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NWS 6-10 DAY FORECAST: HOT WITH VARIED PRECIP... The National Weather Service forecast for July 19-23 signals the Corn Belt will continue to struggle with above-normal heat, with the hottest temps likely to be centered over the central and northern Belt. The precip outlook features above-normal rainfall chances for Ohio and the Ohio River Valley, along with Michigan and most of Wisconsin. Indiana, Illinois, Iowa Missouri, Minnesota, far eastern Nebraska and Kansas are expected to see normal precip. Below-normal precip is likely over most of Nebraska and the Dakotas.
AGROCONSULT SEES SHARP RECOVERY IN BRAZIL'S UPCOMING BEAN CROP... Private Brazilian consulting firm Agroconsult projects the country's 2012-13 soybean crop at 83.1 million metric ton (MMT), up 25% from this year's drought-ravaged crop. The firm says it expects an 11% increase in acreage to a record 27.9 million hectares, and yields should improve more "normal." If the firm's crop outlook is realized, the 2012-13 Brazilian crop would surpass the 2012 U.S. crop for the first time in history.
Meanwhile, Agroconsult expects 2012-13 Brazil corn acreage to fall to 7.1 million hectares, from 7.9 million this past year. However, winter (safrinha) planting is forecast to rise to 7.9 million hectares from 7.1 million this past season.
MARTELL: DROUGHT AND COLD LIMIT ARGENTINE WHEAT PLANTING... Meteorologist Gail Martell of MartellCropProjections.com says a winter drought in Argentine's leading wheat providence of Buenos Aires, along with cold temps have not been conducive to winter wheat seeding and development. "The emerging drought in southern Argentina is rather surprising, given that a weak El Nino signal has emerged," she notes.
POULTRY LEAST COMPETITIVE CORN USERS... That’s the consensus of corn-demand analysts. They see Southeastern poultry growers importing corn from Brazil to replace lost bushels out of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee. Corn imports in 2011-12 could reach about 25 million bu.; 2012-13 corn imports could reach 40 million bushels. Next on the list of negative impacts from higher feed prices are hogs and dairy, followed by cattle finishers. Ethanol plants and exporters will compete most aggressively for supplies.
ETHANOL MARGINS IMPROVING FOR SOME... We won’t sugarcoat it -- most ethanol producers are dealing with negative margins. But even those with the worst losses don’t
anticipate a 2008-style washout. One southwest Minnesota source explained, "The industry learned a lesson in 2008, and most have at least some coverage. Ethanol margins have actually improved the last 10 days because of the rise in ethanol prices." Ethanol production will decline through the end of the current marketing year, potentially pushing old-crop corn carryover closer to 1 billion bu. than our current estimate of about 970 million bushels.
DROUGHT CONTRIBUTES TO NUTRIENT DEFICIENCY... University of Illinois crop specialist Fabian Fernandez says dry conditions across the Midwest are causing a multitude of nutrient deficiency problems. However, he says neither foliar nor soil application of nutrients will solve the problem -- only rain will help. "Many cornfields show potassium deficiency even though adequate fertility is present in the soil... One question being asked is why deficiency of potassium is showing up in corn more than deficiency of any other nutrient," says Fernandez. Click here for more "Input" related stories.
EPA FINDS CORRECTABLE DEFICIENCIES IN IOWA DNR PROGRAMS... The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) initial findings from an informal investigation of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources' (IDNR) permit program for concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) showed several correctable deficiencies. EPA conducted the investigation in response to a petition by several organizations for the withdrawal of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System program authorization.
EPA found IDNR doesn't have an adequate program to assess whether unpermitted CAFOs need NPDES permits and that IDNR must clarify its authority to issue these permits to confinement CAFOs that discharge. EPA also says IDNR failed to take timely, adequate enforcement action on a number of Clean Water Act violations. IDNR must provide a written response to the report within 60 days detailing actions it has taken and will take (with a timeline) to correct the deficiencies.
BAUCUS PROPOSES AG DISASTER AID... Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) today called for disaster aid, including a one-year extension of the controversial SURE disaster assistance program that expired last year and three aid programs for livestock producers. The requested aid would cover 2012 crop and livestock losses from wildfires in the West and the Midwest drought. Baucus did not propose any budget offsets for the measure.
Nearly $11 billion was paid in disaster aid for 2011 crops and payments are expected to be robust for 2012 crops, too, as the U.S. government subsidizes crop insurance premiums by up to 62%. Click here for more proposal details.