Scientists have figured out a way to gently up-regulate stem cell growth so that maize produces optimally more stem cells, increasing the plant's yield by up to 50 percent. | File photo

Stem cell discovery may increase crop yields by 50 percent

A yield increase of 10 percent is a big deal for any crop, and a 25 percent jump is massive. So when research suggests it’s possible to improve yields by 50 percent, it’s a global news story. Plant scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York have discovered a way to control stem cells […] Read more

China’s corn stockpile, estimated at 220 to 250 million tonnes, could be put on the international market, sending down prices.  |  File photo

China to end corn subsidy, sell off huge stockpile

Feed stuffs that were going to China will need to find another buyer while the country uses its stocks

News that China is eliminating its corn price support and stockpiling program is either bearish or bullish, depending on the time frame. “In the short term, it is going to be disruptive, there is going to be uncertainty,” Bryan Lomar, the U.S. Grains Council’s director in China, said in an audio file on the council’s […] Read more

Corn crops in the United States are starting to yellow because they are short of nitrogen after excess rain earlier this growing season.  |  Michael Raine photo

U.S. crop trouble may raise corn price

Strong domestic demand should support the price even as policy changes in China could affect world corn trade

Corn prices could be heading back to $5 per bushel due to a disappointing U.S. crop and that bodes well for all grain and oilseed prices, says an analyst. Water Street Solutions conducted an aerial survey of crops throughout the U.S. Midwest on July 30 taking photos every minute. The photos show that much of […] Read more

Monsanto is testing the viability of early maturing corn hybrids for Western Canada, including a site in Oakville, Man. The company hopes to commercialize early varieties and dramatically increase corn acres on the Prairies to eight million by 2025.  |  Robert Arnason photo

Monsanto focuses on early maturing corn

Developing a hybrid that matures three or four days earlier reduces the risk of frost damage

In 2013, Monsanto promised to invest $100 million in early maturing corn varieties in the hope that prairie farmers would plant eight to 10 million acres of corn by 2025. A Monsanto Canada representative said the company is making progress on that commitment, and short season varieties are already in the commercial pipeline. “I think […] Read more

A stocks- to-use ratio below eight percent would be “extremely supportive for corn prices,” says Jason Newton of Agrium.  |  File photo

Will tighter stocks lift corn prices

Agrium researcher expects prices to strengthen but an analyst cites an overall ‘commodity deflationary cycle’

North America’s leading crop input provider believes corn and other grain and oilseed prices will be stronger in the second half of 2015-16. Jason Newton, head of market research for Agrium, is forecasting a “pretty significant decline” in the U.S. corn stocks-to-use ratio, which bodes well for prices. His analysis is based on a forecast […] Read more

The December corn contract moved above its September high of $3.67 ½ per bushel, establishing what's called a bullish key reversal for the commodity. | File photo

Analyst predicts grain markets headed for rebound

A leading grain industry analyst received a convincing technical indication this morning that grain markets have finally bottomed out and are heading higher. The December corn contract moved above its September high of $3.67 ½ per bushel, establishing what’s called a bullish key reversal for the commodity. That is a big momentum swing after bottoming […] Read more

This western bean cutworm chewed its way through the silks to eat the tip of this cob. The cutworm is a problem on sandy soil in Ontario.  |  Jeffrey Carter photo

Bean cutworm threatens Ontario corn

Weather also a concern | Cool temperatures in July and August have delayed maturity, and lodging could pose a problem

ZURICH, Ont. — It’s going to take spectacular fall weather to finish Ontario’s grain corn crop. Sixty percent of the 1.9 million acres that were planted this spring is at risk. “To me there’s no point of worrying about this, but it’s going to be a worse than 2009,” said Mike Nuttall, a private agronomist […] Read more

‘Yield potential is extraordinary, there is no doubt about that,’ says a U.S. market analyst, noting that the corn crop is up to four weeks behind in some areas.  |  File photo

Corn potential stunning but crop late

Record U.S. production expected | Analyst expects price could dip below $3 per bushel

U.S. corn crop forecasts keep getting bigger, and that means prices for corn and other crops will likely fall, says an analyst. The market consensus is that the average corn yield will be much bigger than the 165.3 bushels per acre forecast by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In a Reuters poll of 20 analysts […] Read more

Optimum growing conditions in Alberta this year means corn cobs will boast bountiful kernels in straight lines. | Barb Glen photo

Cob provides earful of information on life growing up

Environmental conditions Kernels in straight lines mean it’s been a good year, while crooked lines indicate the plant was under stress

TABER, Alta. — Whether chopped up for silage, combined for grain or savoured at the dinner table, every corn cob tells the story of a season past. The number of rows, kernel pattern and extension speak to the ease or challenges the host corn plant experienced from planting to harvest. “When you see your rows […] Read more

The USDA predicts a record-shattering soybean crop and a near record corn crop. The agency added if weather remains conducive to crop growth, that yield forecast could rise.  |  File photo

Big crop potential lowers prices

With the best Midwest crop conditions in about 20 years and large seeded areas of key crops, soybean and corn prices plunged last week. Between the close July 3 and July 11, November soybeans fell 5.2 percent, December corn fell 7.3 percent and December Minneapolis spring wheat fell 6.2 percent. A monthly supply and demand […] Read more