Archive for the ‘corn’ Category

USDA Planting Report Jolts the Market

June 30, 2009

This morning the USDA provided an updated planting report and the market was taken for a ride lower due to above expected corn and wheat acres. The following is commentary from Jon Driedger of FarmLink Marketing Solutions and Stephan Gmehlin of

Below is Jon Driedger of FarmLink Marketing Solutions commentary.
The corn acres was the big surprise, and today’s trade clearly reflected that. Wheat was a bit negative as well, but managed to hold up relatively better than the corn. The soybean numbers came in roughly as expected, confirming an S&D that has little room for yield adversity going forward, which allowed it to hold up quite impressively today given the negative sentiment coming from corn.

As with all major government reports, the market’s reaction to the news over the coming days will be more important than the numbers themselves. Sentiment may have shifted, but the main crops still have a lot of weather ahead to trade, and in the case of corn and wheat, current values have already priced in a fair amount of bearish news in recent weeks. Most of the minor crops are indicating smaller year-over-year plantings in the U.S., including some important ones to western Canadian growers such as canola, barley, flax, mustard and dry beans. So while the overall initial impression of this report was bearish, it will take some time for the markets to fully digest the details, and for prices to respond in local terms.

Stephan Gmehlin commented on this morning that, USDA surprised many people with this years Acreage report. Corn acres were actually up 2 million acres from the spring planting intentions report with an estimated 87 million acres this is the second largest corn crop planted since 1946, behind 2007. Iowa planted 13.7 million acres and Illinois added 200,000 acres from 2008 for a total of 12.3 million acres with Nebraska rounding out the top 3 states at 9.4 million acres. This corn acreage figure is a total surprise as most analysts were looking for acres to go down from March planting intention report, but this figure from USDA exceeded even the highest estimates of analysts by a million bushels.


Crop Marketing Update – Jon Driedger – FarmLink Marketing Solutions

June 24, 2009
On Monday afternoon I had the opportunity to sit down with Jon Driedger, a market analyst with FarmLink Marketing Solutions in Winnipeg. A day before the Canadian StatsCan acreage Report was released, Jon provided great insight into the dynamics facing the grains, oilseeds and pulse markets this summer and fall in North America.  

A special thank to Jon for his time and comments. Please take the time to check out FarmLink Marketing Solutions — Maximizing profitability farm-wide, through informed marketing decisions.

Breaking Down the Sustainable vs. Conventional Farming Debate

May 8, 2009

Tuesday on #agchat there was quite the discussion about many agricultural topics (see the Agwired review). The whole goal of agchat is to discuss the five questions posed by the moderator @mpaynknoper. The goal is not to have specifically a pro GMO or organic discussion but rather a pro agriculture discussion with all stakeholders.

I will save you from all the details of the battle that has been raging on twitter this week regarding sustainable versus conventional farming but the reality is that both sides need to start to listen to each other. We need to get past the rhetoric that Monsanto is the evil empire and all people that eat organic food smoke pot and live in a grass hut down by the river. Today, a pro sustainable ag blogger posted some thoughts that showcase how strong the rift is between sustainable and conventional agriculture.

There is a place for both sustainable and conventional agriculture in the marketplace. For either side to suggest that we should do away with the other would be ignoring the demands of the end user. There is demand for both sustainable products and conventional products in the marketplace.

My wish is that the pro sustainable (organic) believers would take off the “Monsanto is evil” blinders and start realizing that transgenic traits do serve a beneficial purpose to the marketplace. I have many friends at Syngenta, Monsanto, Dow Agro, Bayer and Pioneer Hybrid and I can tell you none of those people are evil or want to control the food system. I would encourage all of my sustainable (pro organic) friends on Twitter and abroad to start opening their mind to what is really happening in agriculture (get it…….RealAgriculture).

Larry Weber Comments on the USDA Planting Report

April 1, 2009

Yesterday the USDA planting intention report was released which has stirred lots of speculation about the future movement of of agricultural commodity price. On BNN yesterday Larry Weber of Weber Commodities spoke about the planting report and some of the ramifications. Larry speculates that Soybeans could be headed to 10-11 dollars per bushel this spring. With this report Larry believes that a floor has been established for soybeans at $9.50. As Larry notes in the video the reality will be a global acreage battle between corn and soybeans for the upcoming years.

According to the USDA’s report, there will have 6 million less corn acres in comparison to last year. Wheat acres are about where everyone expected. If you are interested in learning more about Larry Weber check out his website at

Monsanto’s Application For Drought Tolerant Gene Provides Pull Type Trait Development

March 31, 2009

There has been a lot of confusion amongst some people regarding Monsanto‘s application for GM drought tolerant corn for feed and food use in Canada and the United States. The application has been made and could be ready if approved fro commercialization in 2012 or 2013. This gene will provide farmers with the ability to stabilize yield during adverse rainfall conditions. In my mind this is the kind of 2nd generation trait development that is going to provide excellent production benefits to farmers and have added benefits to the general public.

According to Trish Jordan, Public Relation Lead at Monsanto Canada in Winnipeg, agriculture accounts for 70% of the worlds annual water usage. Traits that allow plants like corn to use less of it will have a positive impact on the environment.

Lately on Twitter, there has been a lot of public criticism of Monsanto “pushing” this technology on the public. A couple weeks ago I spoke to some University of Lethbridge Agriculture students about the second generation of trait development which will provide not only production benefits but also greater benefits for the general public. I call this pull type trait development instead of push type trait development. Ask any city dwelling friend who knows nothing about agriculture whether or not they think we should develop plants that use less water but remain just as productive. I would imagine that they would think that it was a great idea. Pull type GMOs will become more acceptable for the general public because they provide benefits to all of society. Push type GMOs really only provide direct benefits for farmers because they were strictly production based and do not affect city people. Monsanto is not “pushing” the drought tolerant gene on anyone. This is a gene that farmers and people concerned about the environment will benefit from. Sounds like a positive innovation to me.