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  • A trade spat between China and the US that thrust the trade of soybeans into the political limelight may yet have an impact on the global corn market, as exporters struggling for storage space sell more corn into an oversupplied arena.

  • US crop progress data has shown stable quality conditions for both staple crops corn and soybean, but both harvests' progress remains behind expectations on bad weather, data from the USDA has shown late Monday.

  • Climate change is coming like a freight train, or a rising tide. And our food, so dependent on rain and suitable temperatures, sits right in its path.

    The plants that nourish us won't disappear entirely. But they may have to move to higher and cooler latitudes, or farther up a mountainside. Some places may find it harder to grow anything at all, because there's not enough water. 

  • The most appropriate thing to write today, given that I am currently gazing over the beautiful wine farms of Stellenbosch, would indeed be wine. Instead, I will be blogging about good old maize, as I have just received the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report for major grains and oilseeds.

  • U.S. farmers finishing their harvests are facing a big problem - where to put the mountain of grain they cannot sell to Chinese buyers.

  • This year farmers dedicated over 90% of soybean, corn and cotton acres to bioengineered seeds. Most were herbicide tolerant (HT), insect resistant (Bt) or a stack of both, according to USDA. 

  • Bt corn could help farmers in Africa to combat an emerging pest capable of devastating their crops, but fear of GM crops in Africa has slowed adoption of the technology, says Walter Suza, an adjunct assistant professor of agronomy at Iowa State and a coauthor of the study.

  •  Corn harvest samples from across the United States that have been submitted to the Alltech 37+ mycotoxin analytical services laboratory in 2018 show high levels of mycotoxins, particularly deoxynivalenol (DON), zearalenone, fusaric acid, fumonisin and HT-2, according to Alltech. 

  •  High prices and increasing imports are expected to lead to a slowdown in corn consumption in China in the coming years, according to a new report from Rabobank.

  • China increased its corn production estimate for 2018-19 to 257.33 million tonnes based on the nation’s most recent agriculture census, Reuters reported on Jan. 11.

  • The caterpillars of the fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda), an invasive moth, can potentially feed on over 350 different species of plants. In the Americas it’s known as a serious pest.

  •  South Africa’s corn (maize) production will likely miss earlier estimates as dry weather delayed plantings and may impact yields, the Agricultural Business Chamber said Jan. 14.

  • New US research revealed a different internal structure of corn than previously thought. These findings can help optimise how corn is converted into ethanol.

  • The International Grains Council on Jan. 24 issued its Grain Market Report for January in which it lowered its forecast for 2018-19 world soybean production and raised its outlook for the 2018-19 corn crop. The IGC also provided other updated supply-and-demand forecasts for those crops for the current marketing year.  

  • In the case of a hard Brexit, the import of grain from the United Kingdom (UK) will be considerably more expensive.

  • In about a month’s time from now, South African farmers will start preparing soils for winter crops plantings in the Western Cape, as the 2019/20 production season approaches. Meanwhile, other winter crop growing areas such as the Northern Cape and Free State, amongst others, will commence with plantings around midyear.

  • With the exception of a few conflict-torn pockets, since the turn of the century sub-Saharan Africa has achieved much greater availability of carbohydrates despite the world’s highest rates of population growth.

  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture, in its March 29 annual Prospective Plantings report, said farmers in 2019 intend to plant 4% more acres of corn than a year ago, 5% fewer acres of soybeans and 4% fewer acres of wheat.

  • The growing emphasis that agriculture should be amongst the key sectors driving the South African economy and job creation has mainly leaned on potential expansion in hectares of labour-intensive, and globally sought-after horticulture products, as well as traditional grains and oilseeds.

  • Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, is grappling with an increasing grain import bill as the current lack of a state-supported credit facility for farmers, poor basic infrastructure, surge in farm input costs and insecurity, especially in rice-growing regions, hamper efforts to achieve self-sufficiency in wheat, rice, corn, soybeans and other critical agricultural production.

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