Quick Agricultural Update

Agfax reports about soybeans in Louisiana.

(emphasis mine) [my comment]

[Louisiana]
SOYBEANS - Saw a combine running this morning. Yields still all over the board with lows of 7 to highs of 70's.

Farmers that delayed stinkbug apps for two weeks due to weather will notice considerable damage. How much will be left to the discretion of the tester at the elevator. Some we hulled out had over 80% damage early last week. But we have also done this earlier this year and the soybeans graded less than 10% damaged. We cannot manage the numbers of stinkbugs that are now entering soybean fields. Threshold levels are returning too quickly. Some farmers are talking about planting more late beans next year. Better figure 5 — 8 apps for stinkbugs in that budget.

No soybean is safe from stinkbugs as long as it remains in the field. High numbers can harm even soybeans at R7, but typically soybeans which are that mature will only harbor immatures that cannot fly to a younger maturing soybean. Brigade at 1/20 gal/ac or Orthene at 1/0 lb/ac give our best stinkbug control.

Agfax reports about soybeans in Mississippi.

Rains Cause Damage, Yield Losses to State Soybean Crop
AgFax.Com - Your Online Ag News Source
By Bonnie Coblentz

MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE, Mississippi (October 2, 2009) — Harvest season rains have robbed soybean growers of strong yields and bean quality, reducing profits in an already challenging year.

"We were harvesting a beautiful crop with outstanding yields before the rains came the last two weeks of September," said Trey Koger, soybean specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. "Now that farmers are finally back in fields, we are seeing average yield losses of 5 percent to 10 percent."

In addition to the yield losses, damage estimates average between 5 percent and 20 percent.

"The amount of damage the crop received is extremely variable," Koger said. "We're seeing damage from 2 percent to 80 percent. You couple these numbers with the yield losses, and farmers are not seeing as good a harvest as they anticipated just a few weeks ago."

For two weeks, the crop stayed at 26 percent harvested, but it climbed to about 35 percent after three days back in the field. Soybean harvest is typically 80 percent complete by early October.

"We should make a lot of strides if we get 10 to 14 days of good weather. Farmers are working really hard to get caught up," Koger said. About a quarter of this year's crop was planted late, either because it was replanted or planted after wheat or floodwaters. Koger said these late-planted acres still look fine.

The same cannot be said of acreage that has harvest-ready soybeans standing in the fields. Rains have caused pod splitting, and many soybeans are sprouting in the pods.

"The seeds in these pods are often rotted or sprouted by the time the field is harvested," Koger said. "They will blow out the back of the combine if they are shriveled extensively or have lost a lot of their weight, or they will go into the grain tank and contribute to reduced seed quality."

Despite the variability in losses, Koger said damage to the state's overall crop is not as severe as many thought it would be after the prolonged rain.

"The irrigated soybeans that looked good going into this rain weathered it surprisingly well," Koger said. "Nonirrigated beans as a whole have taken it worse. As a result of the varying degrees of stress a nonirrigated crop goes through, seed damage and subsequent quality losses on nonirrigated acres are typically worse than on irrigated acres."

Rainy weather is not the only thing attacking the state's soybean crop. Jeff Gore, a Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station research entomologist, said a new, smaller but more aggressive feeding species of stinkbugs has moved into the state.

"The red-banded stinkbug is slowly creeping its way up our state from Louisiana," Gore said. "We had them in low levels last year and had to treat a couple of fields for these stinkbugs, but they are a lot more widespread this year on the later-planted soybeans."

Gore said producers have sprayed a significant number of acres for the red-banded stinkbugs. Existing insecticides are effective, but they break down in six to 11 days and the bugs re-infest quickly.

"Either you spray for these stinkbugs or you're not going to harvest beans," Gore said. "Since you have to spray more frequently and at a little higher rate, you have to make a management assessment according to how the beans are looking when the stinkbugs move in."

Gore said several MSU and U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service scientists have been working on the problem since the insects became an issue in Louisiana.

"I'm afraid this one has the potential to be a lot more of a problem than rust," Gore said. "They appear to be well-established through most areas of Mississippi now, and it's likely to be an annual problem that will get worse before it gets better."

Agfax reports that late season rains affect crops in Alabama.

Place: Wind Creek Hotel in Atmore, Alabama.
Late Season Rains Affect Crops

The late season rains which were heavy and steady did hurt the crops in this area. The cotton crop took the worst hit. By mid August it looked like growers had an excellent crop. The September rains took their toll on cotton by causing boll rot and hard lock. Each field depending on stage of growth and when the rains hit took a different loss. Some fields were close to 100 % damaged. Across the 8 counties here cotton took a 25 to 30 % loss due to the continued rains. Some of the earliest planted and early maturing soybeans suffered heavily from pod rot. The rains made late corn difficult to harvest and caused some quality loss. Peanut disease increased and the rains made control programs somewhat difficult. However, the rains did help the peanuts to make a good crop.

South East Farm Press reports that Kentucky soybean yields varying widely.

Kentucky soybean yields varying widely
Nov 12, 2008 9:13 AM

Combines continued to roll through Kentucky soybean fields last week as 89 percent of the crop has now been harvested. That total is slightly behind the 92 percent of last year, but well ahead of the five-year average of 81 percent.

Growers reported good yields from full-season soybeans, but double-crop beans following wheat have yielded from good to very poor.

In Tennessee, soybean growers were wrapping u this year's harvest, ahead of the normal pace, but similar to last year.

Iowa Farmer Today reports that harvest is underway in Iowa.

Harvest is underway
September 25th, 2009
Mark Licht-WC agronomist

Harvesting of corn that was damaged by the early August hail storm is underway. This corn matured early and with 80+*F temperatures it dried down very quickly. Yield vary so much that there's not much sense in talking about yields, but test weight and grain damage are notable. Test weight is running 42 to 49 pounds per bushel, grain damage is running 10 to 30 percent. Of course, the grain damage is a matter of how sieves and fans are set and the amount that is kept versus being blown out the back. Grain moisture is as low as 15 percent. Stalks are weak and lodging may appear if strong winds accompany any storms.

Away from the hail damage areas of West Central Iowa, soybean harvest is underway. There are a considerable number of soybean acres harvested. I have heard of moisture as low as 10%. Many yields are coming in the 45 to 55 bushel per acre range,
but general consensus is that yields are slightly lower than expected. Shattering has been low thus far.

Iowa Farmer Today reports that combines rolling in NW Iowa.

Combines rolling in NW Iowa

The soybean harvest has started in NW Iowa, and early reports are mixed to a little lower than hoped. It seems that most of the early bean reports I have heard are below what we harvested last year — maybe about 5 bushels per acre. I don't think many are surprised by lower yields [The USDA maybe? (The USDA is predicting that Iowa soybean yields will increase by 7 bushels per acre)], the cooler temperatures and very rapid dry down in September seemed to lead to lower node numbers and small bean sizes. However, like every year, I think there will be neighborhoods in NW Iowa that will match what they saw last year or possibly even surpass it. We are just getting started, so I think we might have a better handle on this in a week. Like Kyle Jensen noted in his recent blog, stems are green in many cases, and the combines are growling. That seems more typical than unusual anymore.

Posted inHarvest, Joel DeJong-NW agronomistSeptember 28th, 2009

Wcco reports that Farmers Survey For Frost Damage.

Sep 30, 2009 9:28 am US/Central
Farmers Survey For Frost Damage
GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) ?

Corn and bean farmers in eastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota are surveying their crops for damage after the first fall frost this week.

The development and harvest of corn, soybeans and dry beans is behind because of a weather-delayed growing season.

North Dakota Corn Growers Association Director Tom Lilja says it appears the region avoided a "killing frost," in which temperatures reach 28 degrees Fahrenheit or colder.
But some farmers say they still expect some damage to their crops.

Some corn also is three to four weeks behind in development, and there are worries it will not mature.

Howard Person, a crop education official in Minnesota's Marshall County, says he doesn't think dry bean crops will be hurt by the frost.
But he says late-planted soybeans might be affected.

Commodity Online reports that cold wave hits US Upper Midwest.

Cold wave hits US Upper Midwest
2009-09-30

WICHITA (Commodity Online) : Extreme cold weather hits most Upper Midwest United States Tuesday and farmers are worried about frost damage to corn crops.

Tuesday morning's temperatures reached down into the danger zone for corn crops along the Red River Valley and only time will tell for certain whether there was any frost damage.

Farmers in the northern portions of the Upper Midwest have been keeping their fingers crossed, hoping they could get their corn off the fields before the first hard frost.

Several areas reported temperatures below freezing and, with wind chill, as low as 25 degrees. The temperatures lasted one to two hours.

The damage will take 24 to 48 hours to show on the corn plants.

It's been a tight squeeze all season for corn growers, who typically need 85 days to 90 days for their crops to mature enough for harvest.

A very wet spring kept most in the area off their fields, delaying planting for four to six weeks, while others were delayed into mid-June. Their concerns were increased when July and August came and went without the usual stretch of hot, sunny days.

Experts began saying the corn was three to four weeks behind. Some growers said their corn crops would not have time to reach maturity,
as had happened last year when corn fields all over the Northern Plains were left standing through winter.

Soybean Export Sales Still Insane

As of September 24, the US has already committed to exporting 19,426,479 Metric Tons (714 million bushels) of soybean from the 2009 crop. The amount of soybean exports sales outstanding right now is simply insane, and it explains why the USDA is twisting its estimates beyond the realm of believability: if the US doesn't have a bumper crop, then its supply/demand numbers don't add up.

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4 Responses to Quick Agricultural Update

  1. Robert says:

    Hi Eric,

    Can you explain just what 'export sales' are? Who sold this stuff to the Chinese?

    Is this just futures market trading? How do they differentiate 'exports' from speculative long positions?

    How do you expect this to be unwound when it turns out to be impossible to find the 700 bushels of Soy the chinese think they have bought?

  2. As with all cases of supply and demand.
    1)Price will rise until some who have not bought early will not be able to buy , decreasing demand.
    2) Switching to other feed if and possible.
    3)Price rises to a point where those who bought for export sales sell into the market
    4)And of course default at the Fraudex exchanges so that there is a cash settlement

  3. Bowtie says:

    See anything on the Beijing Put?

  4. Julian H. says:

    It's clear to me. The US won't be able to deliver and it WILL lead to severe trade tensions with China. They going to be mad as hell and I think they will retaliate one way or an other.

    But do the chinese have weapons to retaliate ? I see only one weapon: Increase (dramatically) the issueance of renminbi denominated bonds in this and in 2010.

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