and China, but there’s been a lot of talk in recent days.

Negotiators have been talking on the phone recently, and White House Economic Director Larry Kudlow said at the start of this week that talks have been “positive.” More phone calls and teleconferences are expected in coming days, and if those are successful, then in-person negotiations may be scheduled, he said.

President Donald Trump, meanwhile, admitted that the spat between the world’s two largest economies could push the U.S. into a short-term recession, but taking on China was something he felt he had to do.

It’s “irrelevant” if the U.S. economy falls into a recession, because confronting China had to be done, he said. This is an about-face from earlier comments indicating that the trade war isn’t hurting the U.S. economy.

Still, a recession isn’t likely anytime soon, he said. Trump blamed the U.S. Federal Reserve, which lowered interest rates at its last meeting for the first time in more than a decade, for not lowering its federal funds rate by more and at a speedier pace.

He also acknowledged he’s considering a cut in payroll taxes to boost the economy. When talking to reporters Tuesday, he downplayed the notion that the potential tax cuts were due to a softening economy, saying he is “looking at that all the time anyway.”

The chief executive of Bunge, the world’s biggest oilseed processor, told the Financial Times in an interview published Tuesday that the company has slowed spending due to the trade war. The company plans to spend about $550 million this year, well below the $1 billion it spent on a yearly basis earlier this decade.

**

3. Flash Flooding, Severe Thunderstorm Warnings in Effect in Nebraska, Storms Forecast in Iowa            

Flash flood and severe thunderstorm warnings are in effect for parts of central and eastern Nebraska this morning as storms roll through the region.

Damage from strong thunderstorms is expected in several counties in the state with “considerable” damage to trees, mobile homes, and outbuildings expected, according to the National Weather Service.

“Torrential rainfall is occurring with these storms and may lead to flash flooding,” the NWS said in a report early this morning. Wind gusts have been blowing at about 70 mph.

Several other counties in the state are under a severe thunderstorm watch.

In Iowa and northern Illinois, meanwhile, showers remain possible south of Interstate 80, the agency said. Severe thunderstorms that will be isolated are possible this afternoon in parts of extreme northeastern Missouri and adjacent areas in Illinois, the NWS said.

3 Big Things Today, August 20

Byline:

1. Soybeans, Corn Higher Overnight as Crop Conditions Decline

Soybeans and corn were higher in overnight trading after the condition of both crops dropped week to week.

About 53% of the soybean crop was rated good or excellent as of Sunday, down from 54% the previous week and well below 65% at this time last year, according to the USDA.

Ninety percent of the crop was blooming, behind the prior five-year average of 96%, while 68% was setting pods, trailing the normal 85% for this time of year, the USDA said in a report.

The U.S. corn crop was rated 56% good or excellent at the start of the week, down 1 percentage point seven days earlier. At this time in 2018, 68% earned top ratings.

Some 95% of the crop is silking, behind the average of 99% for this time of year, while 55% was in the dough stage, trailing the average of 76%. About 15% of corn was dented as of Sunday, half the normal pace for this time of year, the government said.

The spring wheat crop was 70% good or excellent at the beginning of the week, up from 69% the previous week. About 16% of the crop has been harvested, but that’s well behind the normal 49% for this time of year, the USDA said.

Soybean futures for November delivery rose 7¼¢ to $8.73¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal gained $2.20 to $299.40 a short ton, while soybean oil added 0.22¢ to 29.26¢ a pound.

Corn futures for December delivery gained 3¾¢ to $3.78¼ a bushel.

Wheat for September delivery rose 1¼¢ to $4.73¾ a bushel, while Kansas City futures added 1¼¢ to $4.08 a bushel.

**

2. Export Inspections of Beans Jump Week to Week, Grains Decline, USDA Says

Inspections of soybeans jumped week to week while corn and wheat both declined, according to the USDA.

The government inspected 1.16 million metric tons of soybeans for overseas delivery in the seven days that ended on August 15, up from 944,872 tons the previous week, the agency said in a report. That’s also up from the 660,998 tons assessed during the same week in 2018.

Examinations of corn were reported at 510,334 metric tons last week, down from 719,810 tons during the prior seven-day period and well below the 1.1 million tons inspected last year.

Wheat inspections also dropped, declining to 488,905 metric tons from 710,633 tons a week earlier. The total is little changed from the 488,489 tons assessed during the same time frame in 2018, the USDA said.

Since the start of the marketing year on September 1, soybean inspections have plunged 26% from the same time frame a year earlier, government data show.

Corn assessments have dropped to 46.2 million tons this year from 55.1 million at this time in 2018.

Since the start of the grain’s marketing year on June 1, however, wheat inspections are up.

The government has inspected 5.45 million metric tons so far, up from the 4.34 million tons examined at this time in 2018, the USDA said in its report.

**

3. Severe Storms Hitting Central Iowa This Morning, Heat Wave Continues in Southern Midwest             

Severe weather is hammering much of central Iowa this morning with tornado, severe thunderstorm, and flash flood warnings being issued, according to the National Weather Service.

A thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was located near Indianola, Iowa, about 17 miles south of Des Moines, the NWS said in a report early this morning. Residents at about 5:40 a.m. local time were advised to move to basements or interior spaces in their homes as the storm hit.

Along with tornadoes, hail totaling less than ¾ inch and winds of 60 mph are likely.

“Torrential rainfall” also is associated with the storm, which could lead to flash flooding, the agency said in its report this morning.

Farther south, a heat wave continues in parts of Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, and several other states. Excessive heat warnings and heat advisories have been issued.

In parts of northeastern Oklahoma, heat indexes are expected to be around 110˚F. to 115˚F. today and are expected to only cool slightly on Wednesday, the NWS said.

3 Big Things Today, August 19

Byline:

1. Soybeans, Grains Lower Overnight on Acreage Concerns, Weather

Soybeans and grains were lower in overnight trading amid continued concerns about last week’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report and the ongoing trade war with China.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture last week said growers planted 90 million acres with corn, topping consensus compiled by Reuters for 88 million. Yield was seen at 169.5 bushels an acre, well ahead of forecasts for 164.9 bushel, which put production at 13.9 billion bushels, also topping expectations for 13.2 billion bushels.

Some analysts believe the USDA overshot in its report and believe the corn acreage figure will come in well below the agency’s forecast.

Soybean acreage was seen at 76.7 million, the USDA said. Yield is expected at 48.5 bushels an acre, resulting in production of 3.68 billion bushels, down from the previous outlook for 3.845 billion.

Rainfall last week and over the weekend in the Mississippi Valley along with some precipitation in parts of the central Corn Belt gave crops a much-needed drink of water, which also could be weighing on prices.

As always, traders, analysts and producers all have eyes on the trade war with China.

Soybean futures for November delivery fell 6 1/2¢ to $8.73 1/4 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal lost $2.20 to $298.10 a short ton while soybean oil dropped 0.14¢ to 29.37¢ a pound.

Corn futures for December delivery declined 6¢ to $3.74 ¾ a bushel.

Wheat for September delivery lost 3¢ to $4.74 ½ a bushel, while Kansas City futures dropped 2 1/2¢ to $4.07 a bushel.

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2. Money Managers Cut Bullish Bets on Corn to Lowest Level Since Late May

Money managers cut their net-long positions, or bets on higher prices, in corn to the lowest level in almost three months while reducing their bearish bets in soybeans.

Investors were net long by 21,527 corn futures contracts as of Aug. 13, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. That’s the smallest bullish position for corn futures since the seven days that ended on May 28.

Speculators, however, reduced their net-short position, or bets on lower prices, in soybean futures last week, the CFTC said in a report.

They held a net-bearish position of 67,203 futures contracts in soybeans, down from 76,318 contracts the previous week, the agency said.

Investors had been more bearish on soybeans leading up to last week amid concerns about the seemingly never-ending trade war with China that’s eroding export markets and mostly benign weather in the Midwest.

Dry weather in some parts of the Corn Belt and an about-face by President Donald Trump on trade may have led to increased bullish sentiment on soybeans. The president said last week that tariffs on an additional $300 billion worth of Chinese goods that was expected to go into effect on Sept. 1 would instead be put on hold until Dec. 15.

In wheat, money managers increased their net-short positions in hard-red winter futures to 36,435 contracts from 22,942 the previous week. That’s the largest bearish position since May 28.

Investors held only 4,000 net-long positions in soft-red winter wheat futures as of Aug. 13, down from 7,121 contracts seven days earlier and the smallest such position since June 4, according to the CFTC.

The weekly Commitment of Traders report from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission shows trader positions in futures markets.

The report provides positions held by commercial traders, or those using futures to hedge their physical assets; noncommercial traders, or money managers (also called large speculators); and nonreportables, or small speculators.

A net-long position indicates more traders are betting on higher prices, while a net-short position means more are betting futures will decline.

**

3. Heat Wave Again Hitting Parts of Southern Midwest, Plains With Indexes at 115F

Another heat wave is hitting much of the southern Midwest and Plains with excessive heat warnings and heat advisories now in effect over parts of Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Arkansas.

The eastern half of Oklahoma is under an excessive heat warning as “very dangerous” weather is expected, according to the National Weather Service.

Indexes are expected to reach as high as 115 degrees Fahrenheit today in some parts of the state and in some counties in western Arkansas, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

“The combination of hot temperatures and high humidity will combine to create a dangerous situation in which heat illnesses are possible,” the agency said.

In eastern Kansas and pretty much all of the western half of Missouri, heat indexes are pegged as high as 110 degrees. Outdoor activity should be limited, the NWS said.

3 Big Things Today, August 16

Byline:

1. Crops Higher Overnight as Investors Snap Up Cheap Supplies

Soybeans and grains were higher as investors seeking a bargain jump into the market to secure cheap supplies.

Prices fell the first three days of the week after a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated that farmers had planted more corn but fewer soybeans than expected.

Growers planted 90 million acres with corn, topping consensus compiled by Reuters for 88 million, the USDA said in its report on Monday. Yield was seen at 169.5 bushels an acre, well ahead of forecasts for 164.9 bushel. That put production at 13.9 billion bushels, also topping expectations for 13.2 billion bushels.

Soybean acreage was seen at 76.7 million, the USDA said. Yield is expected at 48.5 bushels an acre, resulting in production of 3.68 billion bushels, down from the previous outlook for 3.845 billion.

Many traders, analysts, and farmers are skeptical about the corn numbers, though some believe they’re accurate.

Rain is expected in much of the Mississippi Valley this weekend, which should give crops a needed drink of water.

Storms also are forecast in parts of the central Corn Belt including Iowa and Illinois, the largest corn and soybean producers.

Soybean futures for November delivery gained 5½¢ to $8.76¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal rose $1.70 to $298.50 a short ton, while soybean oil added 0.21¢ to 29.66¢ a pound.

Corn futures for December delivery rose 3½¢ to $3.74½ a bushel.

Wheat for September delivery added 2½¢ to $4.77 a bushel, while Kansas City futures gained 3¢ to $3.92¾ a bushel.

**

2. Old-Crop Corn Sales Rise; New-Crop Corn, Bean Sales Also Higher Week-to-Week

Corn sales to overseas buyers for the 2018-2019 marketing year that ends at the end of this month rose week-to-week while soybean sales resulted in net-reductions due to cancelations or shifts to the next year, according to the USDA.

Export sales of old-crop corn in the seven days that ended on Aug. 8 totaled 56,100 metric tons, up 32% from the previous week but down 56% from the prior four-week average, the agency said.

Japan bought 107,000 metric tons, Mexico took 86,000 tons, New Zealand purchased 28,600 tons, Costa Rica was in for 20,000 tons, and El Salvador bought 16,500 tons. Unknown buyers canceled sales of 151,300 tons, China nixed a shipment of 60,000 tons, and Guatemala canceled cargoes of 20,000 tons.

For the 2019-2020 marketing year that begins on Sept. 1, sales rose to 307,600 metric tons, up from 197,000 tons the previous week, the USDA said.

Mexico was the big buyer at 80,300 metric tons, unknown buyers took 79,300 tons, China was in for 60,000 tons, and Japan bought 53,500 tons.

Old-crop soybean sales came in at a net-reduction as purchases of 127,000 metric tons by the Netherlands, 71,400 tons by Pakistan, 62,900 tons by Japan, 56,000 tons by Germany, and 37,500 tons by Taiwan were offset by cancelations of 422,700 tons by China and 124,000 tons by unknown customers.

For the 2019-2020 year, sales were reported at 817,400 metric tons, well above the previous week’s 318,300 tons, the agency said.

Unknown buyers purchased the bulk of the total at 586,000 tons, Mexico was in for 104,400 tons, Pakistan took 57,000 tons, Egypt bought 55,000 tons, and Malaysia purchased 23,000 tons. Taiwan canceled a shipment of 30,500 tons.

Wheat sales for the grain’s marketing year that started on June 1 fell 5% week-to-week and 2% from the prior average to 462,200 metric tons, the USDA said.

Japan bought 106,700 tons, South Korea was in for 106,2000 tons, Sri Lanka purchased 75,000 tons, Vietnam bought 57,300 tons, and Italy was in for 42,000 tons, the agency said. Unknown customers canceled shipments for 126,500 tons.

**

3. Storms Move Into Central Midwest With Tornadoes, Hail, Damaging Winds Possible

Some unsettled weather has moved into the Midwest as the weekend approaches, according to the National Weather Service.

“Severe thunderstorms will be possible from the central High Plains into the mid-Mississippi Valley,” the NWS said. “These storms will feature large hail, damaging winds, perhaps a tornado or two, and locally heavy rainfall, which may result in flooding.”

Severe thunderstorm watches are in effect for parts of west-central Missouri this morning as strong to severe storms churn through the area, the agency said in a report this morning.

Most of Missouri saw a limited tornado risk overnight, but some hail, wind, flooding and “significant” lightning. Storms are again possible Friday afternoon and Friday night. Scattered storms are possible through the weekend.

“Showers and thunderstorms will again be possible Friday afternoon and Friday night,” the NWS said. “Severe thunderstorms with large hail and damaging winds will be possible along and north of Interstate 44, especially during the evening and overnight hours. Frequent cloud-to-ground lightning and locally heavy rainfall will also be possible. Locations across central Missouri may see a flooding threat develop if repeated rounds of rainfall occur.”

3 Big Things Today, August 15

Byline:

1. Corn, Soybeans Higher Overnight on Bargain Hunting

Corn and soybeans were higher in overnight trading as some bargain hunters seek cheap contracts.

Prices yesterday for corn declined 7¢ while soybeans dropped almost 11¢. Prices have been in a downtrend this week after a bearish World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) Report that was released Monday.

The report from the USDA said growers planted 90 million acres with corn, topping consensus compiled by Reuters for 88 million. Yield was seen at 169.5 bushels an acre, well ahead of forecasts for 164.9 bushel.

Production was pegged at 13.9 billion bushels, also topping expectations for 13.2 billion bushels.

Some farmers, traders, and other market-watchers are skeptical, saying the USDA overshot with its estimates.

Soybean acreage was seen at 76.7 million, the USDA said. Yield is expected at 48.5 bushels an acre, resulting in production of 3.68 billion bushels, down from the previous outlook for 3.845 billion.

Corn futures for December delivery rose 2½¢ to $3.72¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Soybean futures for November delivery gained 1½¢ to $8.79½ a bushel overnight. Soy meal was unchanged at $299.90 a short ton, while soybean oil lost 0.17¢ to 29.38¢ a pound.

Wheat for September delivery dropped 3½¢ to $4.70¼ a bushel, while Kansas City futures added 1¢ to $4.01¾ a bushel.

**

2. Ethanol Production Rises to Highest in Almost a Month, Stockpiles Increase

Ethanol production in the seven days that ended on August 9 rose to the highest in almost a month, and stockpiles also increased week to week, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Output last week averaged 1.045 million barrels a day, up from 1.04 million the previous week and the most since the week that ended on July 12, the EIA said in a report.

In the Midwest, by far the biggest producer of the biofuel, production was reported at 969,000 barrels a day, on average, up from 961,000 barrels a day. That’s also the highest level since July 12.

West Coast producers increased output to 17,000 barrels a day from 16,000 barrels, on average, the only other regional gainer.

East Coast production fell to 22,000 barrels a day from 25,000, and Rocky Mountain output declined to 13,000 barrels from 14,000 barrels a day, on average, the EIA said. Gulf Coast output was unchanged week to week at 24,000 barrels a day.

Weekly inventories increased to 23.883 million barrels in the week through August 9, up from stockpiles of 23.117 million barrels the previous week, the agency said in its report.

Last week, the EPA issued 31 waivers that allow small refineries to bypass the ethanol mandate, angering ethanol and farm groups.

The Renewable Fuels Association said the decisions to grant the waivers – the EPA granted 31 of the 40 requests – is “cloaked in secrecy and bias” and that 13 ethanol plants have closed due partly to demand loss created by the waivers. The Small Refiners Coalition, however, applauded the decision.  

The National Corn Growers Association said in a statement this week that President Donald Trump needs to step in and keep promises made to corn growers with regard to ethanol.

“It’s time for this administration to act in the best interest of farmers,” the NCGA said.

**

3. Chances For Thunderstorms Every Day Through Weekend in Parts of Central Midwest

Chances for thunderstorms will increase late tonight in much of Iowa and northern Illinois, though there’s little risk of severe weather at this time, according to the National Weather Service.

Farmers needing rainfall in the central Midwest will be pleased as there are chances for thunderstorms every day through the weekend, the NWS said in a report early this morning. Some heavy rains are expected, though it’s too early to tell if storms will become severe.

Some precipitation is expected in the Northern Plains where the spring wheat harvest has started.

The area has been getting too much rain – as much as six times the normal amount has fallen in the past week – and there’s another chance for storms through the weekend.

The NWS said in a report that the threat for sever weather will be low, but chances for storms persist through the middle of next week.

3 Big Things Today, August 14

Byline:

1. Grains Higher Overnight on Trade, Farmers Dismiss WASDE

Grains were higher in overnight trading amid optimism that China will continue to buy U.S. agricultural products and as farmers dismiss this week’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) Report.

The U.S. has put 10% tariffs on additional Chinese goods on hold until December, leaving some hoping China returns to the market for U.S. agricultural items. So far, there’s been no indication that China will resume purchases.

The WASDE Report earlier this week crushed markets, with the USDA projecting growers planted 90 million acres with corn, topping consensus compiled by Reuters for 88 million. Yield was seen at 169.5 bushels an acre, well ahead of forecasts for 164.9 bushel.

Production was pegged at 13.9 billion bushels, also topping expectations for 13.2 billion bushels.

Some farmers, traders, and other market-watchers are skeptical, saying the USDA overshot with its estimates.

Corn futures for December delivery rose 4¼¢ to $3.80¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Wheat for September delivery gained 7½¢ to $4.79½ a bushel, while Kansas City futures added 5¼¢ to $4.05¾ a bushel.

Soybean futures for November delivery fell ¾¢ to $8.88¼ a bushel overnight. Soy meal rose fell 40¢ to $304.20 a short ton while soybean oil added 0.16¢ to 29.70¢ a pound.

**

2. Latest on U.S.-China Trade War May Be Good News as Tariffs Set For September 1 Delayed

The latest on the U.S. and China trade war is good news – maybe.

Tariffs that were expected to go into effect on another $300 billion worth of Chinese goods have been delayed until December 15.

That, in turn, will hopefully mean China will continue to buy U.S. agricultural products, purchases it halted after the latest round of levies were announced by the White House.

Separately, President Donald Trump asked Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to buy a “huge amount” of farm products to help offset the void left by China, according to Kyodo News Agency, citing several Japanese and U.S. government sources.

Specifically, he asked Japan to buy soybeans and wheat in a deal that wouldn’t be tied to the trade talks now ongoing between the countries, Kyodo reported. Any purchases would be worth hundreds of millions of dollars, the news company reported.

It’s been a rough week for Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue after he made a joke in front of farmers in Minnesota: “What do you call two farmers in a basement? A whine cellar.”

News outlets said the reaction was a mix of laughs and boos. Some saw the joke as poorly timed amid increased bankruptcies in farm country amid an ongoing trade war that seemingly has no end in sight and low crop prices.

**

3. Hot Weather Confined to Gulf Coast, Thunderstorms Firing Up Again in Nebraska, Iowa

Hot weather that hit the Midwest this week has moved south into the Gulf Coast.

Temperatures in Louisiana are expected to hit around 105˚F. today, but the extreme weather seen in parts of the southern Corn Belt that past few days will stay south, according to the National Weather Service.

Farther north in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa, meanwhile, thunderstorms are expected starting late tonight, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

The storms likely will last all day Thursday and Friday with damaging winds and large hail possible, the agency said. The storms will become more isolated Saturday through Monday.

3 Big Things Today, August 13

Byline:

1. Corn Drops Sharply, Beans Higher After WASDE

Corn was down sharply overnight, while soybeans were higher after yesterday’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) Report.

Acres planted with corn for the 2019-2020 marketing year was pegged at 90 million by the USDA, topping expectations compiled by Reuters for 88 million.

Yield was seen at 169.5 bushels an acre, ahead of forecasts for 164.9 bushels, and production was projected at 13.9 billion bushels, well above forecasts for 13.2 billion.

Soybean futures rose as planted area is expected to be around 76.7 million acres, the government said, down from analyst forecasts for 81 million. Yield is pegged at 48.5 bushels an acre, up from expectations for 47.6 bushels. Final production is seen at 3.68 billion bushels, trailing forecasts for 3.8 billion.

Corn stockpiles are seen at 2.18 billion bushels, well ahead of forecasts for 1.62 billion, while soybean inventories were projected by the USDA at 755 million bushels, behind expectations for 821 million.

The USDA Crop Progress Report showed corn conditions unchanged at 57% good or excellent, while 54% of soybeans earned top ratings, also unchanged week to week.

Corn futures for December delivery plunged 10¾¢ to $3.82 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Soybean futures for November delivery gained 6¾¢ to $8.86 a bushel overnight. Soy meal rose $2.10 to $300.80 a short ton, while soybean oil dropped 0.04¢ to 30.01¢ a pound.

Wheat for September delivery fell 1½¢ to $4.70¼ a bushel, while Kansas City futures lost 1¾¢ to $3.90½ a bushel.

**

2. Weekly Corn, Wheat Inspections For Overseas Delivery Rise While Soybeans Decline

Inspections of corn and wheat for overseas delivery rose week to week, while soybean assessments decline, according to the USDA.

Corn inspections in the seven days that ended on August 8 jumped to 703,183 metric tons, up from 645,675 tons the previous week, but were still down from the 1.27 million tons examined at the same point a year earlier, the government said.

Wheat assessments surged to 688,978 metric tons last week, up from 416,177 tons the previous week. The total also was up from the 487,399 tons examined during the same week in 2018.

Soybean inspections, meanwhile, dropped to 944,238 metric tons from 1.03 million tons a week earlier, the USDA said. Still, that was well above the 581,559 tons assessed during the same period the previous year.

Since the start of the marketing year on September 1, the government has inspected 45.6 million metric tons of corn for overseas delivery, down from 54 million tons at the same time a year earlier.

Soybean inspections since the start of September now stand at 42.3 million tons, well below the 54 million tons examined at this point in 2018.

Since the start of the grain’s marketing year on June 1, wheat inspections totaled 4.93 million metric tons, ahead of the year-earlier total of 3.87 million tons, the USDA said.

**

3. Heat Wave Moving East, Now Over Much of Arkansas With Indexes of 116˚F.

The heat wave that was blasting much of eastern Kansas and western Missouri has moved east slightly and is now parked over much of Arkansas, parts of the Missouri bootheel, and the Gulf Coast.

A slice of southeastern Oklahoma is still under heat advisories as indexes are expected to reach 112˚F. in the area, according to the National Weather Service.

Excessive heat warnings are in effect for a large chunk of Arkansas and northern Louisiana into Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama, the agency said.

In northern Arkansas, the heat indexes are expected to hit as high as 116˚F. today.

Farther north, storms are expected to continue in parts of Nebraska and Iowa. Thunderstorm chances also exist from Thursday through Monday, the NWS said.

3 Big Things Today, August 12

Byline:

1. Soybeans, Grains Lower Overnight Ahead of WASDE

Soybeans and grains were lower in overnight trading ahead of today’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture report is due out at noon in Washington.

Soybean area is pegged at about 81 million acres while yield is seen at around 47.6 bushels an acre, leaving production at about 3.8 billion bushels, according to a Reuters survey. Last month, the USDA said it expected planted acreage at 80 million, yield of 48.5 bushels an acre and total output of 3.845 billion bushels.

Corn acres are pegged at around 88 million with yield of 164.9 bushels an acre, resulting in production of 13.193 billion bushels, the survey showed.

The USDA in July forecast corn planted area of 91.7 million acres, yield of 166 bushels an acre and output of 13.875 billion bushels.

Soybean inventories in the marketing year that ends on Aug. 31, 2020, are expected to come in around 821 million bushels, while corn stockpiles are forecast at about 1.62 billion bushels, the company reported.

Soybean futures for November delivery fell 5 3/4¢ to $8.86 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal lost $1.30 to $302.40 a short ton while soybean oil dropped 0.24¢ to 29.71¢ a pound.

Corn futures for December delivery declined 3¢ to $4.14 ¾ a bushel overnight.

Wheat for September delivery fell 4¢ to $4.95 ½ a bushel, while Kansas City futures lost 3 1/2¢ to $4.30 a bushel.

**

2. Speculative Investors Slash Net-Longs in Corn, Increase Bearish Positions in Beans

Speculative investors cut their net-long positions, or bets on higher prices, in corn to the lowest level in more than two months while raising their bearish bets on soybeans.

Money managers held net-long positions of 68,086 corn futures contracts as of Aug. 6, down from 105,907 contracts a week earlier and the smallest amount since the seven days that ended on May 28, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

In soybeans, investors increased their net-short positions, or bets on lower prices, to 76,318 futures contracts last week, the CFTC said in a report.

That’s up from 55,160 contracts the previous week and the largest bearish position in beans since the seven days that ended on June 11.

Investors are less bullish on corn and more bearish on beans amid an ongoing trade war with China that has no end in sight.

Speculators also increased their bearish positions in hard-red winter wheat, bumping their net-shorts to 22,942 futures contracts from 16,283 contracts a week earlier. That’s the biggest bearish holdings in hard-red winter futures since mid-June.

Investors cut their net-long positions in soft-red winter wheat to 7,121 futures contracts last week, about half the previous week, the CFTC said.

The weekly Commitment of Traders report from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission shows trader positions in futures markets.

The report provides positions held by commercial traders, or those using futures to hedge their physical assets; noncommercial traders, or money managers (also called large speculators); and nonreportables, or small speculators.

A net-long position indicates more traders are betting on higher prices, while a net-short position means more are betting futures will decline.

**

3. Heat Blasts Much of South-Central U.S., Flood Warnings Issued in Missouri, Illinois

A heat wave is blasting much of the south-central United States as excessive heat warnings and advisories are in effect in several states.

In eastern Oklahoma, most of Arkansas and parts of northern Louisiana, an excessive heat warning is in effect starting at 1 p.m. this afternoon until 8 p.m. Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service.

Temperatures will be in the upper 90s today and tomorrow with heat indexes of about 115 degrees Fahrenheit, the NWS said in a report early this morning. Outdoor activity is not advised.

In several counties in eastern Missouri and western Illinois, meanwhile, a flash flood warning is in effect after thunderstorms dropped several inches of rain in the region.

As much as 3 inches of rain fell in an hour this morning, with another 3 inches possible in the area, the NWS said in its report.

“Thunderstorms north of a warm front will train and create flash flooding across parts of central and east-central Missouri as well as south-central Illinois,” the agency said. “Flash flooding may cause road closures and lead to very rapid rises in smaller creeks and streams.”

3 Big Things Today, August 9

Byline:

1. Soybeans Higher Overnight While Grains Little Changed

Soybeans were higher overnight on mostly dry weather in the eastern Midwest including most of Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa.

No precipitation is seen in the area, and only slight chances are in the forecast for parts of eastern Nebraska, according to weather forecasts.

Investors also may be squaring positions ahead of Monday’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report.

Analysts surveyed by Reuters said they expect soybean area of around 81 million acres and yield of 47.6 bushels an acre. Production is seen around 3.8 billion bushels. In July, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said it expected planted acreage at 80 million, yield of 48.5 bushels an acre, and total output of 3.845 billion bushels.

Corn acres are pegged at around 88 million with yield of 164.9 bushels an acre, resulting in production of 13.193 billion bushels, the survey showed.

The USDA last month forecast corn planted area of 91.7 million acres, yield of 166 bushels an acre, and output of 13.875 billion bushels.

Soybean inventories in the marketing year that ends on Aug. 31, 2020, are expected to come in around 821 million bushels, while corn stockpiles are forecast at about 1.62 billion bushels, Reuters reported.

Soybean futures for November delivery rose 5¢ to $8.88 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal added 70¢ to $302.70 a short ton while soybean oil gained 0.47¢ to 29.85¢ a pound.

Corn futures for December delivery added ¾¢ to $4.19 a bushel overnight.

Wheat for September delivery rose 1½¢ to $5 a bushel, while Kansas City futures fell 1¢ to $4.17½ a bushel.

**

2. Corn, Soybean Export Sales For 2018-2019 Plunge Weekly, Wheat Sales Improve

Export sales of corn and soybeans plunged week-to-week while wheat sales increased, according to the USDA.

Corn sales to overseas buyers for delivery in the 2018-2019 marketing year that ends on Aug. 31 totaled 42,600 metric tons, down 70% from the previous week and 82% from the prior four-week average, the agency said in a report.

Saudi Arabia was the big buyer at 59,300 metric tons, followed by Mexico at 42,900 tons, El Salvador at 30,400 tons, and Japan at 30,300 tons. Colombia was in for 25,800 tons.

For the 2019-2020 year that starts on Sept. 1, sales were reported at 197,000 metric tons. Mexico bought 92,300 tons, Honduras was in for 37,500 tons, Panama bought 35,600 tons, and Canada took 11,400 tons, the USDA said.

Soybean sales for the current marketing year totaled 101,700 metric tons, down 29% week-to-week but up 25% from the four-week average.

China was the big buyer at 126,200 metric tons, making the buy before allegedly halting purchases of U.S. farm goods. The Netherlands bought 112,900 metric tons, South Korea was in for 49,000 tons, Spain took 40,000 tons, and France purchased 24,200 tons.

For the next marketing year, sales were reported at 318,300 metric tons as unknown buyers took 290,500 tons, Colombia bought 8,000 tons, Panama purchased 6,700 tons, and Malaysia was in for 6,300 tons, the government said.

It’s generally not unusual for corn and soybean sales to fall this close to the end of the current marketing year as buyers are looking ahead.

Wheat sales, meanwhile, were up 27% week-to-week at 487,700 metric tons, which gained 17% from the prior four-week average.

The Philippines bought 76,600 tons, Mexico was in for 71,400 tons, Japan bought 68,500 tons, and Taiwan took 61,500 tons. The total would’ve been higher but Brazil canceled shipments totaling 30,000 tons, Colombia canceled cargoes of 23,300 tons, and Indonesia nixed a purchase of 10,000 tons, the USDA said in its report.

**

3. Severe Weather Continues in Parts of Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas

Severe weather continues to hit parts of eastern Kansas, western Missouri, northeastern Oklahoma, and northwestern Arkansas as flood warnings and flash flood watches persist, according to the National Weather Service.

Another 1 to 2 inches of rain is expected in parts of the region this morning with local amounts as high as 5 inches possible, the NWS said in a report this morning. The precipitation raises the potential for flash flooding.

“Residual flooding will remain possible this morning over far southwestern Missouri and southeastern Kansas,” the agency said in its report. “Isolated to widely scattered thunderstorms will be possible today and tonight.”

A heat wave continues to grip much of southern Oklahoma, most of Texas, all of Louisiana, and parts of several Gulf Coast states.

In southern Oklahoma, heat indexes are forecast to hit 108°F. as temperatures reach 101°F. and dewpoints move into the lower 70s, the NWS said.

3 Big Things Today, August 8

Byline:

1. Soybeans, Grains Higher Ahead of WASDE Report

Soybeans and grains were higher in overnight trading as investors square positions ahead of Monday’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) Report.

Analysts surveyed by Reuters said they expect soybean area of around 81 million acres and yield of 47.6 bushels an acre. Production is seen around 3.8 billion bushels. In July, the USDA said it expected planted acreage at 80 million, yield of 48.5 bushels an acre, and total output of 3.845 billion bushels.

Corn acres are pegged at around 88 million with yield of 164.9 bushels an acre, resulting in production of 13.193 billion bushels, the survey showed.

The USDA last month forecast corn planted area of 91.7 million acres, yield of 166 bushels an acre and output of 13.875 billion bushels.

Soybean inventories in the marketing year that ends on August 31, 2020, are expected to come in around 821 million bushels, while corn stockpiles are forecast at about 1.62 billion bushels, Reuters reported.

Weather is mixed with parts of Kansas, Missouri, and Arkansas expecting rain and the Southern Plains through the western Gulf Coast getting extremely high temperatures the rest of the week.

Traders also are keeping an eye on the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China, which at this point has no end in sight.

Soybean futures for November delivery rose 4½¢ to $8.71¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal added $1.10 to $301.10 a short ton, while soybean oil gained 0.24¢ to 28.61¢ a pound.

Corn futures for December delivery added 2¼¢ to $4.16¼ a bushel overnight.

Wheat for September delivery rose 4½¢ to $4.92¾ a bushel, while Kansas City futures gained 2¢ to $4.19¾ a bushel.

**

2. Ethanol Production Rebounds From Lowest in Three Months, Stockpiles Decline

Ethanol production rebounded from a three-month low last week while stockpiles dropped to the lowest level in almost a month.

Output of the biofuel rose to an average of 1.04 million barrels a day in the seven days that ended on August 2, according to the Energy Information Administration. That’s up from 1.031 million barrels a day, on average, the previous week.

Last week’s production was the highest average since the week that ended on July 12.

The bulk of the increase was in the Midwest, by far the biggest ethanol-producing region in the U.S., where output rose to 961,00 barrels a day, on average, from 952,000 barrels the prior week, the EIA said.

Production in the Rocky Mountain region increased to an average of 14,000 barrels a day from 13,000 barrels a week earlier.

East Coast output was unchanged at 25,000 barrels a day, Gulf Coast production stayed at 24,000 barrels, and West Coast producers left output at 16,000 barrels a day, on average, the government said in its report.

Stockpiles, meanwhile, dropped to 23.117 million barrels in the week through August 2, which was the lowest amount since July 5, the EIA said.

In other news, the USDA is expected to release its weekly Export Sales Report at 8:30 a.m. in Washington today. Analysts are expecting corn sales from 300,000 to 900,000 metric tons, soybean sales from 100,000 to 700,000 tons, and wheat sales from 250,000 to 500,000 tons, according to researcher Allendale.

**

3. Strong to Severe Thunderstorms Expected Again in Eastern Kansas Through Arkansas

A grouping of strong to severe thunderstorms is expected across parts of eastern Kansas, Missouri, and Arkansas  tonight, bringing heavy rains, according to the National Weather Service.

Another round of stroms is expected to fire up on Thursday night into Friday morning in the same area, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

“There is potential for multiday rainfall totals of several inches from roughly southeast Kansas into northern Arkansas with flooding and flash flooding a threat,” the agency said in its report.

Flash flood warnings, flood warnings, and flash flood watches already are in effect for much of eastern Kansas this morning, weather maps show.  

Parts of the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley regions also may see severe weather, including heavy rainfall the rest of the week.

In the Southern Plains and parts of several states including Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas. Meanwhile, hot and humid conditions are expected with daytime highs forecast to top 100˚F. Heat advisories are in effect as indexes are expected to top 110˚F. for the next few days.

3 Big Things Today, August 7

Byline:

1. Soybeans, Corn Slightly Higher Overnight, Wheat Falls

Soybeans and corn were slightly higher while wheat was lower in overnight trading as investors keep an eye on hot weather in parts of the Plains and the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China.

Extremely hot weather with indexes around 110˚F. are expected in parts of Kansas and Oklahoma today, while in eastern Kansas severe thunderstorms are in the forecast.

The ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China has no end in sight as the U.S. called China a currency manipulator for the first time since 1994, and Beijing said it would halt all purchases of U.S. agricultural products.

Investors also are anticipating the USDA’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Report, which is due out on August 12.

Soybean futures for November delivery rose 2¢ to $8.67¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal was unchanged at $302.60 a short ton, while soybean oil gained 0.14¢ to 28.05¢ a pound.

Corn futures for December delivery added 1¢ to $4.13½ a bushel overnight.

Wheat for September delivery fell 2¢ to $4.82 a bushel, while Kansas City futures dropped 1¾¢ to $4.16¼ a bushel.

**

2. Trade War Hits Lowest Point, Trump Says He’ll Continue to Raise Tariffs

The latest from the ongoing trade row between the U.S. and China isn’t good news as most had expected a deal to be in place by now.

Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping have met a couple of times, both indicating they were interested in coming to an agreement that would end the more-than-year-long trade war between the countries, but here we are, with no deal in sight.

Instead, the sides seem further apart than ever.

Trump over the weekend tweeted that the U.S. would impose 10% tariffs on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods that weren’t already subject to levies. In return, Beijing allowed its currency, the yuan, to fall below the historical seven-per-dollar mark this week.

That, in turn, led the U.S. to declare China as a currency manipulator, a designation that accuses the Asian nation of intentionally devaluing its currency to give it “an unfair competitive advantage in international trade,” according to the U.S. Treasury.

That’s the first time in 25 years the designation has been put on China.

Naturally, the Chinese central bank denied the charge and says by imposing the designation, the U.S. is risking further market turmoil.

China also said this week it would shut off all purchases of U.S. agricultural products, what American Farm Bureau Federal President Zippy Duvall called a “body blow” to the farm sector, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The value of farm-goods shipments to China was halved year over year, falling from $19.5 billion in 2017 to $9.1 billion last year, the Journal reported.

Trump thus far has been unphased by China’s actions, saying yesterday that he will continue to impose tariffs in a bid to get Beijing to make a deal.

“As they have learned in the last two years, our great American Farmers know that China will not be able to hurt them in that their President has stood with them and done what no other president would do,” he said in on Twitter. “And I’ll do it again next year if necessary!”

**

3. Heat Wave Expected in Parts of Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Gulf Coast Wednesday

Another heat wave is rolling through the Southern Plains into Texas and the Gulf Coast, as heat advisories have been issued in several states, according to the National Weather Service.

In the western half of Kansas, heat index values of about 110˚F. are expected today as actual temperatures hover around 100˚F. with high humidity, the NWS said in a report earlier this morning.

Similar temperatures are forecast in much of Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana and east into Mississippi and Alabama.

“Extreme caution is advised for those working outdoors,” the agency said.

Strong storms, meanwhile, are rolling across the eastern half of Kansas as some areas will see wind gusts from 30 to 50 mph. Very heavy rainfall also is likely in the area, the NWS said.

Severe thunderstorm and flood warnings are in effect in the eastern half of the state along with flash flood watches, the agency said.

7 Nuggets From the Ag Media Summit

Byline:

Each summer, the nation’s agricultural journalists meet for a couple of days of professional improvement at an event we call Ag Media Summit. The 2019 version of AMS, held in Bloomington, Minnesota, this week had a trade show called “Info Expo” where more than 250 ag journalists learned about several innovations, products, and ideas that companies will be sharing with farmers this year. We’ve curated seven of them for you. 

Unververth Finalizes Blu-Jet Purchase 

Blu-Jet legacy anhydrous applicator
Blu-Jet Legacy
The Kalida, Ohio, company best known for grain carts and wagons has finalized the Blu-Jet product line from Thurston Manufacturing, Thurston, Nebraska. Jerry Ecklund, Unverferth’s marketing director, says Unverferth will keep the name and product lineup but plans to move manufacturing to Ohio. 

Thurston Manufacturing was founded in 1971 and employed about 100 workers in northeast Nebraska as recently as 2012, according to an article in the Sioux City Journal. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January. 

READ MORE: UNVERFERTH INTENDS TO PURCHASE BLU-JET PRODUCT LINE

MycoApply EndoPrime SC Helps Growers' Sustainability Efforts

David Nothmann, VP of Marketing, Valent
David Nothmann
A new liquid in-furrow biological product called MycoApply EndoPrime SC, from Valent U.S.A., helps bolster corn root establishment through mycorrhizal fungi. Four different species of fungi boost root absorption, boost drought-stress tolerance, enhance nutrient access and uptake, and produce enzymes to release nutrients tied up in the soil, according to David Nothmann, vice president of marketing at Valent. The fungi in MycoApply EndoPrimeSC colonize the roots and produce hyphae, which can store resources and improve resiliency to crop stressors like nutrient availability and drought. 

The company also confirmed its commitment to improved sustainability practices. Its lineup of conventional, biological, and organic crop protection products can help farmers choose a sustainability path that is right for them, Nothmann says. He adds that Valent Biosciences’ new state-of-the-art research center near Libertyville, Illinois, serves as the global discovery engine for biological solutions for growers.

Nufarm Announces Trunemco Approval; New Facility Nearly Complete

Brandon Scott, customer brand marketing manager, NuFarm
Brandon Scott
In May, the EPA approved to Nufarm’s Trunemco nematicide, giving growers a new option in the battle against soybean cyst nematode. Growers have relied on built-in genetic resistance to SCN for years, but relying too much on one gene – P18788 – is weakening resistance to the pest, which causes an estimated $1 billion in lost yield per year in U.S. soybean acres. Trunemco is a seed-applied product, with a 0.3-ounce-per-acre use rate, says Brandon Scott, customer brand marketing manager for Nufarm, which acquired Trunemco earlier this year from BASF. Trunemco also is approved for use in corn and cotton. 

Scott also announced that Nufarm’s new formulation and packaging operations near Greenville, Mississippi, are slated to open October 23. The plant features a renovated 104,500 square-foot facility on 16 acres in the Mississippi River Delta region. 

UPL Hitting Its Stride After Acquisition of Arysta LifeScience 

The company you’ve long known as Arysta LifeScience is now UPL and is the fifth-largest agrochemical company in the world, says Todd Landsman, U.S. marketing manager for UPL. The King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, firm finalized the purchase of Arysta LifeScience in February and touts its lineup of patented and off-patent products that farmers can use from planting to harvest. “Arysta had good products. We were a great fit for each other,” Landsman says. You can look for UPL products at traditional retail and distribution outlets, he adds. 

UPL – formerly United Phosphorous Limited – was founded in 1969 in Mumbai, India. It paid $4.2 billion for Arysta LifeScience. 

READ MORE: UPL COMPLETES ACQUISITION OF ARYSTA LIFESCIENCE

Vytelle's IVF Technology Promises Improved Pregnancy Rates

We learned more about the in vitro fertilization technology Vytelle uses on cattle, sheep, and deer to improve pregnancy rates and shorten breeding intervals. Based in Hermiston, Oregon, Vytelle champions an all-natural process rather than using follicle stimulating hormones. This is less expensive, allows for weekly collection of oocytes, and is easier on the animals, according to the company. Vytelle’s certified technicials will collect eggs; wash, clean, and count them; and fertilize in the company’s laboratory within seven days of collection. Embryo development is done through a proprietary culture system without using fetal calf serum. 

Vytelle was formerly known as Cogent IVF, founded in 2015. It rebranded as Vytelle in 2018. 

Can-Am Shows Off 2020 Defender 6x6

Can-Am-6x6
Can-Am
The huge new Defender 6×6 from Can-Am was on display. This 82-hp. UTV was designed to offer unmatched traction and hauling capabilites. More information on this machine will be published on Agriculture.com in the fall.

AGCO Touts New Fendt 900 Series Tractors

Exterior of the 2019 Fendt 900 tractor
Photo Credit: AGCO
Company representatives from AGCO were on hand to talk about the fully redesigned Fendt 900 series of tractors the company unveiled last month. These new high-horsepower machines were designed to meet the needs of U.S. row crop farmers. Although pricing information has not been announced, the new tractors will be on display for famers to see in person at the Farm Progress Show at the end of August 2019.

READ MORE: AGCO ANNOUNCES NEW FENDT 900 SERIES

3 Big Things Today, August 6

Byline:

1. Grains Lower, Beans Higher in Overnight Trading

Grain futures were lower overnight while soybeans turned higher as investors weigh favorable weather, the ongoing trade war with China, and a host of other factors.

Rainfall is forecast for parts of the northern and eastern Corn Belt today, though how much rain is expected varies from state to state. Precipitation is expected from northern Illinois through Ohio and in the Northern Plains, which could give crops a boost.

That, along with concerns about trade with China, is keeping a lid on prices.

The U.S. officially labeled China a currency manipulator after its government allowed its currency, the yuan, to fall through a politically sensitive level against the dollar on Monday. The move came after President Donald Trump said tariffs on another $300 billion worth of Chinese goods would go into effect on September 1.

Trump said China has failed to live up to promises to buy U.S. agricultural products. As part of the Asian nation’s retaliation to the threats, importers have said they will no longer purchase agricultural items from the U.S. and reportedly may impose tariffs on imports that have been purchased but not yet shipped.

Corn futures for December delivery lost 1½¢ to $4.13¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Wheat for September delivery fell 3¢ to $4.91½ a bushel, while Kansas City futures dropped 4½¢ to $4.22¼ a bushel.

Soybean futures for November delivery rose 2¢ to $8.70¾ a bushel overnight. Soy meal declined $1.50 to $300.80 a short ton, while soybean oil gained 0.14¢ to 28.40¢ a pound.

**

2. Export Inspections Decline Across the Board in Seven Days Through August 1, USDA Says

Inspections of corn, soybeans, and wheat for overseas delivery all declined week to week, according to the USDA.

Corn assessments in the seven days through August 1 totaled 631,289 metric tons, down from 667,669 tons the previous week, the government said in a report. That’s also down from the 1.29 million tons that were inspected during the same week in 2018.

Soybean inspections were lower, falling to 1.03 million metric tons last week from 1.06 million tons the previous week, the agency said. The total was up from the 893,648 tons inspected at the same time last year.

Examinations of wheat for offshore delivery declined to 395,136 metric tons, down from 413,768 tons the previous week, the USDA said. That was still up from the 327,172 tons inspected during the same week last year.

Since the start of the 2018-2019 marketing year on September 1, the USDA has inspected 44.9 million metric tons of corn for overseas delivery. That’s down from the 52.8 million tons assessed during the same period the previous year.

Soybean inspections since the start of September are way down year over year, falling to 41.4 million metric tons from 53.4 million a year earlier, government data show.

Wheat assessments since the start of the grain’s marketing year on June 1, meanwhile, are up to 4.22 million metric tons from 3.38 million at this time in 2018, the USDA said.

**

3. Severe Weather Forecast For Parts of Northern Illinois, Indiana, Ohio Today

Hazardous weather is forecast for parts of northern Illinois, northern Indiana, southern Michigan, and parts of Ohio today and tonight, according to the National Weather Service.

Wind gusts of up to 50 mph are predicted along with thunderstorms starting this afternoon, mostly south of Interstate 80, the NWS said in a report early this morning. Heavy rainfall also is a possibility with the storms.

The storms are expected to wane as evening approaches.

More thunderstorms are expected starting again on Wednesday night and extending into Thursday, the agency said.

In the Northern Plains where spring wheat is grown, isolated to strong storms are expected, the NWS said. Parts of North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota likely will see storms, with some bringing quarter-size hail and wind gusts of up to 60 mph, the agency said.  

3 Big Things Today, August 5

Byline:

1. Crop Futures Lower Amid Ongoing China Trade Row

Crop futures were lower in overnight trading amid ongoing worries about trade with China.

President Donald Trump last week said his administration would put 10% tariffs on an additional $300 million worth of goods from the Asian nation. He has since said he would rescind the levies if China would buy more agricultural products.

China, meanwhile, thus far hasn’t been swayed by the move that’s set to go into effect on September 1.

The world’s two largest economies have been at odds for more than a year, imposing tit-for-tat trade tariffs on the other’s goods.

Soybean futures for November delivery fell 6¾¢ to $8.61¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal declined $1.90 to $297.50 a short ton, while soybean oil dropped 0.17¢ to 28.54¢ a pound.

Corn futures for December delivery lost 6¼¢ to $4.03¼ a bushel overnight.

Wheat for September delivery plunged 9½¢ to $4.81¼ a bushel, while Kansas City futures dropped 6¼¢ to $4.15½ a bushel.

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2. Speculative Investors Reduce Net Longs in Corn, Increase Bearish Bets on Soybeans

Money managers reduced their net-long positions, or bets on higher prices, in corn last week while increasing their bearish positions in soybeans.

Speculators were net long by 105,907 corn futures contracts in the seven days that ended on July 30, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

That’s down from 143,540 futures contracts the previous week and the smallest net-long position since June 4, the CFTC said in a report.

Investors held 55,160 net-short positions, or bets on lower prices, in soybean futures contracts last week, up from 42,656 contracts seven days earlier. That’s the largest bearish position in soybeans since the week that ended on June 11.

Investors have become less positive on corn and soybeans amid an escalating trade war with China and easing weather concerns. A hot spell that lasted a week has been followed by cooler, more favorable crop weather. Still, dry areas remain, leaving some investors and producers worried about production.

In wheat, money manages reduced their short position in hard red winter to a net 16,283 futures contracts, according to the CFTC. That’s down from 20,844 contracts the previous week and the smallest such position since February 5.

Speculators were still bullish on soft red winter wheat, pushing their net-long positions to 14,849 futures contracts, up from 6,603 contracts the previous week, the government said.

The weekly Commitment of Traders report from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission shows trader positions in futures markets.

The report provides positions held by commercial traders, or those using futures to hedge their physical assets; noncommercial traders, or money managers (also called large speculators); and nonreportables, or small speculators.

A net-long position indicates more traders are betting on higher prices, while a net-short position means more are betting futures will decline.

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3. Thunderstorms Expected in Parts of Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Some Severe

Thunderstorms are expected in parts of Nebraska, Iowa, southern Minnesota, and southern Wisconsin starting this afternoon with damaging wind being the main threat, according to the National Weather Service.

“Thunderstorms are expected to form along the South Dakota/Nebraska border this afternoon then push southward into northeast Nebraska,” the agency said. “The thunderstorm activity will continue to advance southward then across the rest of eastern Nebraska and southwest Iowa during the evening hours.”

Large hail and strong winds are expected with this storm.

In southern Minnesota, “strong to severe” storms are forecast today that could produce damaging winds, large hail, and heavy rainfall in potentially tornadoes, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

Farther east, some isolated storms are possible across parts of central Indiana, though any rainfall will be “isolated.” More storms are possible later tonight ahead of another storm system, the agency said.

3 Big Things Today, August 2

Byline:

1. Crop Futures Higher Overnight as Investors Focus on Weather

Crop futures were all higher overnight, as trader focus on ongoing dry weather in much of the Corn Belt instead of the amped-up trade war between the U.S. and China.

As little as 5% of normal amounts of rain has fallen in much of Iowa and Illinois in the past 30 days, putting crops with a shallow root system at risk.

Little rain is expected in the area in the next seven to 10 days, according to Commodity Weather Group Meteorologist David Streit.

The rain that will fall is in areas that don’t need it as much. Overnight, another round of storms rolled through eastern Kansas and western Missouri causing flash flooding. That area likely will continue to get rain for the next few days, but little precipitation is expected elsewhere.

Crop conditions, at least for now, remain fairly elevated with corn rated 58% good or excellent and 54% of soybeans earning top ratings, but that could change if rain doesn’t fall in the Midwest. The good news, Streit said, is that the weather is expected to be cool, which could prevent damage.

Still, with crops being planted so late, the lack of growing degree days could impact crops.

On the trade front, President Donald Trump imposed 10% tariffs on $300 billion worth of goods that weren’t previously subject to levies. China said it would have to take more countermeasures as the U.S. commits to increased tariffs on its goods, according to Reuters.

Soybean futures for November delivery gained 5¾¢ to $8.71 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal added $2.30¢ to $302 a short ton, while soybean oil rose 0.09¢ to 28.25¢ a pound.

Corn futures for December delivery gained 2½¢ to $4.05 a bushel overnight.

Wheat for September delivery rose 3¼¢ to $4.79 a bushel, while Kansas City futures added 3¾¢ to $4.19½ a bushel.

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2. Corn, Bean Export Sales Higher Week to Week, While Wheat Sales Drop

Export sales of corn and soybeans were higher week to week but still weren’t stellar, while wheat sales plunged.

Corn sales to overseas buyers rose 18% in the seven days that ended on July 25 to 143,100 metric tons, according to the USDA. Still, that’s down 43% from the prior four-week average.

Mexico was the biggest buyer at 145,000 metric tons, followed by Japan at 74,800 tons, and Taiwan at 15,900 tons. Canada bought 7,300 tons and El Salvador took 3,900 tons. An unknown buyer canceled a shipment for 79,500 tons and Colombia nixed a cargo of 16,400 tons, the agency said.

Sales for delivery in the 2019-2020 marketing year that starts on September 1 totaled 129,600 tons.

Soybean sales that were a net negative last week rose to 143,100 metric tons this week, the USDA said in a report.

Japan bought 67,800 metric tons, China was in for 66,800 tons, Mexico purchased 61,800 tons, Egypt was in for 58,800 tons, and Saudi Arabia took 55,000 tons.

The total would’ve been higher but an unknown customer canceled a shipment of 195,500 metric tons, and Pakistan nixed a cargo of 60,000 tons, according to the report.  

For the 2019-2020 year, sales came in at 305,500 metric tons. China accounted for 68,000 tons of those sales, the government said.

Wheat sales plunged 42% week to week to 383,100 metric tons, which is also down 2% from the prior four-week average.

Brazil was the big buyer at 85,000 metric tons, followed by the Philippines at 71,900 tons, Japan at 51,300 tons, Mexico at 35,500 tons and Taiwan at 30,900 tons. An unknown buyer canceled a shipment for 50,100 metric tons, the USDA said.

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3. Parts of Eastern Kansas Under Water as Excessive Rain Continues

Several roads in and around Abilene, Kansas, are impassable this morning due to flash flooding in the area, according to the National Weather Service.

Flood warnings and watches have been issued in parts of southeastern Nebraska, eastern Kansas, and much of western Missouri. Almost a foot of rain fell Wednesday night into Thursday, which kicked off the flooding, and another round of precipitation hit the area overnight.

Thunderstorms dropped another 2 inches of rain in the region, and an additional 2 inches was expected through early this morning, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

“Several rounds of moderate to heavy rainfall are expected (through Saturday morning),” the agency said in its report. “The best chances for this rainfall will be during the morning hours and again tonight.”

Up to an additional 5 inches of rain, possibly 6 or 7 inches locally, are possible in some eastern Kansas counties. The heavy rain may lead to a “rapid” increase in creek and stream levels.

3 Big Things Today, August 1

Byline:

1. Grains, Soybeans Little Changed in Overnight Trading

Grains and soybeans were little changed in overnight trading as investors weigh mixed weather throughout the Midwest and trade uncertainty between the U.S. and China.

Thunderstorms are bringing rain to parts of the Midwest including Nebraska and western Iowa, though too much rain has fallen in eastern Kansas and western Missouri, which led to flooding overnight.

That compares with a heat wave in the Southern Plains, as temperatures in Oklahoma soar into the triple digits.

On the trade front, meanwhile, talks between the U.S. and China this week fizzled out after the sides traded barbs. On the day the negotiations were set to continue, President Donald Trump said China isn’t buying U.S. agricultural products as promised, essentially saying the Chinese aren’t to be trusted.

China responded by saying the U.S. is reneging on promises it has made in the past.

The talks amounted to a working dinner and a half day of negotiations that ended with no deal in sight. Still, Xinhua news agency said the talks were “frank, highly efficient, and constructive.” More talks are scheduled in coming weeks.

Soybean futures for November delivery lost ¼¢ to $8.81¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal declined 40¢ to $305 a short ton, while soybean oil rose 0.16¢ to 28.39¢ a pound.

Corn futures for December delivery gained 1¾¢ to $4.11¾ a bushel overnight.

Wheat for September delivery rose ¼¢ to $4.87½ a bushel, while Kansas City futures added 2¢ to $4.24¾ a bushel.

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2. Ethanol Production Drops to Three-Month Low While Inventories Surge to Record

Ethanol production fell to the lowest level in three months, while stockpiles surged to a record high last week, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Output in the seven days that ended on July 26 averaged 1.031 million barrels a day, the EIA said in a report.

That’s down from 1.039 million barrels the previous week and the lowest since the week that ended on April 26.

In the Midwest, by far the biggest-producing region, production decreased to an average of 952,000 barrels a day from 961,000 barrels the prior week, the agency said in its report.

That was the entirety of the week to week loss, as Gulf Coast output rose to 24,000 barrels a day, on average, from 23,000 barrels.

East Coast production was unchanged at 25,000 barrels a day, on average, West Coast was unchanged at 16,000 barrels, and Rocky Mountain output was unchanged at an average of 13,000 barrels a day, the EIA said.

Stockpiles, meanwhile, surged to 24.468 million barrels in the week that ended on July 26. That’s up from 23.689 million barrels seven days earlier and the highest on record, according to the EIA.

In other news, the USDA is expected to release its weekly Export Sales Report this morning. Analysts are looking for corn sales of 300,000 to 850,000 metric tons, soybean sales from 100,000 to 700,000 tons, and wheat sales from 300,000 to 600,000 tons, according to researcher Allendale.

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3. Flash Flood Warning Issued Along Kansas-Missouri Border as 10 Inches of Rain Falls

A flash flood warning, flood warnings and flash flood watches are in effect for several counties in eastern Kansas and western Missouri this morning, according to the National Weather Service.

As much as 10 inches of rain fell in the area overnight, indicating flash flooding is occurring, the NWS said in a report early this morning. Another 1 to 2 inches of precipitation are expected in the warned area.

“Showers and thunderstorms have developed this morning across portions of eastern Kansas into western Missouri,” the agency said. “Additional rounds of precipitation are expected over the next several days through early Saturday morning.”

Just south in Oklahoma, a heat advisory is in effect in the center of the state.

Heat index values of up to 107˚F. is expected as temperatures hover around 103˚F. and dewpoints reach the upper 60s, the NWS said.

Outdoor activity isn’t advised if it can be avoided.