Pro Farmer's First Thing Today: Biofuels, College Football and More

08:39AM Aug 13, 2020
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Here are audio highlights from around the ag industry, courtesy of Pro Farmer.
( Pro Farmer )

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Good Morning farm country. Davis Michaelsen here with your morning update for Thursday, August 13. From Pro Farmer’s First Thing Today, these are some of the stories we are watching this morning:

Corn futures are 5 cents higher and soybeans are mostly up 8 cents after traders brushed off record-high yield estimates from USDA yesterday. The reaction signals big crops (record-large for corn) were already factored into prices and some ideas production will slide from here. The strong gains in corn and soybeans are providing some spillover support to the wheat complex, with HRW and HRS wheat futures steady to 3 cents higher. But SRW wheat is steady to a penny lower. The U.S. dollar index is under pressure and crude oil futures are also facing light pressure.

Dry conditions in northern and western wheat producing areas of Argentina prompted the Rosario grains exchange to trim its planted acreage estimate for 2020-21 by 100,000 MT to 16.1 million acres. “The lack of water is the most serious in the last 10 years,” according to the exchange.

American drivers are returning to the road after months of coronavirus stay-at-home orders, with revenue from gasoline and diesel taxes nearing pre-pandemic levels. The U.S. government collected more than $3.8 billion in fuel taxes in July, up from less than $2.2 billion in June.

Biofuel proponents today in Des Moines, Iowa, will press the Trump administration to “swiftly” deliver on promises to bolster renewable fuels, warning that voters in the state are increasingly skeptical of the commitment to the sector.

Democrats and the Trump administration remain "miles apart" on negotiations over a coronavirus stimulus deal, said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin reached out to Pelosi on Wednesday to renew stalled coronavirus relief talks, but their conversation showed the impasse continues.

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Eric Rosengren said the U.S.' over-eagerness to reopen commercial activity without sufficiently containing the spread of Covid-19 had backfired. He emphasized that more spending should be combined with more robust efforts to contain the virus.

A day after the Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences revealed they would postpone their seasons until at least the spring semester, the Big 12, which includes Oklahoma and Texas, said it intended to hold league games beginning Sept. 26.

More active cash cattle trade picked up yesterday after some lighter action at steady to $3 higher prices. As has been the trend, cash prices have strengthened as the week progressed. Beef prices have finally returned to more normal levels for consumers, which has bolstered demand. Wednesday’s close was significant for the lean hog futures market, as traders have been uncertain whether Tuesday’s drop was a one-day correction or the start of a more significant pullback. Futures were able to settle well off their lows with just modest losses, showing some resiliency.

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