PARIS/SINGAPORE - Chicago corn futures edged higher on Friday, keeping new-crop prices near a one-year high, as the market anticipated a U.S. government crop report later in the day would cut the harvest outlook.
PARIS - Fires linked to hot, dry weather are disrupting the early stages of this year's grain harvest in France, the European Union's top producer, destroying hundreds of hectares and triggering fire prevention measures in some areas.
KUALA LUMPUR - A rally in the price of palm oil to three month-highs may run out of steam as buying ahead of the Muslim festival of Ramadan fades and markets brace for growing supply as the main harvest approaches, traders and analysts said.
ROME - Farmers in Africa and East Asia are expected to suffer crop losses as extreme weather linked to the El Nino phenomenon alters rainfall patterns, scientists told a conference on climate change in Bonn on Wednesday.
Krueger Farms worked to harvest its last 90 acres of corn Thursday several miles east of East Grand Forks, Minn. The corn was several percentage points drier than a couple of weeks ago because of the recent cold, dry weather. The corn, an 86 day variety, was yielding well, according to Ben Krueger.
Upper Midwest farmers have caught up on their harvest of soybeans and nearly caught up on corn and sunflower harvest, the federal government says.
Producers also have finished harvesting sugar beets and are done planting winter wheat, according to the Nov. 3 harvest progress report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service, an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The long run of warm, dry weather, and the forecast of even more to come, is giving Upper Midwest corn producers a difficult but not unpleasant decision: Harvest wet corn now and pay drying expenses? Or hold off combining for a few days and allow corn to dry naturally in the field?
With record harvests depressing prices, U.S. farmers are holding tight to their corn and soybeans and binging on chemicals that protect stored grain from critters or even leaving corn standing in fields over winter to avoid storage charges.
The Upper Midwest soybean harvest is surging into high gear.
“Right here in my area, it will really get going this week,” says Anthony Bly, Sioux Falls-based soils field specialist with South Dakota State University Extension. “I know other areas where it’s already going strong.”
Farmers who raise small grains in eight states, including Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana, will be surveyed again on their harvest progress.
The National Agricultural Statistics Service, an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, made the announcement Sept. 30.
With a record U.S. harvest just coming in, the river transportation system at the heart of the nation’s farm economy is overstrained by rising demand for shipping capacity, a low barge inventory and a dilapidated lock system.
By Michael Hirtzer and Karl Plume
September 26, 2014
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