Friday, April 25, 2008

Kentucky Corn Planting Behind Schedule as Rains Continue to Hinder

Kentucky corn farmers are scrambling to get their corn fields planted this week, as wet weather has continued to hamper the start of the seasonal planting.

"They're in the `go' mode right now," Kenny Perry, agricultural extension agent in Graves County in western Kentucky, said Thursday. "They're excited to finally be getting into the fields."

Across the state, only 11 percent of acreage intended for corn has been planted, that's in contrast to last year's 39 percent and the average of 47 percent over the last five years on the same date. That's according to the most recent report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service's Kentucky field office.

If Kentucky weather can remain dry, the season for corn should be ok, as there is still a couple weeks to plant without experiencing the lower yields expected if a later sowing results in summer heat influencing the pollination of the corn.

The option for Kentucky farmers would be to sow soybeans, but that isn't without risks either, as the 2007 drought has resulted in supply problems for soybean seeds. Most of those problems are connected to varieties offered, more than being able to attain some type of soybean seed.

This is the short window where major decisions have to be made whether to go ahead with corn or switch to soybeans; much of what farmers in other states around the country are facing.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer Says No Change in Biofuels Policy

The criticism and impact of the biofuels policy in the U.S. and Europe is causing food riots and protests across the world, as the prices of food surge; mostly on the continuing price increases of corn.

For U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer to say there will be no shift in the subsidy of corn in the U.S. and it will be business as usual with ethanol, is irresponsible at least, and, as some are calling it, "a crime against humanity."

In the U.S. alone, ethanol is expected to consume about 25 percent of the corn crop, which is estimated at 13.1 bushels this year.

Now the uncertainty of heavy rains in respect to planting season, leaves no room for error in the U.S. If anything comes along to disrupt the season, corn prices would go through the roof. They're already expected to continue rising throughout 2008.

Investors in Pilgrim's Pride Corp (NYSE:PPC) were ecstatic this week, as the company announced they were cutting production based on high feed costs for the second time in the last 30 days. The reduced supply will cause meat prices to go up, adding to the other effects of corn on the market.

It's possible that the entry of goverments into the biofuels business may be one of the most obivous and public mistakes they've made.

Not too long ago, after 30 million deaths in Africa, DDT was finally reintroduced into the continent to battle mosquitos, which spread malaria to the inhabitants. It was done very quietly, as not to reveal the outrageous results and consequences of another irresponsible government program.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Corn News Weekend Roundup


Corn Falls on Improved Weather

Corn prices fell sharply Friday as forecasts for dry weather in the U.S. corn belt eased concerns that farmers will have to delay their spring planting.


Corn market gains more uncertainty in April

Following the March 31, 2008 Planting Intentions report, the corn market was forecast up 20-30 cents based on fewer corn acres for 2008.


CBOT Corn Review: Down On Profit-Taking, Weather Concerns

U.S. corn futures fell Friday in continued profit-taking off record highs set this week, as nervous longs exited the market ahead of the weekend on shaky weather forecasts and on widespread commodity selling, brokers and analysts said Friday.


Profit taking weigh down corn futures

U.S. corn futures dropped on Thursday on profit-taking after the rally on Wednesday to record highs


S Korea's Nonghyup buys 165,000 tonnes of US corn

South Korea's Nonghyup Feed Inc has bought 165,000 tonnes of US corn, traders said on Friday. The purchase was split into three lots of 55,000 tonnes each.


Corn Futures Expected To Continue To Grind Higher

In their supply/demand report issued on Wednesday, April 9th, the USDA continued to raise their projections for corn use. Incredibly, feed use was increased by 200 million bushels (from just thirty days ago) and export projections were increased by 50 million.


Texas A&M report clears corn from food price inflation

The U.S. ethanol industry is facing challenging times. In part because of ethanol industry demand, corn prices have hit all-time highs.


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Monsanto in Deal with Bayer CropScience LP for Corn Treatment

Monsanto Co. (NYSE:MON) and a division of Bayer AG (Other OTC:BAYRY.PK), Bayer CropScience LP, have entered an agreement in relationship to a new fungicide product which will treat corn crops.

The new treatment would be used in the early corn season, and would protect seedlings against insects and diseases during that period of growth. It's said to be a significant improvement over past remedies.

Monsanto has exclusive rights under the terms of the deal to market the new product under its Dekalb corn brand label. It will also be empowered to license the new product through its licensing division.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Weekend Corn News Roundup


CBOT Corn Outlook: 1-2 Cents Lower On Light Profit-Taking

Chicago Board of Trade corn futures are expected to open 1-2 cents a bushel lower after prices reached technically overbought conditions and as traders take some profits ahead of the weekend, analysts said Friday.


Corn Looks to Trend Higher

On Thursday, April 3, July corn prices were up 4.25 cents, closing just shy of the highs at $6.13 a bushel.


In The Cattle Markets: Prospective Plantings Will Not Help Feeders

It has been a tough winter and early spring to make money in the cattle feeding business and Monday’s USDA Prospective Plantings Report will not likely help feeders.


Japanese food processor to accept GM corn

Japanese wet miller, Kato Kagaku Co., Ltd., will start accepting non-segregated genetically modified corn for starch, sweetener and processed food production.


CBOT Corn Review: Down Slightly On Pre-Weekend Profit-Taking

Chicago Board of Trade corn futures gave back a small portion of this week's gains as the market became overbought and traders decided to book profits ahead of the weekend, traders and analysts said Friday.


Corn Prices Surpass $6 A Bushel: Investors, Grab Your Overalls

Corn prices have jumped dramatically during the past few months, hitting a record high of more than $6 a bushel. Demand for corn has increased, and the outlook concerning whether future supply can meet this demand is uncertain.


Monsanto to build seed corn facility near Independence

On the same day it announced record-setting second-quarter revenues, Monsanto Co. announced an Iowa site for a new seed corn facility, moving forward on expansion plans within the state.


Thursday, April 3, 2008

Corn Settles at $6, after Record $6.025

The story for corn continues to be the projected supply problems, and the resultant surge in prices. That story continues, as corn broke another record today, reaching $6.025 a bushel before settling to $6. Corn has already increased by 30 percent this year, as demand increases.

This follows yesterday's prices, which just fell short of the $6 a bushel mark.

"It's a demand-driven market and we may not be planting enough acres to supply demand, so that adds to the bullishness of corn," said Elaine Kub, a grains analyst with DTN in Omaha, Neb.

We also talked about the decreasing acreage being planted in corn this year, which have dropped by about 8 percent across America.

The wet weather continues to wreak havoc in the industry as well, with plantings not only being put off, but growers talking about abandoning corn planting this year if it continues on too long.

The ethanol industry continues to cause problems for corn, as it gobbles up valuable resources; not only on an unproven alternative fuel, but one that may not to be grown profitably at these prices. That's what you get for government mandates and interference.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Corn Prices Break Record on Supply Concerns

Corn prices reached a record today on concerns the continuing wet weather in the midwest and southern United States will slow down planting, increasing the possibility that supplies could be low.

Acreage for corn is already projected to be about 8 percent lower than last year's planting, adding to the concern on inventory.

"We're going to start trading the weather here," said Jason Ward, analyst with Northstar Commodity in Minneapolis. "The rainy weekend means that some corn growers may switch acres over to beans, and it also raises the risk that there will be lower corn yields."

Corn surged by 11.75 cents to finish at $5.9575 a bushel on the CBOT, after breaking a record at $5.99 a bushel earlier in the day.

If the wet weather continues, planters may drop corn planting altogether and sow beans instead. Corn prices should rise steadily on a supply and demand basis.