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Strong demand, slow farmer selling lift most crop futures

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By D'Arce McMillan, Markets editor Twitter @ darcemcmillan Most crops, including canola rose Tuesday, supported by short selling, slow farmer deliveries and strong U.S. exports. Oats was the only contract to close lower. December oats futures fell two percent to a roughly 2-½ year low as investors, including hedge funds, liquidated holdings ahead of the December deliveries cycle. Losses were more modest in deferred months, with March oats down about one percent. January canola edged up $2.60 per tonne to $435.20, a 0.6 percent gain, supported by stronger soybeans and its components. Soy meal, often the market leader this fall, jumped 3.4 percent, fueled by record…
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Ont. farmers balk at neonic reduction plan

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The Ontario government's plan to cut neonicotinoid use by 80 percent is unwarranted and unacceptable, says the Grain Farmers of Ontario chair. "This new regulation is unfounded, impractical and unrealistic and the government does not know how to implement it," said Henry Van Ankum, who farms near Alma, Ont. "With this announcement, agriculture and rural Ontario has been put on notice: the popular vote trumps science and practicality." Ontario's minister of agriculture and minister of the environment said the reduction in neonic use is necessary to protect bees and other pollinators. "Improving pollinator health is not a luxury but a necessity. Pollinators play a key role in our…
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CME live cattle futures up with beef prices; hogs sag

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By Theopolis Waters CHICAGO, Nov 25 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures settled higher on Tuesday after a choppy session, lifted by short-covering in response to strong wholesale beef quotes, traders said. December closed 0.650 cent per pound higher at 170.150 cents, and February rose 1.000 cent to 171.025 cents. Tuesday morning's Choice wholesale beef price was up 47 cents per hundredweight (cwt) from Monday to $256.17. Select jumped $2.25 to $244.50, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said. Plant closures during the Thanksgiving holiday could reduce beef to grocers gearing up to advertise roasts and ribeyes during the winter, traders and analysts…
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U.S. farm profits to slump along with grain prices: USDA

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) — Falling grain prices and rising expenses will drag 2014 U.S. farm sector profits to their lowest since 2010 and have resulting effects that include less capital investment and a moderation of growth in farmland values, the Department of Agriculture said on Tuesday. At the same time farm sector debt is expected to rise 3.1 percent, increasing more than assets for the first time since 2009, with much of the increase from non-real estate loans. In a quarterly update, the USDA's Economic Research Service forecast net farm income in 2014 of US$96.9 billion, a sharp cut from the $113.2 billion it estimated in August. "The changed outlook is largely the result of…
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U.S. beef prices are still rising

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) — Retail prices for U.S. beef and pork, already at record highs, will increase significantly again in 2015 on a combination of disease and the drought in Southern Plains, the Department of Agriculture said on Tuesday. "Meat prices will likely continue to experience the effects of the Texas/Oklahoma drought and porcine epidemic diarrhea virus in the immediate future," the agency said. Beef and veal retail prices for 2014 are now forecast to rise by 11.5 percent, up slightly from the last month's forecast of 11 percent, and jump another five percent in 2015, versus a 3.5 percent increase forecast a month ago. "Improved crop yields have allowed cattle producers…
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Ontario plans to cut neonic use by 80 percent

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The Ontario government wants to reduce the use of neonicotinoid seed treatments by 80 percent. In a release issued this morning, Ontario's ministry of agriculture and the ministry of the environment said the reduction is necessary to protect bees and other pollinators. "Improving pollinator health is not a luxury but a necessity. Pollinators play a key role in our ecosystem and without them, much of the food we eat would not be here," said Ontario environment minister Glen Murray. "Taking strong action now to reduce the use of neurotoxic pesticides and protecting pollinator health is a positive step for our environment and our economy." The Ontario government has three goals…
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Kentucky auctioneer wins Agribition competition

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Trey Morris of Murray, Kentucky, won the 2014 Winners Circle Auctioneers Competition at Canadian Western Agribition yesterday. Morris is the 2012 Kentucky state champion, and his smooth patter won over five judges during the annual Regina event. The other competitors were Tyler Slawinski from McCreary, Man., and Curtis Wetovick from Fullerton, Nebraska. [caption id="attachment_135124" align="aligncenter" width="630"]Trey Morris, of Murray, Kentucky, won…<br /></a><a href=[Read more]

India, U.S. hold first trade dialogue in four years

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NEW DELHI (Reuters) — The United States and India held their first round of formal trade talks in four years on Tuesday, seeking to capitalize on the resolution of a global trade dispute to repair a dialogue that had fallen into neglect. While the two sides reported no breakthroughs at the Trade Policy Forum, they did set out a work schedule to follow up on talks that focused on agriculture, services, manufacturing and intellectual property rights, a joint statement said. U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said he was cautiously optimistic after the talks, but played down hopes of major "deliverables" at President Barack Obama's visit to India in January, his second after a…
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Bad weather hits Black Sea winter grain crops, dents 2015 harvest

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KIEV/MOSCOW (Reuters) — Major Black Sea wheat producers Russia and Ukraine may fail to harvest a record wheat crop next year due to the poor condition of their winter plantings, traders and forecasters said. "As of now the development (of winter grains) and the level of moisture in the soil are worse than the long-time average," a Russian trader said. Winter grains have been sown on 41.5 million acres, up 2.1 percent on the planned area, agriculture ministry data shows. Winter wheat usually accounts for 85 percent of the area. Among Russia's key exporting regions, the condition of winter grains has reached the long-time average only in the Krasnodar and Stavropol regions, he…
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In wake of China rejections, GMO seed makers limit U.S. launches

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(Reuters) — China's barriers to imports of some U.S. genetically modified crops are disrupting seed companies' plans for new product launches and keeping at least one variety out of the U.S. market altogether. Two of the world's biggest seed makers, Syngenta AG and Dow AgroSciences, are responding with tightly controlled U.S. launches of new GMO seeds, telling farmers where they can plant new corn and soybean varieties and how can the use them. Bayer CropScience told Reuters it has decided to keep a new soybean variety on hold until it receives Chinese import approval. Beijing is taking longer than in the past to approve new GMO crops, and Chinese ports in November 2013 began…
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