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Re: World Grain Status (merged)

Unread postPosted: Thu 08 Feb 2018, 16:58:17
by onlooker
From my understanding just two principal ways that our modern agricultural system is unsustainable is by denuding the soil of organics and nutrients and what you posted Ghung of monoculture plot layout leaving these varieties very vulnerable to infestation and disease. Of course in a macro manner the phosphorus and water requirements are not sustainable for much longer to feed our huge population not to mention the devastating impact to the entire system of declining fossil fuels. And of course, the pernicious environmental impacts of connecting food production with FF should be familiar to most here

Re: World Grain Status (merged)

Unread postPosted: Thu 08 Feb 2018, 21:57:11
by farmlad
Another overwhelming challenge for farmers is on the business side, I would estimate that the vast majority of acres devoted to food production have a huge debt load, so the farmer can only focus on the immediate needs and can not afford to make the transition into more sustainable/regenerative practices. Transitioning into regenerative farming requires that you wean the crops off of chemicals and implement soil biology friendly practices so that the soil biology can again supply the nutrients to the plants instead of relying on synthetic inputs. This transition commonly takes 3 cropping cycles to really get off the ground to where the crops can do okay without the synthetics and then in the following years the soil becomes successively better. The costs are in the loss of production during those first years and that makes it almost impossible to make the change. The organic system generally rewards the farmer with a higher premium but they require 3 years of no chemical usage before the crops can be certified.

Most soils that are currently being farmed contain massive quantities of macro and micro nutrients but they are not in the soluble form, ready for plant uptake. This is where we need the healthy communities of organisms to access these nutrients and turn them into the forms that the plants can use. Some farmers have been adding no fertilizers to their soils for 10 plus years and the levels of plant available nutrients just keep increasing. We really don't know how long you can carry off grain until the soil is actually depleted but most likely it would be several decades at the minimum.

The overwhelming implementation of our current fiat credit system has made slaves out of the vast majority of farmers in the developed and developing world. The more I come to understand the fiat credit system the more I see all the destruction it has had on our civilization.

I see similarities in so many other self defeating human activities funded by the all powerful fiat credit system such as fracking, ethanol, healthcare/pharma, and the never ending corporate asset purchasing stripping and bankruptcy cycles.

Re: World Grain Status (merged)

Unread postPosted: Fri 09 Feb 2018, 07:41:25
by vtsnowedin
farmlad wrote:Another overwhelming challenge for farmers is on the business side, I would estimate that the vast majority of acres devoted to food production have a huge debt load, so the farmer can only focus on the immediate needs and can not afford to make the transition into more sustainable/regenerative practices.

A bit of research would show you that you are completely wrong in your estimate. Total farm assets are ten times farm debt and working capital is 1.6 times short term debt. Competition is fierce and prices low so the only way to stay profitable is to minimize debt and interest payments and that has been the farmers reality for decades.
https://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/farm-ec ... nd-wealth/

Re: World Grain Status (merged)

Unread postPosted: Fri 09 Feb 2018, 08:03:52
by onlooker
Another huge problem is soil erosion on these vast cleared out monoculture fields. With all surrounding forests cut down, both wind and water cause much soil erosion. But that is the mandate to clear cut forest to have more arable acreage for expanding food supply. Thanks Farm for your expert testimony

Re: World Grain Status (merged)

Unread postPosted: Fri 09 Feb 2018, 09:27:18
by farmlad
Vt snowedin A bit of research would show you that you are completely wrong in your estimate. Total farm assets are ten times farm debt and working capital is 1.6 times short term debt. Competition is fierce and prices low so the only way to stay profitable is to minimize debt and interest payments and that has been the farmers reality for decades.


The debt to asset ratio is obviously one that the USDA likes to put out. Not acknowledging that the assets are based on the level of fiat credit available to the marginal buyer; nothing more.

A more useful metric to evaluate the farmers autonomy would be something like debt vs yearly net income or interest payments vs net income.

Re: World Grain Status (merged)

Unread postPosted: Fri 09 Feb 2018, 13:51:23
by vtsnowedin
farmlad wrote:
Vt snowedin A bit of research would show you that you are completely wrong in your estimate. Total farm assets are ten times farm debt and working capital is 1.6 times short term debt. Competition is fierce and prices low so the only way to stay profitable is to minimize debt and interest payments and that has been the farmers reality for decades.


The debt to asset ratio is obviously one that the USDA likes to put out. Not acknowledging that the assets are based on the level of fiat credit available to the marginal buyer; nothing more.
A lot of farm purchases are for cash so the credit market is not a factor. A larger factor is the estate tax which has just changed for the better.

A more useful metric to evaluate the farmers autonomy would be something like debt vs yearly net income or interest payments vs net income.

All of which is easily found.
https://www.ers.usda.gov/media/9718/far ... y2018.xlsx

Re: World Grain Status (merged)

Unread postPosted: Fri 09 Feb 2018, 20:22:09
by Newfie
The dairy farmer up the road from our cabin says he hasn’t made any money in 3 years and says he is typical of small family dairy farmers in PA. He says it requires a second source of income, his wife is a RN, to float the operation.

I think he got a shot of cash from the gas leases but that has withered and he is not getting any extraction royalties.

Apparently the price for milk fat is down and has been for a while.

Re: World Grain Status (merged)

Unread postPosted: Fri 09 Feb 2018, 20:32:02
by vtsnowedin
Newfie wrote:The dairy farmer up the road from our cabin says he hasn’t made any money in 3 years and says he is typical of small family dairy farmers in PA. He says it requires a second source of income, his wife is a RN, to float the operation.

I think he got a shot of cash from the gas leases but that has withered and he is not getting any extraction royalties.

Apparently the price for milk fat is down and has been for a while.

Dairy farming has been tough for decades in the north east. Recently the price of organic milk has dropped by a third costing a friend of mine $40,000 a year. Too many farmers jumped on the organic bandwagon and created an over supply.

Re: World Grain Status (merged)

Unread postPosted: Tue 13 Feb 2018, 11:02:58
by vox_mundi
Weeds Out of Control

Herbicides can no longer control the weeds that threaten crop productivity and food security in the UK because the plants have evolved resistance, and future control must depend on management strategies that reduce reliance on chemicals.

A nationwide epidemiological assessment of the factors that are driving the abundance and spread of the major agricultural weed, black-grass, was the focus of collaborative work led by the University of Sheffield, with Rothamsted Research and the Zoological Society of London.

The team mapped the density of black-grass populations across 70 farms in England, collecting seed from 132 fields. They also collected historical management data for all fields to address the question "which management factors are driving black-grass abundance and herbicide resistance?" Their findings are published today in Nature Ecology & Evolution.

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Black Grass (Alopecurus myosuroides) infestation of Wheat

In addition to its effect on cereal yield, black-grass suffers from ergot (Claviceps purpurea) and this can result in contamination of the grain at harvest. The fungus is the same strain that infects wheat.

"At Rothamsted, we used glasshouse bioassays to determine that 80% of sampled populations were highly resistant to all herbicides that can be used for selective black-grass control in a wheat crop," says Paul Neve, a weed biologist and leader of Rothamsted's strategic programme, Smart Crop Protection.

"Field monitoring indicated that the level of resistance to herbicides was correlated with population density, indicating that resistance is a major driver for black-grass population expansion in England," notes Neve. He adds:
"We found that the extent of herbicide resistance was primarily dictated by the historical intensity of herbicide use, and that no other management factors had been successful in modifying this resistance risk."

The team found that the increased weed densities lead to higher herbicide costs and lower crop yields, resulting in significant losses of profit. Increasing resistance is linked to the number of herbicide applications, and mixing different chemicals or applying them cyclically did not prevent resistance developing, the team report.


Farmers, Conservationists Challenge Trump's EPA, Monsanto Over Crop-damaging Pesticide Dicamba

... The 2017 crop season — the first year of XtendiMax use — was an unprecedented disaster. Just as critics warned would happen, dicamba sprayed on Monsanto’s GE soybeans and cotton formed vapor clouds that drifted to damage a host of crops and wild plants. More than 3 million acres of soybeans as well as scores of vegetable and fruit crops, trees and shrubs throughout the country were reportedly damaged by dicamba drift. Flowering plants near cropland also suffered, with potential harms to pollinators, as well as hundreds of endangered animal and plant species. Agronomists reported they had never seen herbicide-related drift damage on anything approaching this scale before. As the 2018 season approaches, experts predict similar widespread devastation.

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Acres of Dicamba-Injured Soybeans


Herbicide-Resistant Weed Concerns Shown in Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll

... The poll found 22 percent of respondents believed they had weeds that were resistant to PPO inhibitor herbicides in their fields, up substantially from 3 percent in 2013. Twelve percent believed they had weeds that were resistant to HPPD inhibitor herbicides, compared to 4 percent in 2013.
... “I hate to say it, I'm not an organic fan but I'm starting to see where organic farmers look like their weeds are more under control with more tillage than we are with our minimum till,”

... And the herbicide dicmaba now being tightly regulated by the EPA - NOT. The University of Nebraska is putting on workshops across the state to allow farmers to be able to use it.

There is definitely a fear of drift and associated implications, so that would be a reason for not using the technology fully [this year],” says Dwight Lingenfelter, Penn State Extension scientist.

Last fall, Monsanto reported that in light of strong demand, the company and its licensing partners would “have enough supply of Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans for up to half of all U.S. soybean acres for the 2018 season.” That could mean the number of dicamba-tolerant soybean acres in 2018 would be double compared to what was planted in 2017, which was about 20 million acres.

http://nebraska.tv/news/ntvs-grow/farme ... trol-weeds

Re: World Grain Status (merged)

Unread postPosted: Wed 21 Feb 2018, 04:18:18
by radon1
https://translate.google.ru/translate?s ... edit-text=

Egypt became the largest buyer of Russian products

Egypt, as evidenced by the calculations of the REC, purchases primarily Russian wheat: it accounted for 82% of all food supplies to the country in monetary terms ($ 1.4 billion, plus 44% of the previous year). In physical terms this is 7.8 million tons (plus 35%).

Egypt is the world's largest buyer of wheat, recalls Executive Director of the Russian-Egyptian Business Council Mona Khalil. This is due to the fact that consumption of bread in this country is one of the highest in the world, but Egypt lacks fertile soils and it can not meet the needs of the growing population in this product, explains the director for export policy and analysis of the REC Michael Snow. Own production of cereals in Egypt for individual crops does not increase, and for some even decreases, the expert said.


Re: World Grain Status (merged)

Unread postPosted: Tue 01 May 2018, 10:33:14
by vox_mundi
Weedkiller found in Granola and Crackers, Internal FDA Emails Show

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been testing food samples for residues of glyphosate, the active ingredient in hundreds of widely used herbicide products, for two years, but has not yet released any official results.

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But the internal documents obtained by the Guardian show the FDA has had trouble finding any food that does not carry traces of the pesticide.
... “I have brought wheat crackers, granola cereal and corn meal from home and there’s a fair amount in all of them,”

- FDA chemist Richard Thompson

Thompson, who is based in an FDA regional laboratory in Arkansas, wrote that broccoli was the only food he had “on hand” that he found to be glyphosate-free.
Glyphosate is best known as the main ingredient in Monsanto Co’s Roundup brand. More than 200 million pounds are used annually by US farmers on their fields. The weedkiller is sprayed directly over some crops, including corn, soybeans, wheat and oats. Many farmers also use it on fields before the growing season, including spinach growers and almond producers.

Thompson’s detection of glyphosate was made as he was validating his analytical methods, meaning those residues will probably not be included in any official report.

Separately, FDA chemist Narong Chamkasem found “over-the-tolerance” levels of glyphosate in corn, detected at 6.5 parts per million, an FDA email states. The legal limit is 5.0 ppm. An illegal level would normally be reported to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), but an FDA supervisor wrote to an EPA official that the corn was not considered an “official sample

Other findings detailed in the FDA documents show that in 2016 Chamkasem found glyphosate in numerous samples of honey. Chamkasem also found glyphosate in oatmeal products.
The FDA temporarily suspended testing after those findings, and Chamkasem’s lab was “reassigned to other programs”, the FDA documents show. The FDA has said those tests were not part of its official glyphosate residue assignment.

The FDA is charged with annually testing food samples for pesticide residues to monitor for illegally high residue levels. The fact that the agency only recently started testing for glyphosate, a chemical that has been used for over 40 years in food production, has led to criticism from consumer groups and the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Calls for testing grew after the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen in 2015.

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Roundup was introduced to the consumer market in 1974 as a broad-spectrum herbicide and quickly became one of the best-selling herbicides since 1980.

The US Department of Agriculture was to start its own testing of foods for glyphosate residues in 2017 but dropped the plan.

The lack of government residue data comes as Monsanto attempts to bar evidence about glyphosate food residues from being introduced in court where the company is fighting off allegations its Roundup products cause cancer.

Europe and Canada are well ahead of the U.S. when it comes to glyphosate testing in food. In fact, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is preparing to release its own findings from recent glyphosate testing. Canadian food activist and researcher Tony Mitra obtained more than 7,000 records from CFIA about its glyphosate testing last year, and claims that results are alarming, showing glyphosate pervasive in many foods.

One of the USDA's explanation's for not testing for glyphosate over the years has been cost—the agency has said that it is too expensive and inefficient to look for glyphosate residues in food headed for American dinner tables. And because glyphosate is considered so safe, testing would be a waste of time, the USDA has stated. That argument mimics Monsanto's own—the company, which patented glyphosate in 1974 and has been a dominant provider of glyphosate ever since, says if the USDA did seek to test for glyphosate residues in food it would be a "misuse of valuable resources."

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EPA Official Accused of Helping Monsanto ‘Kill’ Cancer Study

The Environmental Protection Agency official who was in charge of evaluating the cancer risk of Monsanto Co.’s Roundup allegedly bragged to a company executive that he deserved a medal if he could kill another agency’s investigation into the herbicide’s key chemical.

The boast was made during an April 2015 phone conversation, according to farmers and others who say they’ve been sickened by the weed killer. After leaving his job as a manager in the EPA’s pesticide division last year, Jess Rowland has become a central figure in more than 20 lawsuits in the U.S. accusing the company of failing to warn consumers and regulators of the risk that its glyphosate-based herbicide can cause non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
... “If I can kill this I should get a medal”

“If I can kill this I should get a medal,” Rowland told a Monsanto regulatory affairs manager who recounted the conversation in an email to his colleagues, according to a court filing made public Tuesday. The company was seeking Rowland’s help stopping an investigation of glyphosate by a separate office, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, that is part of the U.S. Health and Human Service Department, according to the filing.

A federal judge overseeing the glyphosate litigation in San Francisco said last month he’s inclined to order Rowland to submit to questioning by lawyers for the plaintiffs, who contend he had a "highly suspicious" relationship with Monsanto. Rowland oversaw a committee that found insufficient evidence to conclude glyphosate causes cancer and quit last year shortly after his report was leaked to the press.

The plaintiffs’ lawyers say Rowland’s communications with Monsanto employees show the regulator who was supposed to be policing the company was actually working on its behalf.

The unsealing of the court documents "represents a huge development in public health," said Tim Litzenburg, one of the lawyers suing Monsanto. Regulatory agencies, scientists, consumers and physicians "can see some of what Monsanto was actually engaging in behind the scenes, and how they have manipulated the scientific literature to date. That’s important to their decision-making, not just our lawsuits."

Plaintiffs’ lawyers said in another filing made public Tuesday that Monsanto’s toxicology manager and his boss, Bill Heydens, were ghost writers for two of the reports, including one from 2000, that Rowland’s committee relied on in part to reach its conclusion that glyphosate shouldn’t be classified as carcinogenic.

The EPA “may be unaware of Monsanto’s deceptive authorship practice,” the lawyers said.

Among the documents unsealed was a February 2015 internal email exchange at the company about how to contain costs for a research paper. The plaintiff lawyers cited it to support their claim that the EPA report is unreliable, unlike a report by an international agency that classified glyphosate as a probable carcinogen.

... Asked about emails specifically describing Monsanto working with Rowland to kill the glyphosate investigation by the toxic substances agency, a Monsanto spokesperson said he would review the messages and respond at a later date.

The company on March 10 lost a court bid to keep glyphosate off California’s public list of cancer-causing chemicals.


Monsanto lied

California to list herbicide as cancer-causing; Monsanto vows fight

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Ancient Monsanto Proverb: "Profit Over Life"

Glyphosate, an herbicide and the active ingredient in Monsanto Co's popular Roundup weed killer, will be added to California's list of chemicals known to cause cancer effective July 7, the state's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) said on Monday.

The listing is the latest legal setback for the seeds and chemicals company, which has faced increasing litigation over glyphosate since the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer said that it is "probably carcinogenic" in a controversial ruling in 2015.

Dicamba, a weed killer designed for use with Monsanto's next generation of biotech crops, is under scrutiny in Arkansas after the state's plant board voted last week to ban the chemical.

OEHHA said the designation of glyphosate under Proposition 65 will proceed following an unsuccessful attempt by Monsanto to block the listing in trial court and after requests for stay were denied by a state appellate court and the California's Supreme Court.


Bayer, Monsanto Deal Could be Approved in U.S. By End of May

Bayer's pending $66.5 Billion acquisition of Monsanto reportedly is moving closer to gaining approval by U.S. regulators.

The two companies have the green light from almost two-thirds of the jurisdictions that need to sign off on the biggest transaction in the seeds and crop-chemicals industry. The U.S., Russia and India remain, and on Monday the Wall Street Journal said the U.S. Department of Justice had decided to consent to the takeover, sending Monsanto shares higher on optimism about approval.

Last week, the acquisition was approved by Russian antitrust authorities, with the condition that Bayer must transfer to Russian recipients certain molecular breeding assets in several crops for a five-year period.

The European Commission approved the acquisition last month.

Originally, Justice Department officials weren’t satisfied with Bayer’s plan because of concerns that the transaction could hurt competition.

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Re: World Grain Status (merged)

Unread postPosted: Tue 01 May 2018, 10:59:26
by vox_mundi
The 100th Meridian, Where the Great Plains Begin, May Be Shifting

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While the climate divide is not literally a visible line, it is about the closest thing around, easily seen on maps. Due to global-scale wind patterns, to the west of this longitude, rainfall drops off sharply. East of the line, it picks up sharply. Powell noted correctly that the western plains are dry in part because they lie in the rain shadow of the Rocky Mountains, which rake off almost all the moisture blowing in from the Pacific Ocean. Seager's team identifies two other factors. In winter, Atlantic storms bring plenty of moisture into the eastern plains and Southeast, but don't make it far enough to moisten the western plains. In summer, moisture from the Gulf of Mexico moves northward, but that also curves eastward, again providing the East with plenty of precipitation, while the West gets cheated. Seager says there is only one other such major straight-line climate divide on the global map: the one separating the Sahara Desert from the rest of Africa, also due to cutoffs of prevailing oceanic winds.

In the United States, the effects show up in obvious ways. To the west, population density drops sharply. There are fewer homes, commercial facilities and roads. Farms are fewer, but bigger, reflecting the economics of less water and thus lower productivity. To the east, 70 percent of the crop is moisture-loving corn; to the west, aridity-resistant wheat is dominant.

Now, the researchers say, warming climate appears to be pushing the divide east. In the northern plains, rainfall has not changed much, but temperatures are going up, increasing evaporation from the soil. Further south, concurrent shifts in wind patterns are in fact causing less rain to fall. Either way, this tends to push western aridity eastward. Data collected since about 1980 suggests that the statistical divide between humid and arid has now shifted closer to the 98th meridian, some 140 miles east. (In Texas, this would move it roughly from Abilene to Fort Worth.) Seager says year-to-year weather variations may blur the data, and in any case the changes are still too small and gradual to yet affect land use over wide areas. But he is confident that aridity will perceptibly move eastward during the 21st century, and eventually effect large-scale changes.

Seager predicts that as drying progresses, farms further and further east will have to consolidate and become larger in order to remain viable. Unless farmers turn to irrigation or otherwise adapt, they will have to turn from corn to wheat or some other more suitable crop. Large expanses of cropland may fail altogether, and have to be converted to western-style grazing range. Water supplies could become a problem for urban areas.


Behavioral Differences Between Northern v. Southern Chinese Linked to Wheat v. Rice Farming, Study Shows

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"I think people in China have long had a sense that northerners behave differently from southerners," Talhelm said. "This study suggests a reason why—rice farming—and that those differences are surviving into the modern age."

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Weather Phenomena such as El Nino Affect Up to Two-Thirds of the World's Harvests

... According to researchers at Aalto University, Finland, large-scale weather cycles, such as the one related to the El Niño phenomenon, affect two-thirds of the world's cropland. In these so called climate oscillations, air pressure, sea level temperature or other similar factors fluctuate regularly in areas far apart in a way that causes rain and temperature patterns to shift significantly.

'During recent years, researchers' ability to predict these oscillations has improved significantly. With this research, we highlight the potential of utilizing this improved forecasting skill in agricultural planning. This could improve the resilience of agriculture to climate related shocks, which can improve food security in many areas across the globe', says Matias Heino, a doctoral candidate at Aalto University.

These climate oscillations can be divided into different episodes depending on their phase. It is already known that El Niño and its opposite phase, La Niña, have a clear effect on corn, soy, rice, and wheat yields in many areas across South Asia, Latin America and southern Africa.

'Our study showed that the North Atlantic Oscillation, NAO, significantly affects crop production in many parts of Europe, but also in North Africa and the Middle East', says assistant professor Matti Kummu from Aalto University.

When the Atlantic air pressure difference has been high, the productivity of crops in Europe have reduced by 2 per cent compared to the average. The effect has been particularly strong in places like Spain and the Balkans, where the decrease in productivity has been as much as 10 per cent. Crop productivity reductions, by up to 6 per cent, were also observed in North Africa and the Middle East. During the other phase of NAO, when the air pressure difference is weaker, the same areas have shown positive changes, in crop productivity.

Re: World Grain Status (merged)

Unread postPosted: Tue 01 May 2018, 18:18:02
by Newfie
Interesting stuff there Vox.

Re: World Grain Status (merged)

Unread postPosted: Sat 12 May 2018, 10:22:38
by vox_mundi
US Wheat Crop Shrivels in Drought, Large Global Supplies

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WICHITA, Kan. - U.S. farmers are expected to harvest their smallest winter wheat crop in more than a decade amid an ongoing drought that has devastated fields across the nation's breadbasket and a global surplus of the grain that has depressed prices, according to government report released Thursday.

The National Agricultural Statistics Service forecast the size of the nation's 2018 wheat crop at 1.19 billion bushels. If realized, that would be down 6 percent from the previous year.

The last time the nation's farmers harvested such a small wheat crop was in 2002, when U.S. production fell to 1.137 billion bushels, said Marsha Boswell, spokeswoman for the industry group Kansas Wheat.

Not only are projected U.S. wheat yields down to an average 48 bushels per acre, but the agency is also forecasting that just 24.8 million acres of wheat will be harvested - a record low harvested acreage for the United States, according to the report.

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Winter wheat is planted in the fall and typically harvested beginning in June in Kansas. Drought conditions have plagued this year's crop, and it remains to be seen whether the state will get enough moisture in the coming weeks to fill out the heads of wheat. Much of the wheat across Kansas is just ankle-high, and crop development is two to three weeks late.
"It is just incredibly dry out there," ... "Farmers have a well-deserved reputation for whining, but this time we are not kidding." ... "I have no idea what to expect, but we continue daily to reduce our expectations so whatever we get we wouldn't be disappointed,"

Kansas remained the nation's top winter wheat producer even in a dry year like this one, with the government estimating that state's growers will bring in 270.1 million bushels. That's compared to the 333.6 million bushels harvested last year in Kansas.

The report noted drought conditions were prevalent across most of Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

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Australian Wheat Farmers Plant In Dust Bowl and Pray for Rain

SINGAPORE/SYDNEY - Australian farmers are planting wheat in some of the driest soils in years, following on from a severe drought that cut 2017/18 output in the world’s fourth-largest wheat exporter to the lowest in a decade.

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Australia’s latest winter, which runs from June to August, was the warmest since records began more than a century ago and also one of the 10 driest ever, sapping moisture ahead of this year’s planting.

Wheat production slid to 21.2 million tonnes in 2017/18 from an all-time high of 35.13 million tonnes the year before, according to the Australian Bureau of Agriculture, Resource Economics and Rural Sciences (ABARES).

Based on farmers’ anticipated crop plans, the bureau’s March quarter forecast put wheat output this year at 23.7 million tonnes, but that was made before hopes of good April rainfall were dashed.

Western Australia, which accounts for more than 40 percent of the national wheat crop, received just 27 percent of its average rainfall over March and April, while soil moisture in eastern growing regions is already at five-year lows.
“If we get a good break, there will be nothing to worry about. If we don’t, we will worry about yields.”

Weather forecasts, however, point to drier and hotter conditions for many growing regions over May to July, which could damage crop development.

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Rainfall Deficit

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Soil Moisture

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Grain Growing Regions


USDA Predicts Lower Carryover for Corn, Wheat and Soybeans

Rail Crunch Leaves Oil, Wheat Stranded on Canada's Prairies

A shortage of rail cars in Canada is leaving grain and oil shipments stranded on the Prairies, sending crude prices plummeting and leaving farmers in a cash crunch.

The nation’s biggest railways haven’t been able to deliver enough cars after harsh winter conditions and as a sudden boom in energy production sparked a swell of demand. Some farmers have been waiting for months to deliver wheat and canola to elevators before they can get paid. The squeeze also means that crude supplies are piling up in Alberta, pushing prices to the biggest discount relative to New York futures in more than four years.

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The bottleneck mean some Canada’s commodity producers are getting left behind as other nations take advantage of a recent run up in global prices. Benchmark wheat futures in Chicago are up more than 9 percent since the end of November, while West Texas Intermediate in New York added more than 7 percent.
“We make these contracts because we have payment obligations at a certain time of the year, so we need that cash at that time of the year, not three, four months later,” said Norm Hall, a vice president for the Canadian Federation of Agriculture. If farmers have loan payments, they’re “depending on this cash, or maybe it’s a rent payment. They get hit hard,” he said.

Canadian National has been dealing with “challenging operating conditions,” including harsh winter weather, and the railway’s recent volume growth has created “pinch points” on its network, spokeswoman Kate Fenske said in an emailed statement.

The grain backlog for farmers is the worst since 2013, according to the Western Grain Elevator Association.

Re: World Grain Status (merged)

Unread postPosted: Sat 12 May 2018, 10:32:09
by Newfie
One article says “global surplus” the other says prices are up.

Something doesn’t make sense.

Further upthreas re:Egypt buying Russian wheat. Once upon a time Rome took Egypt because it,Egypt, was the bread basket of the Mediterranean. How times change.

Re: World Grain Status (merged)

Unread postPosted: Sat 12 May 2018, 11:33:21
by ROCKMAN
Newfie – “One article says “global surplus” the other says prices are up. Something doesn’t make sense.” Same problem with silly people who try to define an oil “surplus/shortage” by the price of oil. A global surplus of grain would exist if farmers couldn’t sell their crops regardless of how low they priced them. A shortage would exist if buyers couldn’t find grain to buy regardless of how much they were able to pay. If neither condition existed then the grain market would be BALANCED.

So how do you view the current grain market: a surplus, shortage or balanced?

Re: World Grain Status (merged)

Unread postPosted: Sat 12 May 2018, 13:57:53
by Newfie
It’s all based on price, not hungry bellies.

So perhaps the real headline should read “Commodities traders hoarding starving 7 million in Africa”.

Maybe commodities traders are today’s hero’s, working hard to reduce over population?

Re: World Grain Status (merged)

Unread postPosted: Sat 12 May 2018, 14:23:51
by onlooker
In a related though already old story "Kofi Annan Blasts Hedge Funders For Acquiring So Much African Land" http://www.businessinsider.com/kofi-ann ... ker-2011-6
And Universities also buying up African land:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/ ... -land-grab
But it goes beyond that. It is powerful countries buying up much of the worlds land
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/won ... 14e9bbfe55

Seems a pretty obvious state of affairs. It is how humanity is preparing for the big contraction. Might makes right

Re: World Grain Status (merged)

Unread postPosted: Mon 14 May 2018, 10:15:38
by Tanada
Newfie wrote:Further upthread re:Egypt buying Russian wheat. Once upon a time Rome took Egypt because it,Egypt, was the bread basket of the Mediterranean. How times change.


Two things going on in Egypt. First, during the US Civil War the UK government encouraged the planting of Cotton instead of Wheat as much as they could get away with to replace the lost supplies from the Confederacy for their textile industry. Second, in the last 50 years the population of Egypt has gone from 35 million in 1970 to 100 million today. Green revolution or not, it is hard to triple the number of mouths you are feeding while maintaining cash crop growing of fiber plants like cotton. When you have international trade that lets you buy food grain cheap and sell fiber crops for more than enough to offset that cost it sort of makes sense, but any disruption in trade means a lot of hungry people and puts the current government at risk.

Re: World Grain Status (merged)

Unread postPosted: Mon 21 May 2018, 06:24:59
by kiwichick
Oil production in Egypt is post peak ....so no longer any exports to prop up the economy....

https://www.indexmundi.com/energy/?coun ... production