March 30, 2015 | Grain Hedge Insights | Cody Bills | Views: 24

Wheat was higher in the overnight session.

Traders are awaiting the release of Tuesdays Prospective Plantings report.

Wheat was higher in the overnight session posting modest 4 cent gains while corn and beans were mostly unchanged in listless trade activity.


Wheat found support in the overnight session as concerns over dryness in the Plains continue to support prices. Weekend rains were nonexistent for the wheat belt and the outlook for the next 6 to 10-day period turned drier than was apparent in Friday’s long-term forecast.  The best chances for rain are late in the week with the likelihood at only 20 percent of any moisture being realized for much of the Southern Plains. Overnight, Jordan and Israel announced tenders for wheat with Jordan looking for 45,000 MT of feed wheat and Israel searching for 100,000 MT of hard milling wheat.  


In soybeans, prices were up in the night trade trying to reverse the last few sessions of lower price moves.  Traders are awaiting the release of the Prospective Plantings report on Tuesday, which is expected to show higher soybean plantings by US farmers.  Traders polled going into the report look for a 2 million acres increase over 2014.


For corn, analysts look for lower acres in Tuesday’s report. Pre-report trade estimates for corn acres came in at 88.7 million acres down from 90.5 the year prior.  If acres fall much below that, then carryout projections for new-crop would be getting close to 1 billion bushels and the market may be inclined to get more attention on the upside. But for now, traders continue to focus on sluggish export business and ample stocks.

March 27, 2015 | Grain Hedge Insights | Cody Bills | Views: 142

Wheat Yield Forecast

Winter wheat yield appears to be trending lower. Cody discusses this as well as acreage projections, grain stocks, and basis changes.

March 27, 2015 | Grain Hedge Insights | Cody Bills | Views: 276

Weekly Cash Comments

Cash Commentary for week of March 27th

Corn grain basis was unchanged for the week, while soybeans posted a 2-cent advance.


In corn, basis levels were up one-cent a bushel at the Gulf export market, but river terminals were on average unchanged for the week. Barge rates dipped slightly on the week but did little to stimulate the river basis levels. For ethanol plants, basis levels were off 1-cent a bushel on average as strength in the corn futures market in the past week has helped keep pipeline supplies adequate.


For soybeans, basis levels improved for the first time in nearly 6 weeks. River terminals were up 6 cents a bushel with the Gulf export market posting a 7-cent advance. For soybean crushing plants, basis levels were up 4 cents a bushel in the past week. 

March 27, 2015 | Grain Hedge Insights | Cody Bills | Views: 124

Grains Mixed on Friday with Traders Eyeing Tuesday’s Reports

The grains are mixed this morning with most traders eyeing the next Tuesday's reports.

In the overnight session the grains were mixed with corn down 3/4 of a cent, soybeans down 2 3/4 of a cent and wheat up 4 cents going into this morning’s pause. Traders are eyeing two market moving reports that will be released next Tuesday the 31st which include the planting intentions report and the quarterly grain stocks report. Be prepared to monitor grain prices during the release of this report. Click here for a 14 day free trial of the Grain Hedge trading platform which delivers live quotes to your mobile phone, iPad or tablet.


Ukraine had planted 744,000 hectares of spring grain by the 24th this year which was behind last year’s pace of 1.4 million hectares. Analysts have already warned that production could fall from last year’s record due to decreased yields as a result of unfavorable weather during last fall’s planting season. UkrAgroConsult stated that 85 percent of the winter wheat is rated good to satisfactory compared to 93.4 percent last year. They also estimated that total grain production could decrease to 53 million metric tons from 59.2 million metric tons harvested in 2014.


A poll of analysts conducted by Reuters expects quarterly grain stocks to show 7.609 billion bushels of corn with a range of estimates from 7.459 to 7.8 billion bushels. Wheat stocks are expected to be showing 1.140 billion bushels with a range of analyst guesses from 1.083 to 1.2 billion bushels. Soybean stocks are expected to be around 1.346 billion bushels with a range of guesses from 1.273 to 1.404 billion bushels. 

March 26, 2015 | Grain Hedge Insights | Cody Bills | Views: 156

Missed Export Sales Expectations

Analyst expectations for wheat and soybeans were off by 70 and 40%. Cody looks at the current and long term effects of these miscalculated numbers.

March 26, 2015 | Grain Hedge Insights | Cody Bills | Views: 142

Will this week’s soybean sales lift the market?

Soybean sales beat expectations in a big way this morning with a reportable new crop sale on top of the strong weekly sales report. Can it lift the market in the day session?

In the overnight session corn fell 3/4 of a cent, soybeans dropped 2 3/4 cents and wheat increased 1 1/2 cents. The dollar pulled back one third of a percent and crude oil is trading up a dollar this morning. This morning there was a reportable sale of 280,000 metric tons of soybeans to unknown destinations for the 15/16 marketing year.


Weekly export sales were strong for soybeans which booked 505,808 metric tons, up 48 percent week over week. This beat analyst expectations which ranged from 100,000-300,000 metric tons. The market has been looking for soybean export sales to taper as Brazil harvest is over halfway complete. Major buyers this week included Indonesia, China, Germany and the Netherlands. Corn sales were on the low side of expectations this week booking 435,000 metric tons compared to expectations of 400,000-600,000 metric tons. This week’s sales were down 13 percent from the previous week and did little to help along the overall pace of exports this year. China was one of the corn buyers this week purchasing 60,800 metric tons, the most in quite some time. Wheat sales were reported at 102,000 metric tons this week down 74 percent from last week and a marketing year low for the grain. Expectations were for sales between 200,000-400,000 metric tons.


Yesterday, the EIA’s weekly ethanol production report showed an increase in output by 6,000 barrels per day bringing weekly production to 953,000 barrels per day. This is the 3rd straight week of ethanol production increases despite the lagging energy sector. Seasonally, it is normal to see an increase in ethanol production from March through June. Ethanol ending stocks were also increased this week by 497,000 barrels per day to 21.32 million barrels.


Brazil’s Agroconsult increased their soybean crop estimate to 95.8 million metric tons from 94.7 million in their previous forecast. Brazil soybean harvest is 61 percent complete which is about 4 percent behind last year. Dry conditions recently has helped move along harvest, but light precipitation over the next few days may slow the pace temporarily. Precipitation should clear by early next week to provide more opportunity for harvest.   

March 25, 2015 | Grain Hedge Insights | Cody Bills | Views: 190

Acreage Projections

During a quite trade day, Cody looks to acreage projections, ethanol production, and the daily charts as an indication of where grain prices might be headed.

March 25, 2015 | Grain Hedge Insights | Cody Bills | Views: 199

How many acres will be planted to Soybeans?

The grain markets are awaiting the quarterly grain stocks and the prospective plantings report due out on Tuesday next week. Here's what the market is expecting.

The overnight was a quiet trade with corn unchanged, soybeans up 1/4 cent and wheat down 3 1/4 cents. The dollar is trading lower by nearly 3/4 of a percent and crude oil is up 34 cents. This morning there were a couple reportable sales that were announced by FAS for 108,863 metric tons of soymeal to Canada for 2015/16 delivery and 114,000 metric tons of old crop corn to Mexico. The markets will be focusing on the 2015 prospective plantings report and the quarterly grain stocks report which will both be released at 11 AM CST.


The expectations for the quarterly grain stocks as of March 1st are as follows. For corn the average analyst guess pegs quarterly grain stocks at 7.609 billion bushels with the highest estimate at 7.8 billion and the lowest estimate at 7.459 billion bushels. Wheat stocks are expected to be around 1.140 billion bushels with a range of analyst guesses from 1.2 billion bushels to 1.083 billion bushels. Soybean stocks are expected to be around 1.346 billion bushels with a range of guesses from 1.404 - 1.273 billion bushels.


Lanworth released their latest planted acreage forecasts this morning raising its U.S. soybean seedings estimates to 85.5 million acres and its U.S. corn planting estimate to 88.2 million acres. This compares to Informa Economics estimates of 88.5 million acres of corn planted and 87.5 million acres of soybeans planted in the 2015 growing season. 

March 24, 2015 | Grain Hedge Insights | Cody Bills | Views: 162

Wheat Rally Breaks

Cody and Kevin talk about wheat's move lower and what they expect soybeans to do during the second half of the week.

March 24, 2015 | Tech Talk | By Steve Davidson | Views: 563

Corn Research is Complex, Fast-paced and Promising

New generations are available faster; new techniques focus on external control, rather than gene modification

Corn Research is Complex, Fast-paced and Promising
Photo by AgReliant Genetics

Corn research and development is continually evolving in a complex, fast-paced and challenging environment. Corn breeders are using a broad range of techniques ranging from time-honored traditional plant breeding practices amplified by powerful tools such as biostatistical analysis to developing new approaches such as external applications of genetic materials for weed, insect and virus control.

Tom Koch, vice president of research for AgReliant Genetics gave attendees at the 119th annual convention of the National Grain and Feed Association a feel for the challenges and opportunities facing the seed industry.

Seed corn is produced globally. “There is world-wide diversity that we are tapping into now more than ever,” Koch says. “A lot of this diversity is getting locked up, as countries view their germ plasm as a national treasure.

“Where we do have access to use germ plasm, it’s bringing some very interesting and unique flavor to the U.S. market.”

He says that with new molecular analysis techniques, there will be more of a smorgasbord of hybrids for companies to offer.

Koch says his company, whose U.S. corn brands include AgriGold and LG Seeds, uses one of the most advanced and efficient forms of double haploid (DH) breeding technology to make new varieties ready for market much faster. “In three generations, this creates an instant homozygous line; traditionally, it has taken size or seven generations to get a true breeding line.”

GMO regulations have made corn breeding more complicated. Koch explained that many countries that don’t allow GM production by their farmers may allow production of GM seed, as long as it’s exported.

He cites Chile, as an example, where an AgReliant production facility is 30 miles south of Peru, where GMOs are forbidden. “We have to be very cautious about how we manage GM production,” he says.

Koch sees little change on the horizon regarding regional acceptance of current GM crops, notably Europe.

“But I think we are about ready to move past this current era and move into the next biotech sector, where we are not necessarily inserting genes into the plants,” he says.

These new practices include putting genetic materials – referred to as biological or biopesticides –  into the crop protectant spray. “The biological is applied outside of the plant. They don’t have to modify the plant itself. This has been done with seed treatments; now researchers are looking at doing it more on plants.”

From a plant breeder’s standpoint, Koch says this is exciting. “Working with a spray instead of the plant itself puts the plant breeder back in control of the genetics, instead of the biotechnician.”

He says of the 300,000 genes plant breeders manage, just 8 genes control the herbicide resistance. Without dealing with them, and the extensive regulatory cost and time they demand, more attention can go to overall improved genetics.

These sprays and biological seed treatments will be a very heavy area of research, he says. Regulatory challenges will be part of the puzzle, as to determining what specifically constitutes genetically modified in these types of scenarios.

Koch also shared his enthusiasm for the potential of airborne drones.  With them, he sees the ability to quickly and accurately analyze virtually every plant in a test plot for a wide range of agronomic variables, once the current questions by the Federal Aviation Agency regarding the commercial application of drones are resolved.

And, he says practices such as indirect selection accuracy and multi-trait genomic selection allows much faster and more accurate analysis of new lines of hybrids. Speed is valuable, considering that each new generation of a corn line is expected to deliver an increase in yield.

“Basically we’re trying to get more, test more, test it better, get new genetics and get better homogenous lines while decreasing the cycle length using many different techniques,” he says.

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Weekly Cash Comments

March 27, 2015 | Grain Hedge Insights | Cody Bills

Corn grain basis was unchanged for the week, while soybeans posted a 2-cent advance.


In corn, basis levels were up one-cent a bushel at the Gulf export market, but river terminals were on average unchanged for the week. 

[Read More]