NWS FORECAST STAYS COOL AND WET... The National Weather Service (NWS) forecast for Aug. 5-9 continues to call for below-normal temps across the Corn Belt. Above-normal precip is also forecast for the bulk of the Corn Belt during this period, though normal rainfall is likely over eastern North Dakota, most of Minnesota and the Great Lakes region -- areas that are expected to be the coldest. Traders will view the cool, wet outlook as non-threatening for crops, but due to the delayed development of the corn and soybean crops, warmer temps and ample precip are really what's needed. See the maps.
CONSULTANT TOURS INDIANA AND NORTHWEST OHIO... Pro Farmer crop consultant Dr. Michael Cordonnier traveled through Indiana and northwest Ohio this past weekend. He says corn is generally outperforming soybeans in this region, as is the case across the Corn Belt. Dr. Cordonnier reports the vast majority of corn in Indiana and northwest Ohio is in very good condition and will need only a couple more solid rains in August to finish strong. He says corn in this areas definitely has above-average yield potential and record yields are possible if late-season weather is ideal.
Dr. Cordonnier says Indiana has the best soybeans he's seen across the Midwest this year. In northwest Ohio, early planted soybeans are very good, but later-planted soybeans continue to struggle. A record soybean yield may be a stretch, but above-trendline yields are likely.
Dr. Cordonnier left his corn yield estimate at 153 bu. per acre (13.49 billion bu. crop) and his soybean yield at 42 bu. per acre (3.22 billion bu. crop). He has a neutral to slightly higher bias toward the corn crop and a neutral to slightly lower bias for beans.
CME GROUP TO OFFER SHORT-DATED NEW-CROP HRW WHEAT OPTIONS... CME Group says it will launch new short-dated new-crop options on hard red winter (HRW) wheat futures, pending approval from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. If approved, the short-dated options will start trading Aug. 26 and will be options on the July 2014 HRW futures contract, which now trades on the Chicago trading floor and the CME Globex platform.
AFBF JOINS OVER 400 OTHERS IN URGING HOUSE IMMIGRATION REFORM... The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) joined more than 400 other businesses and advocacy organizations from a cross-section of industries today in signing a letter calling for the House to enact immigration reform legislation. The House is expected to leave for a five-week summer recess shortly without taking up an immigration bill on the floor.
The letter addressed to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) says, "We deal with an immigration system that is now in its third decade and completely incapable of being responsive to an ever-changing national economy and hypercompetitive global marketplace. Today, the problems with our immigration system have grown and multiplied to become an emerging threat to the current and future productivity, ingenuity and competitiveness of key sectors of our economy, including agriculture, housing, manufacturing, retail, hospitality, tourism, engineering and technology." Read the full letter.
CHINA BANS IMPORTS OF ARKANSAS POULTRY... China has banned imports of poultry and poultry products from Arkansas, according to USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service, following the discovery of a low-pathogenic strain of bird flu in June. It's uncertain at this time how long the ban will last or what conditions must be met before the ban is lifted. All birds on the Arkansas chicken farm where the low-path bird flu was discovered were promptly euthanized and the eggs they produced were destroyed.
BROKEN FERTILIZER TIES COULD LOWER POTASH PRICES... Russia's fertilizer giant Uralkali announced today it has broken ties of its joint venture with Belarusian Potash Company, leaving former partner Belaruskali without access to China and other key potash consumers. Together, Uralkali and Belaruskali provided nearly half of the world's potash supply. The split sent shockwaves through fertilizer stocks early this morning, which fell sharply in response. The news is good for farmers, however, as new contracts negotiated between the now liberated Uralkali and China will lead to potash price cuts in North America. Learn more.