Fri 3rd May 2013
Canadian grain stocks fall to multi-year lows
Canada is braving a delayed sowing period, threatening a late harvest and increased reliance on old crop supplies, with the smallest wheat stocks in five years, the smallest canola inventories in eight years and thinnest barley supplies on record.
Canada’s stocks of all its top-10 crops, bar corn and rye, were lower at the end of March than a year before, Statistics Canada data showed.
Inventories of oats tumbled furthest, by 30% to 1.21m tonnes, the lowest March-end figure in a decade.
However, the drop in canola inventories was not much slower, down 25% to 3.91m tonnes, the weakest for the time of year since 2005.
And the important wheat-stocks figure was also lower, by 8.1% to a five-year low of 13.5m tonnes.
Signally, unlike the US March stocks data released more than a month ago, which sent grain prices tumbling worldwide, the Canadian figures fell short of market expectations, which for canola were for stocks of at least 4.1m tonnes, and for wheat of 13.9m tonnes.
Yet they come as poor weather is delaying the important spring sowing period, meaning that users will have to rely longer on old crop supplies, whether or not yields are penalised by planting hold-ups.
"We view Canadian planting prospects over the next three weeks as of far greater importance to trade than old crop stocks," Richard Feltes, at Chicago broker RJ O’Brien, said.
However, another US analyst told Agrimoney.com: "The stocks figure cannot be dismissed too lightly.
"If the harvest is delayed, yet the old crop is tight, that does look like creating a chance of a bit of a squeeze in the market as buyers wait for new crop."
In barley, the data – which showed inventories falling 9.7% to a record low for March of 2.96m tonnes – stand to provoke further nerves among buyers already concerned at sowing delays, particularly in the malting barley market.
"The general sentiment in the malting industry is nervous as ‘act of god’ clauses in barley contracts in Canada and North Dakota become more likely to be enacted as the potential late crop becomes ever more likely," malting barley consultancy RMI Analytics noted last week.
"As we have seen in Canada the planting of barley in early June can lead to frost, rains and even snows at harvest – not a good event for meeting malting specifications."
Dearth of data
Sowing progress of Canadian spring crops, while seen being heavily delayed like that of North Dakota, is hard to gauge accurately because of a void of official reports – reflecting the slow start.
The Prairies province of Alberta is to release its first crop progress report on May 10. Farmers had sown 55% of spring crops by May 17 last year, with an average of 67%.
Manitoba and Saskatchewan provinces have yet to announce the start of their crop progress reports, which began last year on April 23 and April 19 respectively.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Fri May 03, 2013 1:33 pm
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Drought Could Impede River Shipments Of Grain, Fertilizer
As navigation channels get shallower due to the drought, the Army Corps of Engineers is working to ensure the lanes stay open.
Published: Dec 10, 2012
Sometime this winter, Mississippi River shipping lanes could very well shut down.
It’s just one more dire consequence that can be blamed on the 2012 drought, which many long-range forecasters expect to carry well into next spring. According to Illinois Corn Growers Association executive director Rodney Weinzierl, the latest frustration deals with removing rock pinnacles from navigation lanes near Cape Girardeau, Mo.
"The plan is, either this January or February, to start blasting out those rock pinnacles, which have become a navigation problem due to record low water levels," Weinzierl explains.
Regardless of when the Army Corps of Engineers begins, the project will take approximately 60 days. During this time, barge traffic will be slowed as the Corps works in 12-hour daytime periods. Traffic will be restored during the night, Weinzierl explains.
Drought Could Significantly Impede River Shipments Of Grain And Fertilizer
Once the rocks are removed, it will add another two feet of navigable draft space. According to Weinzierl, draft is how boat captains determine if there’s enough depth for the ship. South of St. Louis, 10- to 12-foot drafts are common. On the Upper Mississippi River and Illinois River, 9-foot drafts are standard.
In early December, the draft space on the Illinois River had been reduced to 8 feet. Commercial tug boats need a 7 ½-foot draft. Weinzierl expects commercial traffic to become arduous north of Alton very soon.
"We expect grain movement to stop soon," he adds.
And the hits keep coming. Many of the river transport companies have modified contracts so they’re able to charge grain elevators a storage fee if grain must sit on a barge.
Call to action
In the near term, a number of ag organizations, including the American Farm Bureau, National Corn Growers Association, American Soybean Association and The Fertilizer Institute, have penned a letter to President Barack Obama asking for assistance in two matters regarding river transportation.
First, they’ve requested to move on the rock pinnacle blasting as soon as possible. The Corps original time frame called for a February removal. They recently moved it up to January. Weinzierl says the ag industry would like to see work begin well before Christmas.
Secondly, the letter asks for additional water to be released from the six Missouri River reservoirs. The Mississippi River’s woes stem from a reduced flow from the Missouri River, which is a result of the continued drought in the Western Great Plains.
Currently, the Corps is experimenting with releasing rates from 12,000 to 18,000 cubic feet per second. As the Corps backs off the rate, some municipalities’ water supply intake pipes have started to suck air.
Weinzierl says the industry is requesting a rate of 22,000 cubic feet/second, which would help raise depth for better navigation.
Fertilizer supply concerns
If Mother Nature doesn’t begin dumping rain on the Midwest soon, this problem could extend well into 2013. Fertilizer could become difficult to secure.
Jean Payne, president of the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association, expects this will cause problems in Illinois, but may be even worse in Iowa.
"Hurricane Isaac gave Illinois an anhydrous ammonia season this fall," Payne notes. "It didn’t do the same for Iowa."
Going west, the soil only gets drier. Many are praying for rain and a window to apply spring fertilizer. Hopefully that rain comes soon, as approximately 30%-60% of the upper Midwest relies on the Mississippi River to transport fertilizer, Payne adds.
Retailers don’t expect rail will bail them out. The rail car capacity simply doesn’t exist, particularly for UAN and anhydrous ammonia, Payne says.
"The rail cars dedicated to carrying anhydrous ammonia and UAN are already spoken for," she adds.
Back on the grain side of things, Weinzierl says rail cannot account for lost river shipping capacity. Illinois ships approximately 100 to 120 million bushels of corn south on Canadian National Railways each year. The river system usually ships 300 million bushels of corn south in just the upcoming three-month period. It’s one more wrinkle in a year that’s starting off with extremely low corn stocks.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Thu Dec 13, 2012 1:32 pm
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Top exporters’ grain stocks to fall to 17-year low
Grain stocks held by major exporters are to fall to the tightest since the season that corn broke above $5 a bushel for the first time, and wheat above $7 a bushel, the International Grains Council, cutting further its supply forecasts.
The intergovernmental group, in the latest of a series of cuts to production forecasts, lowered its estimate for world grains production in 2012-13 by 6m tonnes to 1.76m tonnes.
While the estimate for consumption was trimmed too, seen falling for the first time in 14 years, the harvest downgrade meant a further cut of 4m tonnes to the estimate for inventories at the close of the season.
This included a 3m tonne-drop to 96m tonnes in the forecast for stocks held by major exporters, such as Canada, the European Union and the US, whose supplies are viewed with particular importance given their availability to the world market.
Inventories in many countries, such as China, are viewed as less relevant to world grain pricing considerations, in being in essence unavailable for exports.
‘Even tighter stocks’
"Inventories for the major exporters will be even tighter and the smallest for 17 years," the IGC said.
IGC corn, wheat forecasts, 2012-13, change on last and (on year)
World corn production: 830m tonnes, -3m tonnes, (-5.3%)
Corn end-stocks: 117m tonnes, -3m tonnes, (-13.3%)
Stocks held by major exporters: 29m tonnes, -3m tonnes, (-24%)
World wheat output: 655m tonnes, -2m tonnes, (-5.6%)
Wheat year-end stocks: 172m tonnes, -3m tonnes, (-12.2%)
Stocks held by major exporters: 50m tonnes, -1m tonnes, (-28%)
The last time stocks were so tight was the season that Chicago corn futures set a then-record of $5.54 ½ a bushel, in July 1996, before harvest began on a US crop which turned out 25% bigger than that a year before, allowing stocks to double.
Wheat in March 1996 spiked to a then record of $7.50 a bushel, returning above $7 a bushel the next month.
In fact, IGC analysts saw India, not normally considered a major exporter, playing a bigger role in wheat shipments than they had previously expected, raising their estimate for Russia too, but cutting hopes for Australian and US shipments.
‘Production prospects have mostly worsened’
The downgrade to grain crop hopes reflected lower ideas of both the world corn and wheat harvests.
For wheat, "lower yields in the European Union and Kazakhstan, as well as deteriorating crop prospects in Argentina and Australia, reduce the forecast for world production to 655m tonnes," the IGC said.
The estimate is, nonetheless, some 2m tonnes above the forecast from the US Department of Agriculture, whose data are viewed by many observers as setting world benchmarks.
For corn, the production estimate was trimmed by 3m tonnes, to a figure well below the USDA figure, with the council noting that "northern hemisphere production prospects have mostly worsened".
However, the IGC was upbeat on hopes for soybean production, raising their world production estimate by 8m tonnes to 264m tonnes.
"The forecast recovery in world production depends on favourable weather for key South American crops," the council cautioned.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:45 am
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Grain prices rise after US says stocks to stay low
Grain and oilseed prices jumped after US officials cut their forecast for domestic corn stocks and, while raising hopes for the soybean harvest, said that buyers would swallow up nearly all the extra supplies.
Crop prices as of 08:50 Chicago time (14:50 UK time)
Chicago corn (December): $7.68 ¾ a bushel, +3.2%
Chicago wheat (December): $8.88 ¼ a bushel, +2.1%
Chicago soybeans (November): $15.53 a bushel, +2.0%
London wheat (November): £201.50 a tonne, +1.0%
Paris wheat (November): E262.25 a tonne, +0.4%
The US Department of Agriculture, in its much-watched Wasde crop report, downgraded its estimate for US corn inventories at the close of 2012-13 to 619m bushels, the lowest for 17 years, and a deeper reduction than investors had expected.
While the estimate for the harvest was trimmed by less than investors had expected, reflecting a unexpectedly low figure for crop abandonment to the worst drought since 1956, the USDA eschewed further cuts for forecasts for domestic consumption of the grain.
On soybeans, the USDA upgraded by some 226m bushels to its forecast for the US harvest, saying that sowings had exceeded previous expectations, and with yields turning out better than had been feared too.
However, while the raise to the harvest estimate beat market forecasts, so did USDA ideas for demand, which were seen sufficient to swallow all but 15m bushels of the extra output.
Wasde corn data, change on last and (on market expectations)
Planted acres: 96.9m acres, +0.5m acres
Harvested acres: 87.7, acres, +0.3m acres, (+1.56m acres)
Yield: 122.0 bushels per acre, -0.8 bushels per acre, (-0.88 bushels per acre)
Production: 10.706bn bushels, -21m bushels, (+105m bushels)
End-stocks: 619m bushels, -112m bushels, (-39m bushels)
The immediate market reaction was to push up grain prices which had fallen into the report on expectations that the estimate revisions would show a larger easing in the squeeze in US corn and soybean supplies.
Chicago soybeans for November, up 0.7% ahead of the Wasde, extended gains to 2.9%.
Corn recouped small losses to post a gain of nearly 5%, helping wheat make 2.3% headway.
Slow pace of exports
The revisions to the corn crop reflected a small upgrade to the estimate for harvested area, offset by a trim in the yield estimate to 122.0 bushels per acre, rather than the slight increase that analysts had forecast.
On demand, the USDA further reduced estimates for US corn exports, by 100m bushels to a 38-year low of 1.15bn bushels, "based on the slow pace of sales to date and strong competition from Brazil".
However, it surprised many investors by sticking with a forecast that US livestock farmers will get through 4.15bn bushels of the grain in 2102-13.
The forecast for farmgate corn prices over the season was reduced, but by a modest $0.10 a bushel, to $7.20-8.50 a bushel, from the September estimate, a smaller decline than sustained by futures over the past month.
For soybeans, production hopes received a twin boost from ideas that the yield had come in better than previously feared, and by a 1.1m-acre upgrade to the estimate of harvested area, after spring sowings were deemed larger than had been thought.
Wasde soybean data, change on last and (on market expectations)
Planted acres: 77.2m acres, +1.1m acres
Harvested acres: 75.7, acres, +1.1m acres, (+1.1m acres)
Yield: 37.8 bushels per acre, +2.5 bushels per acre, (+0.8 bushels per acre)
Production: 2.860bn bushels, +26m bushels, (+101m bushels)
End-stocks: 130m bushels, +15m bushels, (-4m bushels)
The estimate for the area harvested in Illinois, the second-ranked producing state, was lifted by 450,000 acres, with those for Indiana and North Dakota receiving 150,000-acre upgrades.
However, all but 15m bushels of the extra production was seen being swallowed up by domestic crushers and, in particular, importers such as China, whose purchases were seen rising to a record 61.0m tonnes.
Indeed, even though estimates for US stocks were kept near to historic lows, those for other major consuming countries were edged higher, suggesting that the USDA believes the extra domestic production will largely go to allowing some breathing space in importing nations.
‘Put a floor under corn’
The data were viewed as broadly supportive to grain and oilseed prices, with Richard Feltes at RJ O’Brien saying that "against a backdrop of tight supplies and an uncertain 2013 South American season, we think putting the October report in the rear view mirror will pre-empt new lows".
US Commodities said that the data had "put a floor under corn".
And at Teucrium Trading, a New York-based issuer of agriculture-based exchange traded funds, president Sal Gilbertie said that the data showed "very, very" tight supplies of, in particular, corn, likely meaning more "price rationing to prevent balance sheets becoming critically unbalanced".
Globally, "everyone is finding a tightening balance sheet, and will likely see higher prices in the near future of basic food stuffs," Mr Gilbertie said.
He cautioned that historically, demand destruction had been harder to achieve "than people suspect", signalling that, with US harvests close to completion, consumption factors looked set to gain more attention in markets.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:33 am
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Russia may curb grain exports after all
Russia may impose grain export curbs after all to quell a rise in domestic prices of the grain, the country’s economy minister said, as Russia’s continued success in shipments continues to erode supplies.
Andrei Belousov, Russia’s economy minister, said it was "quite possible" that the government, which two years ago banned shipments altogether after dryness devastated grains production, would restrict exports of this year’s drought-hit crop.
The comments fostered a rise in prices of wheat, Russia’s main grain export, which stood 1.6% higher at $8.93 ¾ a bushel in Chicago at 10:10 UK time (04:10 Chicago time), while gaining 0.8% in Paris and 1.2% in London.
And they appeared to put Mr Belusov on a collision course with Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich, who said at the end of August, after a meeting with farm ministers which eschewed trade curbs, that "we consider any export restrictions harmful.
"We will use the instruments we have – market interventions and information exchange with market participants.
"As long as I am in charge of this sector, I will be against any export restrictions."
Separately on Friday, Mr Dvorkovich said that Russia did not plan to impose export curbs.
Mr Belusov said on Friday: "The issue of [a] grain exports ban is the issue of domestic grain prices dynamics.
"We are witnessing such a trend at the moment… With such a trend, it’s quite possible, that the government will decide to restrict grain exports."
The government will discuss grain exports "this autumn".
Clashes within governments are not uncommon at times of rising grain prices, with agriculture ministers often seeking to protect the interests of farmers, for which high prices may offer compensation for a poor crop.
Meanwhile, economy ministers, attempting to keep a lid on inflation, often pursue action to depress food prices or, as in Ukraine last year, opportunities to raise revenues through export levies.
Prices of Grade 3 wheat stood at 8,450 roubles a tonne as of a week ago, up 28% on values at the start of June, before US, and then former Soviet Union, droughts sent world grain prices soaring.
The rises have been underpinned by weak inventories left over from last year’s campaign, with inventories held by farmers starting August at their lowest in nine years.
The price of Grade 4 wheat, the typical export grade, was 8,425 roubles a tonne, a gain of 30% over the same period.
However, with values of foreign grain rising too, the increases, while cutting the discount of Russian wheat exports compared with rival supplies, has not eliminated it entirely, with the country on Wednesday winning a 150,000-tonne order from Iraq against international competition.
Traders flagged the higher price of some $377 a tonne, excluding freight, that Iraq appears to have paid, compared with the values of $320-350 a tonne paid by Egypt at tenders undertaken earlier, but also for November shipment.
The Iraq price "is going to provide some very tough competition in the interior" for any merchants which have yet to source grain for Egypt, Swiss-based analysis group Fryer said.
‘Soon dry up’
Fryer analysts added, in comments made before Friday’s announcement: "We now suspect that unless there is a clear mandate from the [Russian] government that allows sales into November," implying that any curbs might not be go live until late in the year.
Even so, it may be too late for buyers to source large quantities of the grain ahead of any curbs, with logistics at Russia’s main Black Sea port already appearing tight, given the three ships bound for Iraq to load, besides 13 panamax cargos to Egypt in the October-to-November timeframe.
The fate of Russia’s exports is being closely watched given that their decline will shift demand from importers to other origins, notably European and North American supplies.
At UK grain merchant Gleadell, trading manager Jonathan Lane said: "Black Sea wheat offers will soon dry up, Southern hemisphere wheat production is forecast 10m tonnes lower than last year, and a tighter EU surplus is seen replacing declining Black Sea exports."
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Fri Sep 21, 2012 10:01 am
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Just one example of the USDA working against US farmers in two clips from this week
http://www.thecropsite.com/news/11968/e … has-peaked
USDA left Australian wheat production unchanged at 26 million tonnes while the market fully expected a cut due to the recent estimate by ABARES down to 22.50 million tonnes.
Australia & New Zealand Bank set a fresh low for expectations for the Australian wheat crop, whose woes are gaining increasing global market attention, warning that dryness has put it on course for a five-year low.
Paul Deane, senior ag economist at ANZ, said that the bank was expecting an Australian wheat crop of about 20m tonnes, some 3m tonnes below its previous forecast
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Sat Sep 15, 2012 7:32 am
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Significant Tightening of Global Grain Supply – Demand Balance Forecast
13 September 2012
GLOBAL – Continued deterioration of cereal crop prospects over the past two months, due to unfavourable weather conditions in a number of major producing regions, has led to a sharp cut in FAO’s world production forecast since the previous report in July.
Based on the latest indications, global cereal production would not be sufficient to cover fully the expected utilization in the 2012/13 marketing season, pointing to a larger drawdown of global cereal stocks than earlier anticipated. Among the major cereals, maize and wheat were the most affected by the worsening of weather conditions.
FAO’s latest forecast for world cereal production in 2012 stands at 2,295 million tonnes, down 52 million tonnes, or 2.2 per cent, from the record in 2011. This forecast is significantly (about four per cent) below the estimate reported in FAO’s previous report in July, largely reflecting the worsening of maize production prospects in the United States because of the widespread and severe drought.
World production of coarse grains (i.e. maize, barley, sorghum, millet, rye and oats) is projected at 1,148 million tonnes, down 17 million tonnes (or 1.5 per cent) from 2011. The anticipated fall mainly reflects a smaller maize crop, which is expected to decline to 864 million tonnes in 2012, 20 million tonnes less than in 2011. According to the latest report from the United States Department of Agriculture, published on 10 August, this year’s maize crop in the United States could fall to 274 million tonnes, down 56 million tonnes (17 per cent) from the July forecast and 40 million tonnes (13 per cent) below the previous year.
The FAO’s forecast for world wheat production has also been downgraded since July. Global wheat production is anticipated to reach 663 million tonnes in 2012, down 15 million tonnes (two per cent) from the previous forecast, which would be 36 million tonnes (five per cent ) below 2011.
Most of the decline from last year (as well as from the previous report) reflects the negative effects of drought on CIS yields and production.
Wheat output in the Russian Federation is forecast to decline by 29 per cent to 40 million tonnes compared to 2011 and below the 41.5 million tonnes registered in 2010. Production also looks set to fall sharply in Kazakhstan and Ukraine, by 47 per cent and 37 per cent respectively. By contrast, a number of other key producers may harvest larger crops. In the United States, wheat production is to increase by 13.5 per cent to an above-average level of 61.7 million tonnes. In Canada, wheat output is expected to be above-average and six per cent higher than in 2011.
This year’s harvest in India is pointing to a record of almost 94 million tonnes (up eight per cent from the previous year’s record).
Likewise, in China, wheat output may reach a new high of 118 million tonnes. In the EU, the latest projections point to only a small reduction from 2011.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:32 am
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Storing grain? Protect it like a bin full of gold
Stu Ellis, FarmGate blog | Updated: August 28, 2012
What are you doing with the corn and soybeans you harvest? Are you selling as they are harvested, concerned about a long, slow price decline typical of a short crop? Or are you storing them, hoping for the market to continue climbing as end users bid higher to acquire inventory?
For those of you who are storing, and storing on your farm, you must ensure that you are going to keep it in good condition because the crop is valuable, and you may not have much of it. Here’s how…
Preparing a grain bin and its associated conditioning equipment is best achieved with a checklist. Make sure you have several pieces of paper and several sharp pencils, along with some time to properly take care of the task.
Ag and Natural Resources Specialist Curtis Young of Ohio State University, offers an extensive list of items that will need attention as you prepare to store the new crop and preserve its quality, and says the key to success is sanitation. Remember, quality cannot improve in storage, but certainly can deteriorate, so ensure that you are not contributing to the latter.
Cleaning and facility preparation:
Starting with thorough cleaning of every piece of equipment through which or in which grain will be passed or hauled.
Remove all traces of old grain from combines, combine heads, truck beds, grain carts, augers, lift buckets, grain pits, grain driers, bins and any other equipment used for harvesting, transporting, and handling grain.
Even small amounts of moldy and/or insect-infested grain left in equipment can contaminate a bin of new grain.
Since grain is usually in contact with grain bins for the greatest length of time, extra attention should be paid to the sanitation of these structures.
Remove any grain or grain dust from inside the bins by sweeping or vacuuming empty bins and brushing down walls.
Pay close attention to cracks and crevices, ledges over doors, and hollow tube ladder rungs on or in which grain could have been trapped from the previous storage seasons.
Fans, aeration ducts, exhausts, and when possible, beneath slotted floors should be cleared of debris as well.
Dispose of all debris in a lawful manner and away from the storage facility. Sanitation outside of bins is as important as inside of the bins.
Ideally there should be no vegetation (weeds, shrubs, etc.) growing up against the outside of the bin. Grain pests (insects and rodents) can be harbored in the vegetation.
Bare ground covered with gravel or cement is preferred, but short-mown grass is tolerable.
Remove any spilled grain from around the outside of the bin and storage facility.
Once storage structures have been thoroughly cleaned, carefully inspect them for signs of deterioration, especially for leaks and holes through which insects, birds or rodents can gain easy access to the stored grain or rain and snow can drip or blow in onto the grain to produce wet spots that can lead to mold growth.
While inspecting for physical problems, one should also test aeration fans and driers for functionality.
Check belts, bearings and gear boxes for wear and proper lubrication.
Check electrical systems for corroded connections and frayed wiring before harvest.
Mice like to nest inside electrical boxes where they are safe from predators. They will strip insulation from wires for nesting material and their urine causes corrosion.
While inspecting control boxes, be sure to seal any openings through which mice could get in.
Be sure that guards and safety shields are in place over belts, chains and intakes.
Seal all leaks and make repairs to the equipment before you need them to manage the grain.
Once all cleaning and repairs have been completed, an empty-bin application of an appropriately labeled insecticide is advisable, especially in bins with difficult to clean areas and/or in bins with a history of insect problems.
For empty-bin insecticide treatments that are applied as a liquid, allow a minimum of 24 hours for the sprays to dry before loading grain into the bin.
It is preferable to have empty-bin treatments applied at least two weeks prior to harvest.
Registered empty-bin insecticides include: Tempo Ultra SC (cyfluthrin), Storcide II (chlorpyrifos methyl plus deltamethrin), Suspend SC (deltamethrin), Diacon-D and Diacon II (s-methoprene = an insect growth regulator), and several pyrethrin products can be used to apply a surface treatment to the inside of the bin and provide a residual protection.
Other products that contain diatomaceous earth and/or silicon dioxide such as Insecto, Protect-It, Perma-Guard and others may be utilized. Refer to the individual product labels for lists of insects controlled and application directions.
If a bin is known to be heavily infested with insects, an empty-bin fumigation may be required to knock down insect populations before applying one of the above insecticides.
The most readily available product for this purpose is phosphine gas producing materials such as aluminum phosphide and magnesium phosphide sold under a wide variety of trade names. Phosphine is an extremely toxic material and fumigations should be conducted by trained, experienced, licensed applicators.
Another measure one might take to reduce the chance of insect infestation is to apply a perimeter spray around the base and up the outside walls of the bin about 15 feet. This may only be necessary in areas where grain infesting insect movement has been observed on the outsides of the storage bins.
There are several synthetic pyrethroids (cyfluthrin, deltamethrin, permethrin, resmethrin, etc.) that can be used for this purpose as long as they do not come in contact with the grain.
Grain storage insecticide labels tend to change frequently. As always, check to make sure you are following the instructions on the product label and using the appropriate product for your situation.
Grain quality preservation:
One also needs to be sure that the end-user of the stored grain does not have restrictions on insecticide uses on or around the grains that they are going to purchase. If growing specialty grains, check with your buyers before using insecticides.
A few more words of caution include, new grain should NEVER be stored on top of grain from a previous season’s harvest; remove old grain and clean bins before adding new grain.
Grains broken in the harvesting and/or handling process become more susceptible to infestation by insects and mold. Thus, adjust combines according to the manufacturer’s specifications to minimize grain damage and to maximize removal of fines and other foreign material, move grains as little as possible, and limit the number of times and heights from which grains are dropped to reduce breakage.
Grain engulfment prevention:
Last but not least, review your safety procedures for working with flowing grain, grain harvesting and handling equipment, and personal protection.
Anyone who works around the bins and grain handling equipment should know where to find shut-off switches, fire extinguishers, and emergency phone numbers.
Being prepared for harvest will reduce the risk of accidents, and knowing how to react in an emergency can save lives.
Your 2012 crop may be small, but valuable and its quality needs to be protected if it is being stored. The bin should be cleaned, and an insecticide treatment applied if needed. Aeration and conditioning equipment should be checked and maintained, and the grain being stored should be regularly monitored for quality, but in doing so, no one should be in danger of entrapment.
Source: FarmGate blog
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:41 am
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Weak wheat results prompt futher Russia downgrades
Weak yields from eastern farms, seen as at lower risk of damage from dryness, prompted SovEcon to ditch the last hopes of Russia’s wheat crop beating that of the infamous drought year of 2010, and as the farm ministry cut its harvest hopes too.
Separately, US officials also cautioned over dryness in the Black Sea region for a second successive season threatening barge traffic along the Danube, an important route for carrying eastern European grain exports to sea ports.
SovEcon narrowed its forecast for the Russian wheat crop to 39m tonnes, from a range of 39m-41m tonnes, and representing a decline of some 70% year on year.
The revision also meant abandoning the last hopes that the harvest might beat the 40.5m tonnes in 2010, when a poor harvest prompted the government to impose a grain export ban.
The downgrade came shortly before the International Grains Council downgraded its wheat harvest forecast by 4.0m tonnes, also to levels below those of 2010.
And Nikolai Fyodorov, Russia’s farm minister signalled a downgrade to 75m tonnes, from 75m-80m tonnes, in his forecast for the total grains harvest.
"Clearly it will not be 80m tonnes, it is more likely 75m," he said in a television interview.
Even that figure is "still relatively optimistic", said Andrey Sizov Jr, the managing director of SovEcon, which pegs grains production at 70m tonnes.
The consultancy’s downgrade to hopes for wheat reflected crop results from the Urals and Siberia areas, later harvesting regions, where weak yields had dashed hopes of them avoiding the drought damage already highlighted in southern Russia.
"We had hoped that these areas were not affected by drought so badly, but it looks like they have been affected quite significantly," Mr Sizov told Agrimoney.com.
In Siberia, wheat yields have fallen some 35% to 0.85 tonnes per hectare, and in the Urals by 40% to 0.9 tonnes per hectare.
The disappointing results appear to have been reflected in prices which, unusually, have, gained a premium over those further west, where values are usually supported by closer proximity to ports, and export demand.
At some $280 a tonne, prices in Siberia, home to several large milling groups, are at a premium of some $20 a tonne over those in the black earth region, rather than the typical discount of some $30-40 a tonne.
"I do not think this premium will last for long," Mr Sizov said, citing also the prospect of further sales of the 5m tonnes of government intervention stocks of wheat, of which some 40% are held in Siberia.
Separately, US Department of Agriculture staff in Bucharest highlighted the impact of the lack of rainfall in the broader Black Sea region in lowering water levels on the Danube, a lifeline for bringing exports from eastern Europe to maritime ports.
The river is flowing into Romania at a volume of 2,900 cubic metres per second, 40% below average levels for August and lowering river levels below 2m in some stretches.
While there is the chance of a recovery in Danube water levels to 80% of average in the autumn, assuming normal rains upstream, levels in Romanian tributaries look like staying 30-50% below average even assuming a return to typical rainfall patterns.
The comments echo those from the US, where low water levels prompted the closure of an 11-mile stretch of the Mississippi this week for dredging, standing 93 vessels, including grain barges.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:26 am
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Grain prices threaten growth – except in Canada’s breadbasket
CALGARY — The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Jul. 30 2012
Grain prices, which are hitting record highs as crop failures ripple around the globe, are likely to remain strong for at least three more years, the World Bank says, threatening to push the price of nutritious food beyond the reach of the world’s poorest citizens.
The potential for a global food shortage prompted the bank on Monday to detail emergency measures, including billions of dollars in loans and assistance, to help developing countries deal with elevated grain prices that may linger until at least 2015.
While the massive drought in the United States has garnered a lot of attention, the situation is made worse by a shortage of rain that has damaged wheat crops in Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. India’s monsoon rainfall is also about 20 per cent below average, hurting crop prospects in the world’s second-most-populous country, while excessive rain is pinching farm producers in many European countries.
Consumers around the world will pay more for bread, processed foods and meat, if poor weather leads to grain shortages.
That could rattle “global growth and social stability,” the World Bank said in a statement, as the world’s poorest spend up to two-thirds of their daily income on food. On the flip side, Canadian farmers, as well as their counterparts in developing countries, stand to benefit enormously as grain supplies teeter on the verge of disaster.
“Thus far, crop projections do not indicate the potential for actual shortages in the major grains,” the World Bank said in a statement. “However, stocks are low, and the harvests will continue to be dependent upon global weather, which leaves prices more vulnerable to higher volatility.”
The World Bank’s warning focused on protecting the poor, noting that wheat prices are up over 50 per cent since mid-June, while corn is up 45 per cent since then. Soybeans have climbed 30 per cent since the beginning of June, and 60 per cent since the end of last year. Meanwhile, canola, which has emerged as Canada’s largest crop, is also trading at record highs, said Patricia Mohr, a vice-president and commodity markets specialist at Bank of Nova Scotia.
“From the perspective of Canadian farmers, it is actually a positive,” she said. “This fall, we may have a crop of oilseeds and grains which is a record in terms of revenue, provided the weather holds.”
Indeed, canola could put $10-billion in revenue in the pockets of Canadian farmers this growing season, Ms. Mohr predicts. However, canola, used in processed foods and as a cooking oil, does not affect food prices as much as corn. In the United States, corn is crucial for livestock feed, which is why red meat prices could jump. Barley, largely used to feed livestock in Canada, is rallying on corn’s shortcomings, again adding pressure to meat prices.
“We cannot allow short-term food-price spikes to have damaging long-term consequences for the world’s most poor and vulnerable,” Jim Yong Kim, the World Bank president, said in a statement. “When food prices rise sharply, families cope by pulling their kids out of school and eating cheaper, less nutritious food, which can have catastrophic life-long effects on the social, physical, and mental well being of millions of young people.”
The World Bank’s “commitments to agriculture and related sectors” exceeded $9-billion (U.S.) in fiscal 2012, the organization said, noting this extended beyond its projected lending under its agriculture plan. This assistance from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Development Association is the highest in 20 years, the bank said.
Record grain prices, however, bring a sliver of good news to producers in developing countries.
“Higher prices can bring desperately needed income to poor farmers, enabling them to invest, increase their production and thereby become part of the global food security solution,” the World Bank said.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Mon Jul 30, 2012 5:44 pm
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