Daily Ag News Summary 07/13/2017

USDA Releases Latest WASDE Update

USDA projects farmers will grow more corn, soybeans and sorghum than projected last month according to the monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) release on Wednesday morning.

Corn production is projected to 14.255 billion bushels from 90.9 million acres with a yield of 170.7 bushels (bu) per acre. The average farm price is expected to range between $2.90 – $3.70/bu – a reduction of 10-cents on both ends.

Domestic soybean production is projected to hit 4.260 billion bushels on 89.5 million acres. USDA believes U.S. producers will average 48bu/acre and the average farm price will be higher than expected last month, now at $8.40 – $10.40/bu.

USDA increase their estimate for the average farm price for wheat – now $4.40 – $5.20/bu on lower production (1.76 billion bushels), fewer acres (45.7 million acres) and reduced yields (46.2 bu/acre).

For cotton, the Department is projecting fewer acres planted and lower output than proposed last month. With a 6 pound per bale reduction in yield on 170,000 fewer acres, USDA sees a 2017-2018 crop of 19=million bales – 200,000 fewer than anticipated in June. Despite that, farmers should expect up to 6-cents per pound less at ginning time with an average of between 54-cents and 68-cents/lb.

With 200,000 more sorghum acres this year but an anticipated yield of 67 bu/acre (only a slight reduction from June), USDA sees production increasing by 25-million bushels and the farm-gate price tightening to between $2.50 – $3.30/ bushel.

Former Texas Agriculture Commissioner Nominated to Interior

President Donald Trump announced this week, his intent to nominate individuals to key positions in his Administration. Among those is Susan Combs of Texas to be an Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Policy, Management and Budget.

Ms. Combs has an extensive career in elected public office and in the private sector as a small business owner running a ranch in the Big Bend area of Texas. She served in the Texas Legislature, writing and passing the State’s private property legislation, and working to ensure greater transparency in government spending. She was also elected to two Texas statewide offices: as the State’s first woman Agriculture Commissioner; and then as the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, Treasurer, and Chief Financial Officer. Ms. Combs spent 16 years in statewide elected leadership.

Fighting Tomorrow’s Food Insecurity Battles Today

Noting projections of low prices for food commodities over the next decade on the back of abundant stocks of cereal and other staples, the United Nations and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) report have underlined the need for governments continue efforts to provide stability to world food markets.

According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)-OECD Agricultural Outlook 2017-2026 projections, per capita demand for food staples may not rise (except in least developed countries), growth in demand for meat may slow, and additional calories and protein consumption could come mainly from vegetable oil, sugar and dairy products.

Furthermore, with estimates that by 2026, the average calorie availability could reach 2,450 kilo-calorie (kcal) per person per day in least developed countries and exceed 3,000 kcal in other developing countries, food insecurity and malnutrition would still remain a persistent global problem, requiring a coordinated international approach, noted the Outlook. “Food alone is not enough to eliminate undernourishment and other forms of malnutrition,” said FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva, at the launch of the report.

“Access to the additional calories is extremely important. More challenging is the fight against malnutrition: Fighting malnutrition requires a diversified, safe and nutritious diet, ideally produced with a lower environmental footprint,” he added. The report also points to potential higher crop yields. For instance, up to 90 per cent of the increase in maize production is expected from increased yields and just 10 per cent from expansion of area under cultivation. Similarly, yield gains are projected to account for 85 per cent of the increase in wheat production. Additionally, growth in meat and dairy production is expected to come from both larger herds and higher output per-animal and it is foreseen that aquaculture would dominate growth in the fish sector and farmed fish production will be the fastest-growing protein source among all commodities analyzed in the Outlook.

The Outlook, however, also calls on all countries to remain vigilant to shocks and instability.