Thursday, June 12, 2014
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AgFax Grain Review: Corn Prices Could Drop 20%; Iowa Approves Soybean Research Center

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Markets/Trade

  • Myra Saefong reports for The Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch that high expected corn production this season could cause corn prices to drop by 20% by the year’s end. Capital Economics currently predicts corn prices to end the year at $3.50.
  • AgriMoney.com reports that rain and hail damage in some of the U.S.’s key producing grain states cause a slight drop in crop conditions, but not enough to boost prices. The general trade expectation this week was for an increase in corn conditions of 3-4% in the good-excellent category while the weather damage resulted in a 1% drop instead. 75% of the crop remains in good-excellent condition however, while soybeans suffered minimal damage or delays, resulting in an overall bearish tone.
  • Sutanuka Ghosal reports for India’s Economic Times that expectations of lower rainfall this year combined with an ongoing heatwave has Indian soybean farmers worried about their crop prospects this season as high temperatures are drying out soils and a late start to the monsoon would delay planting. Domestic prices are already climbing on supply concerns for livestock feed and exports.

Production

  • An Iowa State University release on AgWeb.com reports that Iowa’s Board of Regents approved the development of a joint Soybean Research Center between Iowa State University and the Iowa Soybean Association which would be located as part of the ISU Agronomy Hall. The Center would focus on improving soybean acres, productivity, and profitability to help U.S. farmers meet rising global demand in an efficient and sustainable manner while continuing to provide high quality beans.
  • A DuPont Pioneer release on AgWeb.com reports that Pioneer is funding a University of Wisconsin study to update soybean nutrient recommendations. Current recommendations are based on research from over 50 years ago, and genetics and agronomic practices have changed significantly since then. The study is expected to take 3 years to complete and will enable growers to make more efficient and timely use of nutrient applications and hopefully improve yields and productivity.
  • Donnelle Eller reports for The Des Moines Register that Ceres, a group of environmental sustainability investors, has released a report showing that current U.S. corn production practices are unsustainable. The two primary points of contention in the report are unsustainable water usage through irrigation and overapplications of fertilizers, particularly nitrogen. 87% of the country’s irrigated corn is in high risk, dry areas, and relies primarily on pumping water from already strained underground aquifers. If irrigation practices don’t change, eventually there won’t be enough water left to support crops. Additionally, many producers continue to overapply nitrogen with the result that much of what is placed in the field gets washed into lakes and rivers and a fair amount making it’s way down into the Gulf of Mexico.

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