December 19, 2016 | Tech Talk | Charlie Trauger | Views: 998

New Technology Could Transform Agriculture

The ideas behind Bitcoin may one day transfer to agriculture

New Technology Could Transform Agriculture

What is it?

Invented in 2008 – bitcoin was invented to become an alternative system of money that would be beyond the control of the government and central banking entities. Perhaps best defined by Wikipedia;

A blockchain[1][2][3] — originally, block chain[4][5] — is a distributed database that maintains a continuously-growing list of records called blocks secured from tampering and revision.[1] Each block contains a timestamp and a link to a previous block.[6]

The blockchain is a technology that underlies bitcoin—conceived in 2008 and first implemented in 2009—where it serves as the public ledger for all transactions.[1] In the bitcoin case, every compatible client is able to connect to the network, send new transactions to it, verify transactions, and take part in the competition to create new blocks.[7]:ch. 01 The competition creating new blocks is known as mining.[7]:ch. 01 The bitcoin design has been the inspiration for other applications.[1][3]

Full definition here; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blockchain_(database)

Blockchain has many other definitions – distributed ledger technology, permissioned ledgers, mutualized database and many more I am probably missing.

What could it do for agribusinesses?

Consumers desire more transparency into how the food they consume has been grown, transported and packaged. I am not sure how much they are willing to pay for the added costs to create this chain of information. However, Blockchain could provide a cost-effective time-consuming method to create the tracking of food products through the entire agricultural value chain. Here are a few areas that it could provide a technical solution for some of the more routine time-consuming activities in our world:

  • Tamper resistant data transfers across our industry.
  • Reduce counter-party risk.
  • Save costs on trading and movement of commodities across the value chain.
  • Create transparency in farming techniques and products and food production.

For a great story on this, check this link out; https://news.bitcoin.com/blockchain-agriculture-industry/

Pitfalls

With an interest in the new technology, I recently purchased a book on Kindle called “Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World”.  I am about half finished with it and it is a good read giving the reader

many ways in which it can transform how things are traded, transferred and paid for in our world. The reason that I have not finished it as of yet was a story on hacking when I reached the half-way point. I had been lead to believe this was the end all solution for

most everything in our ag world.  Then, on June 19th I read about the hack of the chain that pulled $79.6 million Decentralized Autonomous Organization and quickly realized that perhaps there are few more kinks to work out on the technology!

Big problems always seem to get solved, so I am sure many are feverishly working on a fix to make the technology safer. 


Summary

Either way, Blockchain technology is something for all of us to keep our eyes on.  The potential for speeding up financial transactions alone would create some wonderful efficiencies in the world.  Here is a good link with 8 charts that do a great job of explaining it

from the book I mentioned earlier – “Blockchain Revolution”; http://raconteur.net/business/the-future-of-blockchain-in-8-charts.

With the potential that Blockchain could provide, I certainly plan on keeping my eye on it and will share here with anything I uncover.  Both NASDAQ and the Australian Securities Exchange are both implementing it, so it’s already here.

 

Charlie Trauger is Global Director of Agriculture for GlobalView Software, Inc. of Chicago IL.  He received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Nebraska and also completed course work in computer science from Metropolitan Technical College in Omaha, NE.  Charlie was raised on a row crop and cow calf operation in Nebraska and is still involved in the family business.  Charlie has spent over 25 years in the agricultural software and data business and recently relocated back to the family farm in Nebraska. Follow him on Twitter @charlietraug

December 19, 2016 | Grain Hedge Insights | Kevin McNew | Views: 295

Some Damage Expected to Winter Wheat Crop from Arctic Blast

Grains mostly lower going into the morning break

Some Damage Expected to Winter Wheat Crop from Arctic Blast

Grains were mostly lower led by soybeans which suffered double-digit losses going into the morning break. Wheat was in positive territory thanks to cold temps threatening the US wheat crop.

 

Argentina weather materialized as expected with 45% coverage in rain over the weekend. And the 5-day forecast looks to get 70% coverage. Even all the way out to the 16-30 day forecast, the weather models showed more rain for Argentina in the latest runs versus what they were showing on Friday. In Brazil, there is only limited dryness in about 10% of the crop growing area but overall conditions are nearly ideal. On Friday SAFRAS private consultant put the bean forecast at 106 MMT, well above 102 to 103 by most analysts.

 

Meanwhile, the arctic blast that swept across the US over the weekend may have caused some damage to as much as half of the winter wheat crop. This put a small bid under wheat overnight.

 

In export news, importers from the Philippines purchased an unknown volume of milling wheat and feed wheat from Australia in an international tender that closed on Wednesday.

Oil prices fell on Monday as a stronger dollar off-set the delay of new Libyan oil exports, amid expectations of tighter crude supply going into 2017. On Friday, Baker Hughes US oil rig count added 12 rigs in the week to Dec. 16, bringing the total count to 510, the highest since January, though still below 541 rigs a year ago.

 

The risk of trading futures, hedging, and speculating can be substantial. Grain Hedge is a Branch of Foremost Trading LLC (NFA ID: 0307930)

December 16, 2016 | Grain Hedge Insights | Kevin McNew | Views: 309

Weekly Cash Commentary

Weekly Cash Commentary for week Ending 12/16/2016

On average corn was off 1 3/4 cents, breaking a five week streak of higher movement. Ethanol plants moved lower as well, off 1 1/2 cents per bushel. US ethanol margins have firmed of late with spot ethanol seeing a big move higher on Monday. With a strong spot margin for ethanol production, a lot of plants should expand expand capacity in the short-run, but it may be short-lived as forward margins are much weaker. Corn along the river saw the biggest drop, losing 2 1/4 cents.

 

Soybeans saw minimal movement this week gaining an average of 1/2 cent per bushel. Crush facilities were the biggest movers gaining 1 1/4 cents. Yesterday brought news of under performing US crush in November. NOPA pegged the soybean crust at 160.7 MB and a high figure of 162 had been expected by the trade. Soybeans along the river also moved slightly higher by 1/2 cent.  Informa Economics continued to ratchet up their US soybean acre forecast for 2017, calling it at 88.8 million. If realized, that would amount to a 5.1 million acre build in soybean acres.

Soy_2016_12_16

Corn_2016_12_16

December 16, 2016 | Grain Hedge Insights | Kevin McNew | Views: 269

Expected Soybean Planted Acres on the Rise

Grains found modest support overnight while the US dollar slipped slightly following yesterday’s surge to 13 year highs. Crude oil and equities were firmly in positive territory heading into the morning session.

Expected Soybean Planted Acres on the Rise

USDA announced a 205,000 MT sale of soybeans to unknown destinations.

 

Yesterday brought news of under performing US crush in November. NOPA pegged the soybean crust at 160.7 MB and a high figure of 162 had been expected by the trade.

 

Informa Economics continued to ratchet up their US soybean acre forecast for 2017, calling it at 88.8 million. Likewise, they dropped corn acre projections for 2017 to 90.2. If realized, that would amount to a 5.1 million acre build in soybean acres and a 4.3 million acre drop in corn.

In weather, Argentina is expected to see a widespread rain event in the 5-day forecast covering half of the country. What is now considered to be 50% of the crop area is considered dry, but after these rains that area should drop to only 15%.

December 15, 2016 | Grain Hedge Insights | Kevin McNew | Views: 500
December 15, 2016 | Grain Hedge Insights | Kevin McNew | Views: 225

US Dollar Hits New Highs

The US Federal Reserve raised Interest Rates by a Quarter Point on Wednesday

US Dollar Hits New Highs

Grains continued to grind lower overnight and the US dollar hit new heights bolting higher by 1.3%.

 

USDA announced a 132,000 MT sale of soybeans to China this morning.

 

Weather models continue to point to favorable rain potential in Argentina starting this weekend. The market is gaining confidence as the forecasts
have held up and the rain event is now days away instead of a week out.

 

NOPA Nov crush will be announced this morning with expectations of 162 MB vs 164.6 in Oct and 156.1 last year. This is a slight increase in daily crush rate over October but could be the largest daily crush for the year.

South Korean state agency Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corp. has issued an international tender to purchase some 90,000 tonnes of GMO-free soybeans free of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), European traders said on Thursday. The soybeans are sought in three consignments of 30,000 tonnes from optional origins for 2018 arrival. Japan's Ministry of Agriculture bought a total of 122,847 tonnes of food quality wheat from the United States and Canada in a regular tender that closed late on Thursday.

 

Weekly Export Sales-

                                     Actual          Expected

Corn                               1,516          800-1,100

Soybeans                        2,008       1,100-1,500

Wheat                               531             300-500


 

The U.S. Federal Reserve raised interest rates by a quarter point on Wednesday and signaled a faster pace of increases in 2017 as the Trump administration takes over with promises to boost growth through tax cuts, spending and deregulation.

 

The risk of trading futures, hedging, and speculating can be substantial. Grain Hedge is a Branch of Foremost Trading LLC (NFA ID: 0307930)

December 14, 2016 | Grain Hedge Insights | Kevin McNew | Views: 249

NOPA Nov Crush will be announced on Thursday

Grains were Lower Overnight

NOPA Nov Crush will be announced on Thursday

Grains were lower overnight as equities and crude oil also traded into negative territory going into the morning break.

 

US ethanol margins have firmed of late with spot ethanol seeing a big move higher on Monday. With a strong spot margin for ethanol production, a lot of plants should expand expand capacity in the short-run, but it may be short-lived as forward margins are much weaker.

 

China cash meal has been firm for a while with big feeding margins on hogs and what is seen as a slight delay in bean imports. Chinese imports of soybeans for the last quarter of 2016 are expected to be slightly bigger than last year. The Chinese government has closed 6 to 8 bean crushing plants in Guangdong to help control pollution. They have been given a week to develop plans to control emissions. The plants combined crush about 775 TMT a month.

NOPA Nov crush will be announced Thursday with expectations of 162 MB vs 164.6 in Oct and 156.1 last year. This is a slight increase in daily crush rate over October but could be the largest daily crush for the year.

Fed policymakers will announce their interest rate decision today, which is expected to show a quarter point rise. The market will be looking for clues in the Fed statement about what might happen to rates going forward in 2017.

 

The risk of trading futures, hedging, and speculating can be substantial. Grain Hedge is a Branch of Foremost Trading LLC (NFA ID: 0307930)

December 13, 2016 | Grain Hedge Insights | Kevin McNew | Views: 463
December 13, 2016 | Grain Hedge Insights | Kevin McNew | Views: 204

Grains Were Listless in the Overnight

Crude Oil Pushes Higher

Grains were listless overnight showing no directional bias in light trade. In outside markets, crude oil pushed higher as did US equity futures and the US dollar.

 

China's soymeal futures jumped to a five-month high on Tuesday amid talk that environmental regulators have launched a crackdown on 3 plants in one of the nation's largest crushing regions, fueling concerns about supplies as stocks dwindle. They are expected to be closed one to two weeks.

 

France's farm ministry on Tuesday estimated the area sown with winter soft wheat for the 2017 harvest at 5.2 million hectares, up 0.2 percent compared with this year. A group of animal feed makers in the Philippines has issued an international tender to purchase up to 56,000 tonnes of feed wheat to be sourced from Australia or the Black Sea region.

 

China appears ready to resume corn exports for the first time in around a decade as farmers turn to cheaper sorghum for animal feed and corn stockpiles grow at home. Beijing granted export permits in September to at least two companies, including state grain concern Cofco. Some 2 million tons are expected to be shipped out for the time being.  China is said to be holding one year’s worth of production in excess storage.

Fed policymakers begin meeting today in what is expected to lead to an interest rate hike on Wednesday’s announcement. Traders, however, will be looking for clues in the Fed statement about what might happen to rates going forward in 2017.

 

The risk of trading futures, hedging, and speculating can be substantial. Grain Hedge is a Branch of Foremost Trading LLC (NFA ID: 0307930)

December 12, 2016 | Grain Hedge Insights | Kevin McNew | Views: 513

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Weekly Cash Comments

March 24, 2017 | Grain Hedge Insights | Kevin McNew

Grain basis continued to show little upside life this week even with the ongoing slide in futures prices. For the week, spot corn basis across the country managed a 1.3 cent advance while soybean basis was up 0.8 cents a bushel.

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