Category Archives: Agricultural Exports News

agricultural export

3 Big Things Today, February 15

Byline:

1. Soybeans Higher Overnight on Trade Optimism

Soybeans were higher in overnight trading Friday on optimism that the U.S. and China will be able to come to a trade agreement as another round of talks ends.

Chinese officials cited progress during the negotiations this week, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin called the talks “productive” in a tweet.

Still, no deal was signed with only two weeks to go until a March 1 deadline. It’s still unclear whether the U.S. will delay raising its tariff rate on more than $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, as planned, at the start of next month.

President Donald Trump said this week he would consider delaying implementation of the rate increases, but would prefer not to.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lightizer and Mnuchin are scheduled to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping today, and an Agriculture Department official said the presidents will meet next month. Trump has said he wants to be the one to finalize a trade deal with China.

Soybeans for March delivery rose 4½¢ to $9.08 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal added $1.50 to $307 a short ton, and soy oil declined 0.03¢ to 29.86¢ a pound.

Corn gained 1¢ to $3.75¾ a bushel overnight.

Wheat futures for March delivery lost ½¢ to $5.06½ a bushel, while Kansas City futures declined ¼¢ to $4.81¼ a bushel.

**

2. USDA Reports January 3 Export Sales Ahead of Data Through Mid-February

The USDA will release one large report covering the weeks from January 10 through Februay 14 next Friday as it finally catches up from the 35-day government shutdown.

In the meantime, the government released the weekly Export Sales Report for the week that ended on January 3, and it showed a net reduction in soybeans – more cancellations than new orders – and a decline in corn sales.

Soybeans suffered a net-reduction in sales of 612,000 metric tons, the biggest decline in the marketing year, the USDA said.

First, the good news: Mexico bought 146,100 metric tons of U.S. soybeans, the Netherlands was in for 81,900 tons, Pakistan purchased 72,600 tons, South Korea was in for 60,900 tons, and Germany took 56,600 tons.

China, however, canceled shipments totaling 807,000 metric tons, and an unknown customer nixed cargoes worth 444,000 metric tons, resulting in the net negative for the week, the USDA said.

Corn sales were lower week to week at the start of the year, falling 9% to 459,800 metric tons, which was also a 64% decline from the four-week average, the government said.

Mexico was the big buyer at 175,200 metric tons, Saudi Arabia bought 95,000 tons, Taiwan was in form 73,400 tons, Japan took 39,500 tons, and an unknown buyer purchased 33,500 tons.

Wheat sales fell to a marketing-year low of 131,200 metric tons, down 78% from the previous week and 76% from the previous four-week average.

Mexico was again the biggest buyer at 33,100 tons, the Philippines bought 28,900 tons, Taiwan was in for 19,500 tons, an unknown customer took 17,000 tons, and Nigeria purchased 11,300 tons, the USDA said.

**

3. Large Chunk of Central U.S. Facing Winter Weather Advisories Friday Morning

Winter weather advisories have been issued for a giant chunk of land that stretches from northeastern Washington southeast through western South Dakota into southern Illinois and Indiana, according to the National Weather Service.

In central Nebraska, snow accumulations are expected at about 4 inches today with visibility dropping to about ½ mile at times, the NWS said in a report early Friday morning. Roads are expected to be slippery.

In parts of eastern Kansas and almost all of Missouri, about 2 to 4 inches of snow are forecast with up to 5 inches locally, the agency said. Snowfall rates are pegged at about an inch an hour between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., which will result in quick accumulations on roadways.

“Plan on slippery road conditions and greatly reduced visibilities,” the NWS said. “Hazardous travel conditions are expected to impact the lunchtime and evening commutes.”

North Dakota and parts of South Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa are facing extremely cold wind chills today. Northwestern counties in North Dakota will see the lowest temperatures as the wind chill is forecast as low as -50˚F.

In northern Iowa, meanwhile, wind chills will be from -20˚F. to -30˚F., the agency said.

3 Big Things Today, February 14

Byline:

1. Crop Futures Again Little Changed on Trade News Wait

Soybeans and grains remained little changed overnight as market-watchers continue to wait for any news out of Beijing on the U.S.-China trade talks.

Officials have been tight-lipped as the two-day talks have progressed.

President Donald Trump said yesterday that the talks are going “very well.” Stephen Censky, the undersecretary for the USDA, reportedly said at a renewable fuels conference that Trump will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping next month.

It’s unclear at this point whether the U.S. will raise its tariff rate on more then $200 billion worth of Chinese good on March 1 – the deadline for negotiations to be completed – but Trump said he may be willing to extend the deadline.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin met with Chinese officials including Vice Premier Liu He for another round of trade talks in Beijing this week.

Soybeans for March delivery fell ½¢ to $9.16 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal fell 40¢ to $309.70 a short ton, and soy oil gained 0.09¢ to 30.43¢ a pound.

Corn dropped ¾¢ to $3.78 a bushel overnight.

Wheat futures for March delivery lost 3½¢ to $5.18¾ a bushel, while Kansas City futures declined 1½¢ to $4.92½ a bushel.

**

2. Ethanol Production Jumps in Week Through February 8, Stockpiles Declines to Four-Week Low

Ethanol production jumped in the seven days that ended on February 8, while stockpiles declined, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Output of the biofuel rose to an average of 1.029 million barrels a day, up from 967,000 barrels the previous week and the highest since January 18, the EIA said in a report.

Plants in the Midwest, by far the biggest-producing region, jumped to 959,000 barrels a day, on average, from 893,000 the prior week. Gulf Coast output was steady at 14,000 barrels.

All other regions declined as East Coast production fell to 24,000 barrels a day from 26,000, Rocky Mountain output fell to 13,000 barrels from 14,000, and West Coast production dropped to an average of 19,000 barrels a day from 20,000, the EIA said.

Stockpiles, meanwhile, declined to the lowest level in almost a month.

Inventories of the biofuel were reported at 23.466 million barrels last week, down from 23.947 million seven days earlier, and the lowest level since January 11, according to the government.

Ethanol-maker Green Plains earlier this week said revenue in its fiscal fourth quarter came in at $827.5 million, down from $921 million during the same period a year earlier, missing projections by analysts. Earnings, however, beat expectations at $1.13 a share.

Todd Becker, the chief executive officer of the company, said in its earnings release that he’s confident the new E15 rule will be put in place ahead of summer.

“We remain confident that E15 will be implemented by the administration for the upcoming summer driving season, and exports could get a boost from the U.S. and China resolving the trade issue between the two countries,” Becker said. “The ethanol industry needs demand growth, and both of these initiatives could reduce inventories allowing for a return to a better margin structure for the industry over the next several months.”

**

3. Winter Weather Advisory in Effect in Nebraska, Kansas as Another 4 Inches of Snow Expected

A winter weather advisory is in effect for about the eastern halves of Nebraska and Kansas and a good chunk of northwestern Missouri, according to the National Weather Service.

The area, which has seen extremely cold temperatures and rounds of winter weather, is expected to get another 2 to 4 inches of snow, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

Roads are expected to be slippery and travel may be dangerous.

Farther north, a similar advisory is in effect for eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota. Another inch of snow is forecast in the area along with wind gusts as high as 40 mph, the NWS said.

Wind chills also will be dangerous, falling as low as -35˚F.

“Areas of blowing snow could reduce visibility,” the agency said. “The dangerously cold wind chills could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 10 minutes.”

3 Big Things Today, February 13

Byline:

1. Crop Futures Little Changed as Market-Watchers Await Trade News

Soybeans and grains were little changed overnight as producers, analysts, and traders await news about trade negotiations between the U.S. and China.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin met with Chinese officials including Vice Premier Liu He for another round of trade talks in Beijing. The negotiations are expected to last through the day.

Officials from both sides have expressed optimism about coming to an agreement after talks two weeks ago were successful.

President Donald Trump said yesterday that he may be willing to push back a deadline for a deal beyond the original March 1 cutoff, but said he’d prefer not to. He said last week he wouldn’t be able to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping before the start of March to finalize an accord.

Soybeans for March delivery fell ¾¢ to $9.16½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal was unchanged at $309.20 a short ton, and soy oil lost 0.18¢ to 30.15¢ a pound.

Corn rose ¼¢ to $3.78½ a bushel overnight.

Wheat futures for March delivery gained ¾¢ to $5.20¾ a bushel while Kansas City futures added ¾¢ to $4.92¾ a bushel.

**

2. Money Managers Turned Bearish on Soybeans, Less Bullish on Corn in Week Through Jan. 15

Money managers again turned bearish on soybeans while reducing their bullish bets on corn in the seven days that ended on Jan. 15, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which is still playing catch-up from the 35-day government shutdown.

The CFTC said in January that it will publish two reports a week – one on Tuesday and one on Friday – until they’re current.

Speculators held 16,698 net-short positions, or bets on lower prices, in soybean futures during the week, the agency said in its report. That’s a shift from the 4,714 net-long positions, or bets on higher prices, the previous week.

Investors cut their net longs in corn to 15,694 futures contracts, down considerably from the previous week’s 70,160 futures contracts, government data show.

Fund managers and other large investors had been impressed with soybean purchases by China the prior week, but at the time, concern about exactly how much the Asian nation had bought crept in.

In wheat, speculators increased their bearish stance in hard-red winter futures contracts, holding 14,409 net-short positions, double the prior week’s 7,247, the CFTC said.

Money managers reduced their bearish bets on soft-red winter wheat to 15,708 futures contracts during the week through Jan. 15. That’s down from 16,877 futures contracts the previous week.

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. Michigan Under Winter Weather Advisories, Warnings as Storm Moves East

Michigan is under the gun today as a winter storm that’s moved through the upper Midwest is now hitting the state, according to the National Weather Service.

Additional accumulations of 2 inches on top of what’s already fallen are expected today, and areas of blowing snow will “significantly” curb visibility, the NWS said in a report early this morning. Travel likely will be difficult because of the storm.

Peak wind gusts in parts of Michigan will be around 45 mph, which could lead to power outages and dangerous driving conditions in higher-profile vehicles, the agency said.

In northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula, a winter storm warning has been issued amid increased snowfall and winds that will create slippery road conditions and additional snow accumulations, the NWS said.

In the eastern half of Wisconsin, meanwhile, gusty winds could continue to produce snowdrifts in some areas. That could cover roads and make travel difficult, according to the agency. The winds will diminish throughout the day.

Farmland Sale: Lincoln Land sells for $10,000 per acre

Byline:

The sale of 30 acres of farmland that once belonged to President Abraham Lincoln was the highlight of a farmland auction in Charleston, Illinois Feb. 12. But word is that the complimentary cinnamon rolls and coffee courtesy of auctioneer Michael Stanfield also helped draw in a crowd of 200 people to the auction.

In all, 590 acres (539 tillable acres) sold in a total of 9 tracts. Tracts 1 through 8 were offered individually, and then in multiple tract parcels. Tract 9 was the land formerly owned by President Abraham Lincoln.

Here’s more about Tracts 1-8.

Totaling 560 acres, all of these farms except for a 40 acre tract were contiguous, bordering to the north and east the Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Park in southern Coles County.

The last three years, corn yields have ranged from 190-238 bushels per acre; beans 65-77 bushels per acre across the farm.

The Crop Productivity Index on the farm averages 129.2 (on a 0 to 147 scale) with a range between 100 and 144. Predominant soil types are Fincastle, Toronto and Raub silt loams.

Two tracts have improvements, including 45,000 bushels of grain storage and a machine shed on a 2 acre parcel, and three metal machine sheds on a 70 acre parcel.

There is a history of grid soil samples on the property and in 2017, about 550 tons of lime were spread across the acreage.

Tracts 1-8 sold to an investor, for $3.9 million ($6,964 per acre).

“We were pleased,” Stanfield told Successful Farming in a phone interview after the sale. “Several lenders were present and they all thought it was a good sale.”

The Lincoln Land – 30 acres just east of the State Historic Park – sold separately, for $300,000 ($10,000 per acre). To put that into context, Abraham Lincoln bought the property in 1841 for $200.  In 1989, the Best family bought this 30-acre tract along with 95 additional acres, for $788 per acre.

The Lincoln Land tract has 30 acres, all tillable, featuring Fincastle and Xenia silt loam soils, with a roughly 118 CPI.

Stanfield says it’s likely that the farm’s history helped bolster the selling price. “Without disclosing the people who bid and didn’t get it, two of them wanted it only for that reason,” he says. It sold to an investor.

All the land is free to farm for 2019. The Best Family, which owned the property, chose to dissolve the family farm corporation.

“We were very blessed to sell the property,” Stanfield says. “It was a good day. The sellers were happy and most people went away pleased with how it turned out.”

3 Big Things Today, February 12

Byline:

1. Soybeans, Corn Higher as Investors Eye Trade, Brazil Weather

Soybeans rebounded from yesterday’s losses, rising overnight as investors look to trade talks between the U.S. and China and monitor dry weather in Brazil.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are in Beijing and will meet with Chinese officials including Vice Premier Liu He for another round of trade negotiations.

By all accounts, the trade talks in Washington two weeks ago went well, though officials said there are a lot of issues that need to be worked through.

President Donald Trump said last week he won’t get a chance to meet with China President Xi Jinping before the March 1 deadline, after which the White House has said it will raise its tariff rate to 25% from its current level of 10%.

Still, Mnuchin told reporters he was “looking forward” to several days of talks with China in a bid to hammer out an agreement.

In Brazil, some relief from the recent dry weather is on the way. Weekend rains were near expectations in some growing areas including Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso so Sul, Goias, Minas Gerais, and northern Rio Grande do Sol, forecaster Don Keeney of Radiant Solutions said in a report.

Rains likely will favor some areas later this week, he said.

Soybeans for March delivery rose 4½¢ to $9.09½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal gained $1.40 to $306.30 a short ton, and soy oil added 0.02¢ to 30.26¢ a pound.

Corn rose 2½¢ to $3.75¼ a bushel overnight.

Wheat futures for March delivery fell 1¼ ¢ to $5.17 a bushel, while Kansas City futures lost 1¢ to $4.92¾ a bushel.

**

2. Weekly Corn, Soybean Inspections Decline, Wheat Assessments Improve, USDA Says

Corn and soybean inspections for overseas delivery declined week to week, while wheat assessments were higher, according to the USDA.

Government officials examined 743,536 metric tons of corn over delivery to offshore buyers in the seven days that ended on February. 7, the USDA said in a report. That’s down from 901,214 tons the previous week and 846,524 tons the same week in 2018.

Soybean assessments, meanwhile, declined slightly to 1.06 million metric tons from 1.09 million a week earlier and 1.34 million the previous year, government data show.

Wheat inspections, however, rose to 562,307 metric tons from 442,775 a week earlier. That’s also up from last year’s 499,825 tons, the USDA said.

Corn examinations since the start of the marketing year on September 1 are still well ahead of last year’s pace while soybeans are well behind.

Inspections of corn since the beginning of September totaled 23.2 million tons, up from 15.7 million tons during the same time frame a year earlier, the government said. Soybean examinations are at 22.6 million tons, well behind the year-earlier pace of 36.1 million tons.

Wheat inspections since the start of the grain’s marketing year on June 1 are at 15.4 million metric tons, just behind last year’s pace of 17.1 million, according to the USDA.  

**

3. Iowa, Wisconsin Under Winter Storm Warning, ½ Inch of Ice Expected in Northern Illinois

Iowa and Wisconsin continue to get blasted by a winter storm, while ice storms hit parts of northern Illinois, according to the National Weather Service.

In eastern Iowa and southern Wisconsin, snowfall rates of an inch or 2 an hour are expected throughout the morning, the NWS said in a report overnight.

Visibility will fall to less than ¼ mile at times, an additional 3 inches of snow will fall in parts of Iowa with another 10 inches possible in northern Wisconsin, and northwesterly winds are forecast at 15 to 25 mph with gusts of up to 35 mph, the agency said.

Blowing and drifting snow will be a problem, and travel will remain hazardous into the evening due to the blowing and drifting snow.

In northern Illinois, “significant icing” is expected with accumulations of up to ½ inch, the NWS said. Freezing rain will taper off throughout the morning.

Strong winds are also possible in the area this afternoon and into tonight, which could lead to power outages in affected areas. Road conditions will be slippery and likely will affect commute times, the agency said.

3 Big Things Today, February 11

Byline:

1. Soybeans, Corn Little Changed Ahead of U.S.-China Meeting

Soybeans and corn were little changed in overnight trading ahead of this week’s meetings between U.S. and China trade negotiators.

A delegation from the U.S. including Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will meet with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He today and tomorrow.

Talks almost two weeks ago starring the same players went fairly well by all accounts, though there’s been less movement than expected. President Donald Trump said last week it’s unlikely that he’ll meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping before the March 1 trade deadline.

At this point, it’s unknown whether the U.S. will raise its tariff rate on more than $200 billion worth of Chinese goods if an agreement isn’t hammered out before the beginning of March.

Soybeans for March delivery fell 1¢ to $9.13½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal gained 50¢ to $306.60 a short ton, and soy oil declined 0.37¢ to 30.60¢ a pound.

Corn dropped ¾¢ to $3.73¼ a bushel overnight.

Wheat futures for March delivery fell 3¾¢ to $5.13½ a bushel, while Kansas City futures lost 2¾¢ to $4.91½ a bushel.

**

2. Investors Increase Net-Long Positions in Corn, Bullish Beans First Week of January

Money managers increased their net-long positions, or bets on higher prices, in corn while turning bullish on soybeans in the week that ended on January 8, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission said in a report as it continues to play catch-up after the partial government shutdown that ended late last month.

Investors held a net 70,160 long positions in corn futures at the end of the first full week in January, up from 49,188 contracts the previous week, the CFTC said in a report.

The agency is releasing two reports a week – on Tuesdays and Fridays – until it’s caught up after the 35-day shutdown, the longest in U.S. history.

Large funds and other speculators held 4,714 net-long positions in soybeans, a shift from holding a net 14,295 net-short positions, or bets on lower prices, the previous week, the CFTC said.

It’s likely investors became bullish on soybeans after signs in the middle to late December that China was living up to its promise made on December 1 to purchase more U.S. agricultural products.

Speculators still had a bearish position in hard red winter wheat, holding a net 7,247 short positions, up from 4,656 futures contracts the previous week, the CFTC said.

In soft red winter wheat, investors were net short by 16,877 futures contracts, down from 34,302 contracts seven days earlier.

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. More Winter Storms Hitting the Midwest, Parts of Iowa, Wisconsin to See 9 Inches of Snow

Another winter storm is hitting the Midwest as parts of Iowa, Wisconsin, and a few counties in southeastern Minnesota are under a winter storm warning, according to the National Weather Service.

As much as 9 inches of snow are expected in parts of the affected region, and wind gusts are forecast to be around 35 mph, the agency said. Travel will be hazardous, as blowing snow may “significantly” reduce visibility.

“Heavy snow will impact the area tonight through Tuesday,” the NWS said in a report early this morning. “The highest snow rates and heavier accumulations are expected late tonight through noon Tuesday. Blowing and drifting snow are also likely across open and unsheltered areas Tuesday into Tuesday night.”

In much of Nebraska and northern Kansas, a winter weather advisory is in effect, as freezing drizzle and snow are in the forecast.

The drizzle will result in ice accumulations of up to a tenth of an inch with a light dusting of snow on top, the agency said. The adverse weather will make travel dangerous, the NWS said.

3 Big Things Today, February 8

Byline:

1. Soybeans, Grains Rebound on Bargain Hunting

Soybeans and grains were modestly higher after yesterday’s sell-off, as bargain hunters are more optimistic about trade than their bearish counterparts.

Beans lost almost 9¢, corn was down more than 3¢, and wheat lost about 13¢ on Thursday on skepticism about a trade deal between the U.S. and China. President Trump yesterday confirmed a report that he likely won’t meet with China President Xi Jinping before the March 1 deadline.

Still, advisers continue to say the president is optimistic about a trade deal. Talks last week in Washington went well, government officials on both sides said.

U.S. Trade Representative and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are headed to Beijing next week to continue the high-level talks, but Trump has said he will be the one who makes a final deal.

It’s now unclear whether the U.S. will raise its tariff rate on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25% from their current level of 10% if no trade deal is made by the deadline.

Soybeans for March delivery rose 1¢ to $9.14¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal gained $1.40 to $306.90 a short ton, and soy oil fell 0.2¢ to 30.61¢ a pound.

Corn added 1¼¢ to $3.77¾ a bushel overnight.

Wheat futures for March delivery rose 2½¢ to $5.15¾ a bushel, while Kansas City futures gained 1¢ to $4.97¼ a bushel.

**

2. USDA Releases Export Sales Report For End of December; Corn, Bean Sales Decline

The USDA is back to reporting export sales on a weekly basis, releasing its report for the week that ended on December 27.

Corn sales during the week totaled 503,100 metric tons, down 70% from the previous week and 65% from the prior four-week average, the government said.

Mexico was the big buyer at 159,000 metric tons, followed by Colombia at 154,600 tons, and Peru at 152,500 tons, the USDA said. South Korea was in for 72,800 tons, and Guatemala took 40,200 tons. An unknown customer canceled a shipment for 133,700 tons, and Thailand nixed a cargo of 24,000 tons.

Soybean sales totaled 1.05 million metric tons in the seven days through December 27, down 56% from the previous week and 39% from the average.

China was back in the mix, taking 808,000 tons. Spain bought 171,300 tons, the Netherlands took 84,500 tons, Egypt purchased 52,400 tons, and Bangladesh was in for 60,800 tons. An unknown country canceled a purchase of 384,500 tons, the USDA said.

Wheat sales were the sole gainer of the big three crops, rising 15% week to week and 3% from the average to 593,000 metric tons at the end of December.

Mexico bought 135,300 tons, the Philippines took 75,800 tons, Peru purchased 70,000 tons, Indonesia was in for 68,000 tons, and Iraq bought 50,000 tons. Malaysia canceled a cargo for 14,700 tons, according to the government.

The USDA will release its report for the week through January 3 next Thursday and then will have a combined report for the January 10 to February 14 period on February 22.

**

3. Dangerous Wind Chills Return as North Dakota Expected to See -60˚F. Today

Dangerous wind chills are back as all of North Dakota and parts of Montana, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa are under warnings, according to the National Weather Service.  

In North Dakota, wind chills this morning are expected to be as low as -60˚F., the NWS said in a report early this morning. The cold weather will persist with wind chills as low as -40˚F. through Saturday morning.

Temperatures that low can cause frostbite in as little as five minutes.

In northern Iowa, the wind chills are expected to fall to around -35˚F. today, the agency said.

A wind chill advisory is in effect for surrounding states including Nebraska, the rest of Iowa, Wisconsin, and parts of northern Illinois, according to the NWS.

Farther east, flood warnings have been issued for much of central Indiana this morning. Up to 4 inches of rain fall in a short time Thursday, which combined with precipitation on Wednesday resulted in widespread flooding.

The good news is that the water is expected to recede today, the agency said.

3 Big Things Today, February 7

Byline:

1. Wheat Lower Ahead of USDA Reports Friday

Wheat futures were lower in overnight trading ahead of Friday’s data dump from the USDA and on a stronger dollar that may curb demand.

The USDA will release two months’ worth of supply and demand estimates tomorrow along with winter wheat seedings, quarterly grain stocks, and export sales that all were delayed due to the government shutdown.

Producers, analysts, and traders will be watching the reports closely for clues about what’s been happening and what the government thinks is going to happen.

The dollar, meanwhile, has risen steadily since the start of February, which could curb demand for U.S. grain. A strong greenback reduces purchasing power for overseas buyers, who often turn to alternative suppliers when it strengthens.

Corn and soybeans were little changed overnight.

Wheat futures for March delivery fell 4½¢ to $5.21½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade, while Kansas City futures lost 4½¢ to $5.04¾ a bushel.

Soybeans for March delivery declined 1½¢ to $9.20¼ a bushel overnight. Soy meal lost 60¢ to $308.40 a short ton, and soy oil rose 0.02¢ to 30.92¢ a pound.

Corn lost ¼¢ to $3.79¾ a bushel overnight

**

2. Ethanol Production Falls to Lowest Level in Almost 16 Months as Midwest Output Plunges

Ethanol production in the week that ended on February 1 fell to the lowest level in almost 16 months while stockpiles were down slightly.

Output of the biofuel declined to 967,000 barrels a day, on average, last week, according to the Energy Information Administration. That’s the lowest since the week that ended on October 6, 2017, when production also averaged 967,000 barrels a day.

The last time output was below that level was in October 2016, EIA data show.

Production in the Midwest, by far the biggest-producing area, plunged to 893,000 barrels a day, on average, from 942,000 barrels the previous week. West Coast output was unchanged at 20,000 barrels a day.

On the East Coast, producers kicked out 26,000 barrels a day, up from 25,000 the previous week, Gulf Coast ethanol plants increased output to 14,000 barrels a day, up from 12,000, and in the Rocky Mountains, production was up to 14,000 barrels a day from 13,000 the previous week, the EIA said in a report.

Stockpiles also declined, falling to 23.947 million barrels in the week through February 1 from 23.98 million seven days earlier, the government said. Still, that’s the second-highest total since March behind only last week.

**

3. Blizzard Warning in Effect For Minnesota, Wisconsin Under Winter Storm Warning

A blizzard warning is in effect in a line down the Minnesota borders with North Dakota and South Dakota, while a winter storm warning is in effect for pretty much all of Wisconsin and parts of Michigan, according to the National Weather Service.

In western Minnesota and the eastern Dakotas, snowfall totals are pegged from 3 to 5 inches, the NWS said in a report early this morning. Winds will pick up later this morning, creating blizzard conditions by late afternoon that will last into the evening.

Wind chills are expected to fall as low as -40˚F. tonight and tomorrow morning, the agency said.

In Wisconsin, as much as 10 inches of snow are expected north of Wausau. The heaviest precipitation is forecast for late this morning into the afternoon hours, when snow is expected to fall at a rate of an inch or two per hour.

Heavy sleet and freezing rain are expected in the Fox Valley and Lakeshore counties, which will make travel dangerous, the NWS said.

Lincoln’s Land in Coles County, Illinois, to Sell at Auction February 12

Byline:

An interesting bit of history comes up for sale February 12 in Charleston, Illinois.

One parcel of a nine-tract, 590-acre land auction in Coles County is a 30-acre tract that used to be owned by Abraham Lincoln.

Yes, the Abraham Lincoln – the 16th president of the United States.

Scott Wingert, who operates the auction sale bill website Midwest Auction, wrote an interesting blog post about the upcoming sale, which is being conducted by one of his friends, Michael Stanfield of Stanfield Auction.

In short, before Abraham Lincoln became president, he bought 40 acres for his father, Thomas, paying $200 for the lot. He leased the land back to his father for $1 for the rest of his father’s life.

According to Wingert’s blog post, the Best family bought 30 of those acres at a foreclosure auction in January 1989. In all, they bought 125 acres that day, for $98,500 total.

The Lincoln Land

In a phone interview, Stanfield says the upcoming sale has been heavily advertised. The whole package is good farmland, but the aura surrounding the Lincoln parcel is significant. Will that single parcel have extra value due to its historical significance?

“I really feel like, from the interest I have had, there could be,” Stanfield told Successful Farming magazine in a phone interview. “It lays almost totally adjacent to the Lincoln Log Cabin in Illinois State Park.”

According to Ron Best, one of the five siblings who owns Best Farms, Inc., the 30-acre tract his family bought in 1989 was originally part of a 40-acre piece Abraham Lincoln bought in 1841. Ten acres of that tract were split off that piece, with 6 acres becoming part of the Illinois State Park and 4 acres put into a trust.

The Best family bought the land 30 years ago because it is contiguous to the rest of the family farm. The truth is, the land’s primary value is growing corn and soybeans. It isn’t as if Abraham Lincoln’s top hat will be auctioned off, Best points out. “Thirty acres can’t sit on a shelf,” he says. “From my standpoint, it doesn’t have a lot of extra value” because of who owned it.

That doesn’t mean the Best family doesn’t appreciate the historic significance of the property. Actually, the Lincolns and the Bests go back several generations. Thomas Lincoln (Abraham’s father) and Sarah Bush (Abraham’s stepmother) came to Coles County, Illinoi,s from Kentucky. The Best family emigrated from the same area.

“They were close neighbors and the families interacted,” says Best, whose great-grandfather was 12 years old when Abraham Lincoln came through Coles County and stopped at the grade school on his way to Washington, D.C. where he was set to take office as the nation’s president. “My great-grandfather was one of the kids who shook his hands,” Best adds.

Still, based on Best's research, Abraham Lincoln had little to do with Coles County, despite his father and stepmother living there. “According to one account I read, family members were begging Abraham to see his father the last two years prior to his father’s death,” Best says. “He never did.”

Upon Thomas Lincoln’s death in 1851, the lease was transferred to Abraham’s stepbrother, John D. Johnston. Best has a copy of the original deed, as the original is locked away in the Coles County Courthouse.

About the Soil

The Best family is selling the farm simply because the five siblings are ready to retire and liquidate the family corporation.

In a phone interview, Stanfield says he is privileged to sell the Bests’ land.

Ron Best is a “lifelong friend,” he says. “I’m honored to sell the property.”

The land auction – which happens to be on Lincoln’s birthday in a hotel on Lincoln Avenue in downtown Charleston – will feature high-quality land, which Stanfield rates as “very good Class B.”

The entire package is nearly 100% contiguous, with the exception of a 40-acre parcel ½ mile north of the rest of the property. The last three years, corn yields have ranged from 190 to 238 bushels per acre; beans have ranged from 65 to 77 bushels per acre across the farm.

The Crop Productivity Index on the farm across all 590 acres averages 129.2 (on a 0 to 147 scale) with a range between 100 and 144. Predominant soil types are Fincastle, Toronto, and Raub silt loams.

Two tracts have improvements, including 45,000 bushels of grain storage and a machine shed on a 2-acre parcel, and three metal machine sheds on a 70-acre parcel.

There is a history of grid soil samples on the property, and in 2017, about 550 tons of lime were spread across the acreage.

Due to the significance of the property, Stanfield expects a good crowd on Tuesday. As for the Best family, the end of an era means the family members can have a good life.

“We have a long connection to the ground, but it’s just business,” Best says.

3 Big Things Today, February 6

Byline:

1. Soybeans, Grains Barely Move After State of the Union

Soybeans and grains were barely lower in overnight trading as the State of the Union address by President Donald Trump last night didn’t provide much outlook on trade.

In his speech, the president said he has “great respect for President Xi (Jinping of China)” and that the countries – the world’s two largest economies – are working on a trade deal. Any agreement must include “structural” change that will end what he called unfair trade practices, reduce the trade deficit, and protect American jobs.

Trump reiterated what he’s already said, while analysts were looking for more concrete plans from the president.

On the positive side, however, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are scheduled to head to Beijing to continue talks later this month, potentially ahead of a meeting between Trump and Xi when a final agreement would be signed.

Talks last week that lasted two days in Washington, by all accounts, went well with both U.S. and Chinese officials expressing optimism about the possibility of coming to an agreement on trade.

Soybeans for March delivery fell ¾¢ to $9.19½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal gained 10¢ to $309.60 a short ton, and soy oil lost 0.03¢ to 30.35¢ a pound.

Corn lost ¾¢ to $3.80 a bushel overnight

Wheat for March delivery rose ¼¢ to $5.27½ a bushel, while Kansas City futures fell ¾¢ to $5.10½ a bushel.

**

2. Money Managers More Bearish Across The Board in Week Through December 31, CFTC Says

Money managers cut their net-long positions, or bets on higher prices, in corn by almost half in the week that ended on December 31 while increasing their bearish bets on soybeans.

Speculators were net long by 49,188 corn futures contracts at the end of last year, down from 90,880 contracts the prior week, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

That was the smallest such position in four weeks, said the CFTC, which is now playing catch-up after the longest partial government shutdown in history that lasted 35 days.

The agency said it will release two Commitment of Traders Reports each week until caught up – one on Tuesday and one on Friday.

Investors held 14,295 net-short positions, or bets on lower prices, in soybean futures in the seven days through December 31. That’s up from 3,239 futures contracts the previous week and the biggest net-short position since November 27, according to the CFTC.

In wheat, money managers held 4,656 net-short positions in hard red winter contracts, up from 142 futures contracts the previous week. That’s the biggest bear position in hard red winter since November 27, the agency said.

Speculators were net short by 34,302 soft red winter wheat futures contracts during the week, up from 18,325 contracts seven days earlier and also the biggest such position since November 27, according to the government.

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. Large Storm Likely to Impact Much of Central U.S. as Freezing Rain, Snow Forecast

A very large storm stretching from Utah to the northeastern U.S. and from the Canadian border to southern Oklahoma is expected to bring snow, ice, and strong winds, according to the National Weather Service.

A winter weather advisory is in effect for much of the region.

In southwestern Kansas, freezing drizzle is expected today and tonight with ice accumulations of a few hundredths of an inch, the NWS said in a report early this morning. Areas of dense freezing fog will make roads slick and reduce visibility.

The drizzle will turn to snow later today, which will further reduce visibility as strong winds are likely as well, the agency said.

In eastern Nebraska and western Iowa, a mix of freezing drizzle and sleet is expected to develop before changing to snow. The snow will last into Thursday mornings with an inch of accumulation expected. Wind gusts, however, will be around 40 mph.

In northeastern Iowa, southwestern Wisconsin, and northern Illinois, a mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain is expected this afternoon.

“This wintry mix will then spread across the remainder of the area during the early evening, transitioning to mainly freezing rain tonight and then all snow on Thursday,” the NWS said. “This will result in slick travel from the evening commute into Thursday.”

3 Big Things Today, February 5

Byline:

1. Soybeans, Grains Little Changed on Trade Uncertainty

Soybeans and grains were again little changed in the overnight session on uncertainty about a trade deal with China.

Talks last week that lasted two days in Washington by all accounts went well with both U.S. and Chinese officials expressing optimism about the possibility of coming to an agreement on trade. Since then, however, some skepticism has been expressed from both sides.

White House Economic Adviser Kevin Hassett told CNBC that there’s still a lot of work to be done but that President Donald Trump still wants a deal in place by March 1.

If one isn’t reached by then, however, Trump has said the U.S. will raise its tariff rate on more than $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25% from 10%.

At this point, Hassett said, it’s unclear exactly how much progress was made during last week’s negotiations. Still, Reuters reported that Chinese state buyers purchased 1 million metric tons of soybeans, an announcement touted by Trump as China acting in good faith.

Soybeans for March delivery rose ½¢ to $9.19 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal fell 50¢ to $310.10 a short ton, and soy oil gained 0.03¢ to 30.16¢ a pound.

Corn added ¼¢ to $3.79½ a bushel overnight

Wheat for March delivery declined ½¢ to $5.25¼ a bushel, while Kansas City futures rose ¼¢ to $5.10¾ a bushel.

**

2. Corn Inspections Decline Week to Week While Bean, Wheat Assessments Increase

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

Corn examined by the USDA for shipment of global importers totaled 901,214 metric tons in the seven days that ended on January 31, the government said in a report. That’s down from 968,585 tons the previous week and 1.09 million tons during the same week last year.

Soybean inspections were reported at 975,775 metric tons, up from 943,480 tons the prior week, but well below the 1.3 million tons inspected at the same time in 2018, the USDA said.

Wheat assessments totaled 440,031 metric tons, up from 367,604 tons the previous week and 429,602 tons last year.

Corn inspections since the start of the marketing year on September 1 stayed well ahead of their year-earlier pace, according to the government. The USDA has inspected 22.5 million metric tons of the grain for overseas shipment, well ahead of last year’s pace of 14.9 million tons.

Soybean inspections, however, are still well behind their year-earlier pace. Government officials have assessed 21.5 million metric tons of the oilseeds for offshore delivery, down from 34.7 million at this time in 2018, according to the agency.

Wheat inspections since the start of the grain’s marketing year on June 1 are at 14.8 million metric tons, behind the 16.6 million tons inspected during the same time frame last year.

**

3. Ice Storm Warning in Effect For Eastern Iowa, Northern Illinois as Freezing Rain Forecast

An ice storm warning is in effect for parts of southeastern Iowa and pretty much all of northern Illinois above Interstate 80 this morning, according to the National Weather Service.

“A winter storm will spread freezing rain and sleet across the area this afternoon and tonight,” the NWS said in a report early this morning. “Ice accumulations over ¼ inch are likely across most of eastern Iowa, northern and west-central Illinois, and far northeast Missouri.”

Snow and sleet also will fall with about 110 to 210  of an inch expected in parts of eastern Iowa and northern Illinois.

A winter weather advisory has been issued for almost all of Michigan as freezing rain, sleet, and snow are expected today, the agency said.

Wind chills will fall to 5˚F., and snow accumulations of up to 1 inch are forecast along with ice buildup of 310 of an inch, the NWS said.

3 Big Things Today, February 4

Byline:

1. Soybeans, Grains Little Changed on China Trade, Brazil Weather

Soybeans and grains were little changed as investors weight positive China trade news with moderating weather in Brazil.

Chinese importers reportedly purchased U.S. supplies the day after trade talks between the world’s two largest economies ended. Reuters said China bought more than 1 million metric tons from U.S. supplies.

Rain fell at the end of last week, favoring northwest Mato Grosso, northwestern Mato Grosso do Sul, eastern Santa Catarina, and central Mato Grosso do Sul, all areas where corn and beans are produced, Radiant Solutions said in a report.

Rains are expected to favor those regions through Tuesday. Rainfall that’s been forecast for northwestern growing areas of the country will improve soil moisture in the area, the forecaster said.

Soybeans for March delivery fell 1¢ to $9.16¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal gained 60¢ to $312.40 a short ton, and soy oil fell 0.18¢ to 29.71¢ a pound.

Corn fell ¼¢ to $3.78 a bushel overnight

Wheat for March delivery declined 1½¢ to $5.22¾ a bushel, while Kansas City futures lost ¾¢ to $5.08 a bushel.

**

2. CFTC Releases December 28 Commitment of Traders Report, Will Send Two Reports a Week

The weekly Commitment of Traders Report from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission is back, though it will be released on a delayed basis as the agency plays catch up after the partial government shutdown that lasted 35 days.

The CFTC released its December 28 report on Friday, for data through December 24, and said it will release one report on Tuesdays and one on Fridays until they’re current.

For the week that ended on December 28, net-long positions in corn plunged and soybean investors turned bearish, according to the agency.

Speculative investors held 90,880 net-long corn futures contracts during the week, down from 124,427 contracts seven days earlier, CFTC data show. That’s still the second-highest level since May behind only the previous week.

Money managers, however, turned bearish on soybeans.

Investors held a net-short position, or bets on lower prices, of 3,239 soybean futures contracts during the last full week of December, the agency said.  Speculators were net long by 13,166 futures contracts the previous week.

Still, they were only bullish on beans for a week after being bearish the previous 27 weeks.

In wheat, money managers were bearish on hard red winter wheat for the first time in three weeks, holding 142 net-short positions through December 28. That’s down from a net-long position of 3,908 contracts the previous week.

Speculators were net short by 18,325 soft red winter wheat futures contracts as of December 28, up from 3,612 such positions seven days earlier, 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. Winter Storm Warning in Parts of North Dakota, Minnesota as Wind Chills Hit -40˚F.

A winter storm warning is in effect for much of northern North Dakota and Minnesota, while a winter storm watch is in effect into Wisconsin, according to the National Weather Service.

Total accumulations of snow in areas affected by the winter storm warning are forecast around 6 inches, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

Wind gusts will be around 35 mph, which likely will result in blowing snow and reduced visibility, the agency said. Wind chills will be close to -40˚F. Roads will be slippery and travel is not advised.

Farther east, a winter weather advisory is in effect for parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin where snow accumulations of up to 3 inches are expected along with a tenth of an inch of ice, the NWS said.

Roads also will be slippery in the region, which may make travel dangerous.

3 Big Things Today, February 1

Byline:

1. Soybeans Surge Overnight on Positive Trade Talks

Soybeans jumped overnight after Chinese state-run news agencies said trade talks the past two days with the U.S. went well, and on reports that the Asian nation agreed to buy more American agricultural products.

Xinhua, China’s official state news agency, said Friday that “important progress” was made during the negotiations. Beijing said it will expand imports of U.S. ag products, service and industrial products, the news agency report.

President Donald Trump said late Thursday that he plans to meet with President Xi Jinping later this month in Beijing to seal a deal that would end the tit-for-tat tariff battle between the world’s two largest economies.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the talks moved the conversation forward.

Negotiators have until March 1 to come to an agreement or tariffs on more than $200 billion worth of Chinese goods would rise to 25% from their current level of 10%, Trump said. China would likely retaliate with trade barriers of its own.

Soybeans for March delivery rose 8¼¢ to $9.23½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal gained $3.10 to $313.10 a short ton, and soy oil fell 0.10¢ to 30.07¢ a pound.

Corn added 1½¢ to $3.78 a bushel overnight

Wheat for March delivery were up 2¾¢ to $5.19¼ a bushel while Kansas City futures gained 2½¢ to $5.01½ a bushel.

**

2. USDA Begins Playing Catch-Up, Releases Export Sales Report From Week Through Dec. 20

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has started the long and arduous task of getting caught up on its weekly export sales report, releasing data from the week that ended on Dec. 20 and setting a schedule for when each report will finally come out.

The partial government shutdown that lasted 35 days – by far the longest on record – kept government agencies from operating at their full capacity. The USDA was no exception as everything from the monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report in January to the daily and weekly export sales reports were put on hold.

Export sales for the week that ended on Dec. 20 were reported yesterday, showing corn sales of 1.7 million metric tons, which was down 14% from the previous week but up 28% from the prior four-week average.

Soybean sales that week totaled 2.39 million metric tons, which was down 16% week-to-week but up 92% from the average. China jumped back into the market and bought 1.47 million metric tons of the total. That would indicate Beijing made good on its promise to buy more American agricultural products.

Wheat sales in the seven days through Dec. 20 totaled 526,300 metric tons, which was up 68% from the prior week but down 2% from the four-week average, the USDA said.  

The report for the seven days through Dec. 27 will be published on Feb. 7, the report for Jan. 3 will be on Feb. 14 and a combined report for the weeks ending Jan. 10 through Feb. 14 will be published on Feb. 22, according to the agency.

Regular reporting will resume in the week that ends on Feb. 22, barring another government shutdown.

**

3. Temperatures Expected to Rise Through Weekend, Some Winter Weather Sticking Around

Break out the board shorts and tank tops, it’s going to be a balmy 19 in parts of eastern Iowa and northern Illinois this afternoon.

Temperatures in much of the upper Midwest finally moved higher as the polar vortex  moved out of the region after two days of extreme cold. Wind chills during the weather event reached as low as minus-60 degrees in some areas, according to the National Weather Service.

The weather is expected to moderate through Monday, with temperatures expected to reach a high of almost 50 degrees in northern Illinois to start next week.

There’s still some winter weather aimed at the Corn Belt. Fog and freezing drizzle are expected in parts of northern Illinois, east-central Iowa and northeastern Missouri late Saturday night, though with temperatures warming that will turn to drizzle or light rain, the agency said.

Further east, portions of central Indiana and central Ohio likely will see snow accumulations of up to 6 inches as winter weather hits the region. A winter weather advisory remains in effect until 10 a.m. Road conditions are expected to be slippery, the NWS said.

3 Big Things Today, January 31

Byline:

1. Soybeans Modestly Higher Overnight as Trade Talks Continue

Soybeans were cautiously higher while grains were little changed as trade talks between the U.S. and China enter their second day.

A Chinese delegation led by Vice Premier Liu He met with an American team led by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in a bid to come to an agreement on several issues including intellectual property, the widening U.S. deficit to China, and agriculture.

Liu is scheduled to meet with President Donald Trump today.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said before the negotiations that he believes “significant progress” can be made this week, though Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said last week that he doesn’t believe a deal will be hammered out as the countries are “miles and miles” apart on several issues.

Negotiators have until early March to come to an agreement or the Trump administration has said it will raise tariffs on more than $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25% from their current level of 10%. China would likely retaliate with trade barriers of its own.

Soybeans for March delivery rose 2¾¢ to $9.23¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal gained $1.30 to $312.40 a short ton, and soy oil declined 0.09¢ to 30.33¢ a pound.

Corn fell ½¢ to $3.80¾ a bushel overnight

Wheat for March delivery lost 1¼¢ to $5.15½ a bushel, while Kansas City futures declined 1¾¢ to $5.00½ a bushel.

**

2. Ethanol Production Falls to Lowest in Three Weeks, Stockpiles Rise to Highest Since October

Ethanol production in the seven days that ended on January 25 declined to the lowest level in three weeks, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Output last week averaged 1.012 million barrels a day in the U.S., the EIA said in a report. That’s down from 1.031 million the previous week and the lowest since January 4.

Midwestern production, by far the biggest in the country, declined to an average of 942,000 barrels a day from 957,000 barrels, the agency said. That’s also the lowest since the first week of January.

Gulf Coast output fell to 12,000 barrels a day from 16,000 barrels, and ethanol-makers in the Rocky Mountain region decreased production by 1,000 to 13,000 barrels a day, on average, the EIA said.

On the East Coast, output averaged 25,000 barrels a day, up from 24,000 a week earlier, and on the West Coast, production was unchanged at 20,000 barrels a day.

Inventories, meanwhile, jumped to the highest level since October.

Ethanol stockpiles totaled 23.98 million barrels last week, up from 23.501 million seven days earlier and the highest since October 12, the EIA said.

In other ethanol news, Mike Dwyer, the chief economist for the U.S. Grains Council, said at the Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit in Altoona, Iowa, that he expects ethanol exports to reach a record 4 billion gallons in 2020.

If his forecast comes to fruition, that would be more than double the current record of 1.62 billion gallons set in the 2017-2018 marketing year that ended on August 31.

China, which now has a 70% tariff on ethanol, is a target, as it needs to increase its imports if it wants to meet its self-imposed mandate to blend 10% ethanol into its gasoline by 2020, Dwyer said.

**

3. Deep Freeze Continues as Polar Vortex Moves Slightly North, East; Wind Chills at -45˚F.

The deep freeze continues as wind chill warnings are still in effect in the northern U.S., though the cold has shifted to the north and east a bit.

Warnings continue from central North Dakota south into central Illinois and Indiana and into northeastern states, according to the National Weather Service.

In northern Illinois and Indiana, “dangerously” cold wind chills are expected today, reaching as low as -45˚F., the NWS said in a report early this morning. The warning in the area is in effect until noon.

In western Michigan, along the coast of Lake Michigan, a winter storm warning is in effect along with the wind chill warning. Up to 2 inches of snow will accumulate in the area today, and wind chills will fall to -35˚F. The lake-effect snow will reduce visibility to as little as a half mile today, the agency said.

In north-central Ohio, wind chills will be as low as -25˚F. today, which warnings in effect until 4 p.m., according to the NWS.

Farmland Sales: Western Illinois Land Tops $10,100 Per Acre

Byline:

Judging by his obituary, James Kettelkamp’s life was well-lived. The Stronghurst, Illinois, farmer served in the Army Air Corps in World War II and the Korean Conflict, after which he farmed and worked for the Illinois Department of Agriculture. He and his wife, Jeanne, had three children. He was devoted to his family and their church, until he died in 2012 at age 87. Jeanne, a homemaker, school cook, and childcare provider, died in December, 2018.

On Jan. 29, the Kettelkamp Trust sold the family’s 238.20 acres of Class A farmland, in Henderson County, west-central Illinois.

Auctioneer Van Adkisson says these high-quality tracts are the kind of sale that draws a number of potential buyers. There were 18 registered bidders, seven of whom participated in the sale.

In the end, one local farm family bought all three tracts, Adkisson says.

The land sold even though it will be tied up in a $325-per-acre cash lease for 2019. That did not hinder the selling price, Adkisson says.

Tract Acres Selling Price Average
1 80.38 $827,914 $10,300
2 82.82 $853,046 $10,300
3 75 $727,500 $9,700
Average $2.408 million $10,111

The land is in line with what Adkisson thought it would bring. Here’s the per-tract information:

  • Tract 1, 80.38 acres 2 miles east of Stronghurst, has 77 tillable acres with the balance in waterway. Soil types are Muscatune and Osco silt loam, with a Productivity Index of 143.9 (based on a 116 to 147 scale). Property tax is $44.57 per acre. It sold for $827,914 ($10,300 per acre).
  • Tract 2, 82.82 acres located just north of Tract 1, is all tillable except for two small grass waterways. Soil types include Muscatune and Osco silt loam, with a PI of 143.2. Property tax is $42.90 per acre. It sold for $853,046 ($10,300 per acre).
  • Tract 3, 75 acres, is all tillable except for a small waterway. It has Muscatune, Osco, and Greenbush soils with a PI of 141.6. Property tax on this tract is $42.90 per acre. It sold for $727,500 ($9,700 per acre).

Combined, the sale netted $2.408 million, or $10,111 per acre.

Other sales of interest:

Iowa, Calhoun County: Two tracts totaling 120 acres southwest of Somers (central Iowa) sold Jan. 29. Tract 1, 120 acres, has Canisteo, Nicollet, and Webster soils, with a Corn Suitability Rating 2 of 82.81. The farm is open for 2019. Real estate tax per acre is $24.82. Improvements to the farm include two grain bins; one 36-foot and one 24-foot. It sold for $1.032 million ($8,600 per acre). Tract 2, 80 acres next to Tract 1, has Canisteo, Clarion, and Nicollet soils, with a CSR 2 of 83.02. It sold for $760,000 ($9,500 per acre). Hertz Farm Management had the sale.

Minnesota, Cottonwood County: Below-0 temperatures didn’t keep spirited bidding from occurring Jan. 30 in Windom (southwest Minnesota). Dan Pike and Associates Auction Company sold two tracts totaling 240 acres. Tract 1, 80 acres, east of Windom, has mostly Clarion Loam and Webster Clay loam soils, with a 93.8 Productivity Index (based on a scale of 0 to 100). It sold for $792,000 ($9,900 per acre). Tract 2, 160 acres .5 mile south of Tract 1, has mostly Nicollet clay loam and Clarion loam soils, with an estimated PI of 92.1. It sold for $1.04 million ($6,500 per acre). Auctioneer Dan Pike says both tracts sold at or above presale expectations.  

3 Big Things Today, January 30

Byline:

1. Soybeans, Grains Slightly Higher Ahead of Trade Talks

Soybeans and grains were slightly higher as trade talks begin with China today.

Vice Premier Liu He and a delegation of Chinese trade officials are in Washington today and tomorrow for talks with U.S. officials including Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

The sides likely will discuss ongoing trade issues regarding intellectual property, the U.S. trade deficit to China, and agriculture during the two-day talks.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has said he doesn’t expect an agreement this week as the sides are still too far apart on several issues. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, meanwhile, told Fox Business that he expects “significant progress” on some issues including technology transfer this week.

The U.S. and China have a temporary deal agreed upon by President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping in early December under which Washington has delayed raising tariff rates to 25% from 10% and Beijing agreed to purchase more agricultural products and curb levies on American automobiles.

Soybeans for March delivery rose 2¢ to $9.21 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal gained 70¢ to $312.50 a short ton, and soy oil declined 0.09¢ to 30.20¢ a pound.

Corn rose 1¾¢ to $3.79 a bushel overnight

Wheat for March delivery added 1¾¢ to $5.15 a bushel, while Kansas City futures gained 3¢ to $5.03¼ a bushel.

**

2. South American Soybean Production Woes May Lead to Increased Demand For U.S. Supplies

South American weather woes likely will mean more demand for U.S. soybeans, analyst Oil World said in a report yesterday.

The Hamburg-based company said it expects exportable South American supplies to decline in 2019, and the U.S. should be the beneficiary, according to media reports.

Hot, dry weather has curbed production in many growing areas in Brazil. About a fourth of the soybean and corn crops, a third of cotton, half of sugar, and two thirds of coffee will be negatively affected by the drought, Commodity Weather Group said.

In Argentina, meanwhile, excessive rain has curbed yields. Heavy rain is forecast for some growing areas in central Argentina in the next three days, though a “more limited” pattern is expected, which will ease excess moisture, CWG said.

South American output may be reduced by 6 million to 8 million metric tons, Oil World said, according to reports. Brazil’s soybean crop is forecast from 113 million to 117 million metric tons. The USDA last month pegged the country’s crop at 122 million metric tons.

Argentina’s crop could fall as low as 49 million metric tons, Oil World said. The USDA in December said it expected output at 55.5 million tons.

While the U.S. will benefit from reduced production in South America, some of the gains will be neutralized by expectations for a downward revision in imports from China, the analyst said.

**

3. Wind Chill Warnings Abound as Lowest Readings Expected to Hit -65˚F.

It may be a good time to binge-watch some Netflix or catch up on your correspondence as the Polar Vortex settles in over the Upper Midwest, bringing extremely low temperatures and deadly wind chills.

A wind chill warning is in effect from North Dakota south into Missouri and northeast into New York state, according to the National Weather Service.

Wind chills in parts of Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin fell as low as -60˚F. overnight, the NWS said in a report early this morning. Strong northwest winds are causing blowing and drifting snow, making travel difficult.

The wind chill warning in the area is in effect until Thursday morning.  

“Take this cold seriously as it could be life-threatening,” the agency said.

It’s not much better in northern Indiana, southern Michigan, and Ohio, where wind chills are forecast as low as -50˚F., the NWS said.

The worst of the cold, however, is likely going to be in North Dakota and Minnesota, where wind chills will fall as low as -65˚F. Frostbite can form in less than five minutes, and hypothermia or even death is possible from exposure, the agency said.

3 Big Things Today, January 29

Byline:

1. Soybeans Modestly Lower on Trade Worries

Soybeans were slightly lower in overnight trading while grains were little changed.

Investors seem skeptical about the ongoing trade talks between the U.S. and China, the second round of which is scheduled for tomorrow and Thursday in Washington.

Despite the continued expectation that Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will make the trip to the U.S. for the two-day talks, U.S. officials have already said they don’t expect a deal to be worked out this week.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said last week that the sides are still “miles and miles” apart as China is reportedly pushing back on some intellectual property issues and the U.S. is still concerned about its increasing trade debt with Beijing.

The U.S. and China have a temporary deal agreed upon by presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping in early December under which Washington has delayed raising tariff rates to 25% from 10% and Beijing agreed to purchase more agricultural products and curb levies on American automobiles.

If an agreement isn’t reached by March 1, the tariffs will go up, and it’s likely China would retaliate with trade barriers of its own.

Soybeans for March delivery fell 2 ½¢ to $9.20 3/4 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal gained 20¢ to $312.40 a short ton and soy oil declined 0.20¢ to 30.10¢ a pound.

Corn rose 3/4¢ to $3.80 ½ a bushel overnight

Wheat for March delivery added 3/4¢ to $5.19 ½ a bushel while Kansas City futures gained 1/4¢ to $5.07 a bushel.

**

2. Grain, Bean Inspections Decline in Seven Days Through Jan. 24, USDA Says

Inspections of corn, soybeans and wheat for overseas delivery all declined in the seven days that ended on Jan. 24, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Corn assessments last week totaled 893,001 metric tons, the USDA said in a report, one of the few that continued throughout the government shutdown. That’s down from 1.13 million the previous week and 1.01 million during the same week last year.

Examinations of soybeans fell to 929,417 metric tons from 1.13 million tons seven days earlier, the government said. The USDA also inspected 1.13 million tons during the same week in 2018.

Wheat inspections fell to 362,153 metric tons last week, down from 524,942 tons in the week through Jan. 17 and 581,626 during the same period last year, USDA data show.

Since the start of the marketing year on Sept. 1, the government has inspected 21.5 million metric tons of corn for overseas delivery, up from 13.8 million tons during the same period a year earlier.

Soybean assessments, however, have plunged year-over-year to 20.5 million tons from 33.4 million the previous year, according to the government.  The ongoing trade war with China has curbed demand for U.S. supplies.

Wheat inspections since the start of the grain’s marketing year on June 1 are just behind the year-ago pace. The government has inspected 14.4 million tons for overseas delivery, down from 16.2 million during the same timeframe last year, the USDA said.

**

3. Wind Chills As Low As Minus-60 Expected Throughout the Day For Much of Upper Midwest

A deep freeze  has hit the bulk of the upper Midwest as wind chill warnings are in effect from North Dakota southeast into Missouri and east into Ohio, according to the National Weather Service.

Wind chills in North Dakota will bottom out around minus-60 degrees Fahrenheit today, the NWS said in a report early this morning. Winds are forecast to gust up to 35 miles an hour.

Temperatures that low are life-threatening and can cause frostbite in as little as five minutes, the agency said. Blowing snow will reduce visibility, making travel hazardous.

In parts of Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin, wind chills are expected to be around 35 below zero throughout the morning. Winds are expected to be 30 miles an hour sustained throughout the day, which could push chills to around negative-60 by late afternoon, the NWS said.

Further east in northern Indiana, southern Michigan and western Ohio, wind chills are forecast to be around minus-45 degrees today.

“Frostbite can occur quickly and even hypothermia or death if precautions are not taken,” the agency said.

3 Big Things Today, January 28

Byline:

1. Soybeans Fall Overnight on U.S.-China Trade Concerns

Soybeans were lower in overnight trading Monday amid ongoing concerns about upcoming trade talks with China.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He is scheduled to visit Washington on January 30-31 for two days of trade talks with top U.S. officials including Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

It’s unlikely that a deal will be reached during the talks as the sides are still “miles and miles” apart on any agreement, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said last week. That sentiment shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody paying attention, as there’s a lot the countries still need to agree upon, he said.

Among the sticking points is the large U.S. trade deficit that jumped to $323.3 billion in 2018, according to Chinese data.

The U.S. and China have a temporary deal agreed upon by President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping in early December under which Washington has delayed raising tariff rates to 25% from 10% and Beijing agreed to purchase more agricultural products and curb levies on American automobiles.

Michael Pillsbury, the director for the Center for Chinese Strategy at the Hudson Institute, who reportedly has the ear of President Trump, also said he doesn’t expect negotiators to come to a trade agreement during the talks.

Soybeans for March delivery fell 3¼¢ to $9.22 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal lost $1.50 to $312.40 a short ton, and soy oil gained 0.12¢ to 30.15¢ a pound.

Corn rose ½¢ to $3.80¾ a bushel overnight

Wheat for March delivery rose 1¾¢ to $5.21¾ a bushel, while Kansas City futures gained 2¾¢ to $5.12¼ a bushel. 

**

Today’s 3 Big Things from Successful Farming magazine is brought to you by Golden Harvest Seeds.

**

2. Government Reopens, Time line on Resumption of USDA Reports Still Unknown

The government is officially reopened, at least for now, but exactly when data will begin rolling out remains to be seen as workers, no doubt, have a large backlog of work waiting for them.

The 35-day shutdown, by far the longest in history, left producers, analysts, and traders without vital information. The weekly and monthly export sales reports and the monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates Report weren’t released.

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said in a statement on Friday, when President Trump said he agreed to reopen the government for three weeks – until February 15 – to work on a deal with Democrats who refused to fund his $5.7 billion border wall, thousands of USDA employees will return to work with the agreement in place.

“I extend my sincere thanks to the thousands of USDA workers who stayed on the job during the shutdown to offer as many of our normal activities as we could,” Perdue said. “The president has already signed legislation that guarantees backpay for all employees, and we will move forward on that as soon as possible. Meanwhile, we will prepare for a smooth reestablishment of USDA functions.”

The USDA reopened its Farm Service Agency offices last week. It’s likely the agency will release its monthly WASDE Report on February 8 as scheduled, Sara Manker, the chief executive of Gro Intelligence, a data and analytics company.

Workers and market-watchers aren’t out of the woods yet. Trump said if a deal with Congress isn’t reached by February 15, the government will shut down again or he’ll attempt to “use the powers afforded to me” to fund his border wall.

**

Today’s 3 Big Things from Successful Farming magazine is brought to you by Golden Harvest Seeds.

**

3. ‘Take Cold Seriously,’ NWS Advises as Wind Chills Forecast as Low -60˚F.

Extremely cold weather along with snowfall is expected in much of the upper central Midwest starting today.

Wind chills in parts of Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, northern Illinois, and Michigan are forecast to be as low as -60˚F., according to the National Weather Service. As much as 3 inches of snow is possible.

“Dangerous temperatures and wind chills are also expected across the entire area tonight into Thursday,” the NWS said in a report early this morning. “Take this cold seriously.”

Total snowfall amounts over the next several days across central Wisconsin, where most of the precipitation will fall, are expected to top out at about 8 inches, the agency said.

In Michigan, up to 11 inches of snow are expected along with winds that will cause blowing and drifting, reducing visibility. Snow will fall at a rate of an inch to 2 inches an hour between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Travel is not advised.

Wind chills in the state are expected to fall as low as -45˚F. by Wednesday, the NWS said.

The Very Best Method to Get Abundant – Neglect Get Rich Quick Get Rich Permanently

In this day and age individuals all over are trying to find the secret to wide range, the next large point that is going to make them a million bucks.

In this post you are going to learn a time tested and also verified approach how individuals really become wealthy and also remain to develop that wide range with time.

The genuine secret approach that the rich use to end up being extremely abundant is to build several streams of income. Feasible the best part concerning this approach is that the streams of earnings you create don’t need to be significant, what happens if you can create an extra $1500 each month.

Now I know that may not seem life transforming to most individuals, however what I intend to do is show you exactly how powerful a small additional income similar to this can be and after that show you how to you can include dozens of added earnings streams.

Some Facts:

To gain $1,500 a month ($ 18,000 per year) in an interest-bearing account at 4%, you would certainly require to conserve $450,000.
To earn $18,000 from financial investments at 10%, you would certainly need to invest $180,000.
What could an extra revenue of $1,500 each month assist you pay? Bank card debt, car settlements, school charges, or cover some if not all of a mortgage repayment.
How long would certainly you have to work in your present task to get a raise of $18,000 annually?

So Just how Do You Create Multiple Streams Of Revenue?

Well you can always go and obtain another job at Starbucks, yet this is not what I desired. I think if you are mosting likely to explore in including multiple streams of earnings you could want to think about the following requirements.

First – You will certainly wish to make certain it is adaptable, you want to have the ability to deal with it when it is hassle-free to you as well as the last point you desire is to be structured to set hours, specifically if you are functioning a fulltime job.

Second – You want to make certain the revenue stream has the opportunity to earn you a significant; quantity of loan, you don’t want to lose all your energy right into something that can not generate the goods, Ideally you want to focus on streams of earnings that are lasting, indicating it can continue you produce cash for you also when you are not operating at it.

Third – You wish to make certain that it is something that you delight in, producing numerous sources of income will call for a lot of work as well as if you don’t enjoy it you might not follow though

Forth – I also seek income streams that are fairly affordable to establish as well as do not need a big financial investment.

Currently we are going to look at some concepts that you might think about to build into an additional income stream. Everybody is different as well as has specific education and learning, training and also abilities so you want to see to it you choose something that is best for you. There are hundreds of methods to create extra revenue these are just some that have actually worked for others.

Real Estate Spending – While investing in realty can need some cash money up front, the potential is massive. Also with the present decline in the real estate market is a suitable time to get residential or commercial property.

Open An eBay Store – Each day there are thousands of people crowding to buy and sell items on ebay.com and it’s currently much easier than ever before to run an on-line eBay shop. There are usually two ways to do this, you can obtain items to resell on eBay. Or you can develop an on-line store as well as market products that are currently marketing on eBay as well as share in the compensations produced.

Come To Be A Virtual Aide – With the growing quantity of home based business there is a massive demand for digital aid as well as more service are contracts out tasks as well as task that can be done where the individual does not need to be physically present. There are lots of digital assistants from places like India that are working full-time for people in the UNITED STATE. A great VA can earn $30 to $50 per hr. A good beginning location is elance.com

Start A Home Business – The potential for a home based business is infinite nowadays. You might develop an information item and market it online or begin a network marking type organisation. Or you can also run a sound workshop from home. Among the excellent benefits of running a home business is that it substantially lowers your preliminary financial investment as well as there are some terrific tax advantages as well.

Robert G Allen has been assisting individuals for several years produce numerous streams of income [http://yourvitaminguild.com/], in fact, over 200 individuals have reported becoming millionaires from utilizing my techniques.

Time and time again Robert has taken common individuals and also shown them precisely what to do to develop numerous streams of “major” revenue.

3 Simple Ways to Enhance Your Digital Photos

When electronic cameras blew up onto the scene a few years earlier, it altered digital photography in several ways. One huge element was it took a big expense out of the picture taking company. No more cost movie, instant watching, and the capacity to exchange images digitally without any price made a big impact on photography. Photographers anywhere were elated and images were cheap and simple,

However going electronic really did not aid people take better images. Digital photos still require some basic digital photography abilities to obtain that wonderful photo. Yet you do not need hrs or days of training to improve your photos, just apply a few basic strategies that can make any type of image much better. As well as we won’t also use any technical terms.

Know Your Basic Video Camera Settings

Everybody dislikes manuals. They are typically written by a person with a real trouble in interacting or converted so poorly that you can’t understand what they are saying. Yet you do need to recognize the some standard functions to take photos. My preferred settings for newbies or the practically tested in no particular order are:

On and also off button – fantastic for saving batteries

Shutter Switch – This is where you push to in fact take a photo

Car Setting – this is where you allow the cam pick the best settings

Where to place the batteries – You wish to take photos, you need to put the batteries in the electronic camera

Where the flash memory card is – Yes, most digital cameras need the extra storage

The list above is must recognize but a great second list would consist of where to set the ISO (this is level of sensitivity to light setup) rate. Don’t fret if you don’t find out about ISO yet; simply make use of 100 for outside shots and also 400 for indoor shots as an extremely basic rule of thumb. Know your flash leave range (most are quite short ranges like 12 feet optimum). Know how to work your optical zoom (neglect the digital, the loss in high quality is ineffective). Know where to alter your resolution of photos (that’s the number of pixels – if you intend on bigger than 4 by 6 prints this number ought to be greater).

Imagine Your Image

Prior to you look at that viewfinder, believe a little regarding what you want to record regarding the photo. Look at the subject as well as pick a prime focus. Choose a place, topic, thing, or whatever that is what you intend to preserve in time. Look for diversions like posts that lag a person’s head, how much of the scene you want capture, and also what you do not desire in the last picture. Often you want some history to tell the story; sometimes you just want the part that is the story. If you are taking a team shot for example, is the location important? After that make certain you obtain that in the image yet still concentrate on individuals given that they are the topic.

Regardless of your subject matter, load the structure. That merely suggests obtain close enough that your main topic is taking up the optimum amount of area in the picture. You can still have proof of the place, however be able to plainly see individuals’s expressions as well as various other details. Photos ought to tell a story or record an event, area, and also situations. You don’t need to make a production out of the preparation however a little thought can go a long ways in catching just the appropriate picture.

Servicing The Dark Side

In the old days this meant the darkroom where you actually developed the movie as well as made the prints. In the brand-new digital globe this implies utilizing photo-editing software on your computer system. You do not need to be a Photoshop specialist however it would be good to understand just how to do the following:

Modification the contrast – not every direct exposure will certainly be ideal as well as a little light change can assist

Plant – this allows you to remove points you do not desire in the finished photo

Change the style – occasionally you’ll desire a jpeg, or maybe a gif for the web

Modification dimension – If you shoot in the big sizes, you might wish to minimize the dimension for very easy emailing

There’s a wonderful small and easy software application that can do every one of the above and also much more. It’s called Irfanview and is free. It’s a stand-alone program that is extremely very easy to utilize as well as find out. You can locate one of the most existing variation by doing a search in Google on the name. For the fast and also easy modifying chores discussed over, it functions excellent.

See, there was nothing to awfully challenging concerning any of the above tips. And all can contribute to a much better image as well as not take a great deal of initiative to discover as well as utilize. And also if you can’t discover that electronic camera manual to review, you can possibly locate it on the manufacturer’s site to download.