Tag Archives: corn

WASHINGTON (AP) — The World Trade Organization handed the United States a win Thursday in a trade dispute with China, ruling that Beijing did not fairly administer quotas on U.S. wheat, rice and corn.

The WTO, the Geneva organization that oversees the rules of global trade, found that China had not been transparent, predictable or fair in managing so-called tariff rate quotas on U.S. grain exports. The import tax, or tariff, is higher on U.S. grain shipments that exceed the quota.

The case, started by the Obama administration, is not directly related to a larger U.S.-China trade standoff: President Donald Trump has slapped tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese imports in a dispute over Beijing’s aggressive drive to challenge U.S. technological dominance; China has retaliated by targeting $110 billion in U.S. products. The two countries are in talks to settle their differences.

The decision Thursday was the second U.S. victory over China this year in a trade dispute over agriculture. In February, the WTO ruled that China unfairly subsidized its grain producers.

“This second important victory for the United States further demonstrates that President Trump will take all steps necessary to enforce trade rules and to ensure free and fair trade for U.S. farmers,” said U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. “The Administration will continue to press China to promptly come into compliance with its WTO obligations.”

China can appeal Thursday’s decision.

WASHINGTON – As the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) works towards allowing year-round use of E15 gasoline, National Farmers Union (NFU) is concerned EPA’s proposed rule will make it harder for retailers to sell higher level blends of ethanol.

 

In a letter to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, NFU President Roger Johnson urged EPA to rewrite a provision contained within the rule that could amount to a cap on ethanol. It is viewed within the farm community as yet another barrier to family farmers and ranchers being able to sell farm products for biofuel production.

 

“Farmers Union is eager for EPA to follow through on its promises to get an E15 waiver out of the door by June 1,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “But we are concerned that certain provisions within EPA’s rulemaking unnecessarily work against expanded use of higher level blends of ethanol.”

 

NFU’s concerns stem from EPA’s interpretation of the “substantially similar” clause of the Clean Air Act, which prohibits the sale of any fuel or fuel additive that is “not substantially similar” to fuels or fuel additives used in the certification of new vehicles. In 2017, E10 gasoline—gasoline blended with 10 percent ethanol—became the nation’s certification fuel, making higher level blends of ethanol, like E15 and E30, substantially similar. Yet in its proposal, EPA has limited its “substantially similar” interpretation to only an E15 blend, making the prospects of using higher level blends of ethanol harder to achieve.

 

“Unfortunately, EPA’s substantially similar determination is limited to E15,” said Johnson. “While we do not necessarily disagree with EPA’s interpretations that would allow for E15 year-round, we believe the statute clearly allows for higher ethanol blends as part of the substantially similar determination based on E10 certification fuel.”

 

“Indeed, higher ethanol blends would further reduce emissions and provide similar or better engine and vehicle performance,” he added.

 

Johnson noted EPA should continue to consider the needed changes to facilitate and promote use of mid-level ethanol blends. “These fuels provide enormous societal benefits and represent a win-win-win for automakers, consumers, the environment, and farmers,” he said.

 

“For that reason, we respectfully request that EPA clarify that the Clean Air Act’s “substantially similar” provisions for gasoline do not cap ethanol at 15 percent.”

U.S. corn planting slipped behind the five-year average pace and spring wheat planting fell further behind average last week, according to USDA NASS’ weekly Crop Progress report on Monday.

For the week ended Sunday, April 14, 3% of the nation’s corn crop was planted, equal to last year at the same time but 2 percentage points behind the five-year average of 5%. In last Monday’s report, corn planting was reported as equal to the five-year average.

Most corn-planting activity was still only taking place in the Southern states, such as Texas, North Carolina and Tennessee, noted DTN Lead Analyst Todd Hultman.

Spring wheat planting also further behind the average last week. NASS reported that only 2% of spring wheat had been planted as of Sunday, up only 1 percentage point from the previous week, behind 3% at the same time last year and significantly behind the five-year average of 13%.

There was no spring wheat planting progress reported yet in the Dakotas or Minnesota, and only 1% of the crop was planted in Montana.

Progress of the winter wheat crop also slowed last week. Nationwide, 6% of winter wheat was headed as of Sunday, behind 8% at the same time last year and also behind the five-year average of 9%.

The condition of the winter wheat crop, on the other hand, remained steady at 60% good to excellent, the highest good-to-excellent rating at this time of year in seven years. Fifty-nine percent of winter wheat in top-producing Kansas was rated good to excellent.

Sorghum was 16% planted, compared to 20% last year and a 19% five-year average. Cotton planting was 7% complete, compared to 8% last year and a 7% average. Rice was 26% planted, compared to 30% last year and a 35% average. Thirteen percent of rice was emerged, compared to 14% last year and an average of 15%.

Oats were 30% planted as of April 14, compared to 29% last year and a 40% average. Emergence was at 26%, compared to 26% last year and a 28% average.

To view weekly crop progress reports issued by National Ag Statistics Service offices in individual states, visit http://www.nass.usda.gov/…. Look for the U.S. map in the “Find Data and Reports by” section and choose the state you wish to view in the drop-down menu. Then look for that state’s “Crop Progress & Condition” report.

National Crop Progress Summary
This Last Last 5-Year
Week Week Year Avg.
Corn Planted 3 2 3 5
Winter Wheat Headed 6 3 8 9
Spring Wheat Planted 2 1 3 13
Cotton Planted 7 6 8 7
Sorghum Planted 16 14 20 19
Barley Planted 8 2 7 19
Oats Planted 30 27 29 40
Oats Emerged 26 25 26 28
Rice Planted 26 19 30 35
Rice Emerged 13 7 14 15

**

National Crop Condition Summary
(VP=Very Poor; P=Poor; F=Fair; G=Good; E=Excellent)
This Week Last Week Last Year
VP P F G E VP P F G E VP P F G E
Winter Wheat 2 7 31 48 12 2 7 31 48 12 15 22 32 26 5

 

Listen to Clay Patton with the report here: http://bit.ly/2Df3o4y

OMAHA (DTN) — U.S. winter wheat condition improved last week, while spring wheat planting, reported for the first time this season in USDA NASS’ weekly Crop Progress report on Monday, was behind the five-year average pace.

For the week ended Sunday, April 7, winter wheat was rated 60% in good-to-excellent condition, up 4 percentage points from 56% the previous week. The latest good-to-excellent rating is the highest for the crop in six years for this time of year.

Meanwhile, winter wheat in North Carolina, Ohio and Michigan were showing the most problems with poor-to-very-poor ratings of 23%, 26% and 35%, respectively.

Nationwide, 3% of winter wheat was headed as of Sunday, equal to last year and near the five-year average of 4%.

Spring wheat progress, on the other hand, was behind normal. Only 1% of the crop was planted as of Sunday, behind 2% last year and 5% for the five-year average. Planting was furthest behind in Idaho, where 3% of the crop was planted versus the average of 26%; Washington, where 11% was planted versus the average of 28%; and South Dakota, where none of the crop was planted versus the average of 14%.

In addition to spring wheat planting, NASS also reported national corn planting progress for this first time this season on Monday. As of Sunday, 2% of corn was planted, equal to both last year and the five-year average. Most corn planting took place in Texas, where 53% of the crop was planted as of Sunday, slightly ahead of the average pace of 51%.

Sorghum was 14% planted, compared to 16% last year and a 14% five-year average. Cotton planting was 6% complete, compared to 7% last year and a 5% average. Rice was 19% planted, compared to 20% last year and a 21% average.

Oats were 27% planted as of April 7, compared to 27% last year and a 32% average. Emergence was at 25%, compared to 25% last year and a 26% average.

The quality of corn assembled for export early in the 2018-2019 marketing year was rated at U.S. grade No. 2 or better on all grade factors, based on the U.S. Grains Council’s (USGC’s) Corn Export Cargo Quality Report, released this week.

“Corn quality information is important to foreign buyers and other industry stakeholders as they make decisions about purchase contracts and processing needs for corn for feed, food or industrial use,” said USGC Chairman Jim Stitzlein. “This report – along with its companion, the Corn Harvest Quality Report – has consistently created value for all stakeholders due to the familiarity of the information and the ability to evaluate year-to-year changes in the U.S. corn crop.”

Average test weight found by the analysis was the same as 2017/2018, indicating overall good quality. Chemical composition indicated similar protein, lower starch and slightly higher oil concentrations than the previous year. The exports had lower average stress cracks, higher average 100-kernal weight, slightly higher average kernel true density and higher average percent of whole kernels and horneous endosperm than in 2017/2018. All export samples tested below the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) action level for aflatoxins and below advisory levels for deoxynivalenol (DON) or vomitoxin.

The report is based on 436 export cargo samples collected from corn shipments undergoing federal inspection and grading processes at export terminals. It also provides information on grading, handling and how U.S. corn is moved and controlled through export channels.

The report is a companion to the 2018/2019 Corn Harvest Quality Report that provides information about the quality of the most recent U.S. corn crop at harvest as it enters the international merchandising channels.

The reports provide reliable information on U.S. corn quality from the farm to the customer based on transparent and consistent methodology. They each give an early view of grading factors established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), moisture content and other characteristics not reported elsewhere. Both reports identify any noticeable changes occurring between these two time periods.

The Council will roll out the new results in a series of crop quality seminars around the world beginning with one in Mexico the first week of April and more in Panama, El Salvador and Colombia in May. These outreach activities help establish clear expectations with buyers and end-users regarding the quality of corn this marketing year.

“The Council’s mission is one of developing markets, enabling trade and improving lives,” said Stitzlein. “To help fulfill this mission, the Council offers this report as a service to our partners. We hope it continues in its role of providing information about the quality of the U.S. corn crop to our valued trade partners.”

 

Read the full report here:  https://grains.org/why-trade-matters/

A report from Plantalytics says current conditions in the Corn Belt leave 55 percent of the nation’s corn acreage at risk of flooding. Plantalytics is a business weather intelligence firm.

The firm reports that major flooding throughout the United States leaves 55 percent of corn acres at risk, along with 60 percent of the nation’s soybean acres to be planted this spring. Thousands of acres have already been inundated with flood waters along the Missouri River, and some will not be used to produce a crop this season.

The report follows a forecast by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, depicting at-risk areas this spring. The Missouri and Mississippi River, throughout nearly all of their length, are at risk for major or moderate flooding. NOAA has much of the eastern U.S. at risk for minor flooding, along with the south and Midwest. The report from Plantalytics based its data on 2018 production of corn and soybeans.

MANHATTAN, Kan. — Kansas Corn leaders made the following statement on EPA’s release today of the proposed rule to allow year-round sales of E15.

“It’s good news for growers to see EPA moving forward on this proposed rule for year-round E15,” said Kansas Corn Growers Association President Steve Rome. “We’ve been working with National Corn Growers and our ethanol friends to move this rule forward to remove the outdated limitations on E15 fuel before the summer driving season begins. The RVP rule has been an unnecessary barrier to offering more fuel choices for consumers.”

The proposed rule allowing year-round sales of E15 will benefit the Kansas Corn Commission’s efforts to expand the availability the fuel which is already approved for passenger vehicles model year 2001 and newer—nearly all the vehicles on the road today.

“Our corn growers, through their checkoff, are working to expand access to E15 at fuel retailers across the state, and we’ve already had a lot of success,” Kansas Corn Commission Chairman Dennis McNinch said. “We’ve worked with many fuel retailers to add E15 and this will allow those retailers to offer the fuel all year. It will also open opportunities for additional expansion to help us grow market access for ethanol, and to provide a lower priced, higher octane fuel choice for drivers.”

KCGA works closely with National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) on this issue. NCGA President Lynn Chrisp said the organization appreciates EPA’s efforts to move the rule forward.

“Today’s proposed rule is great progress to getting the rulemaking completed by the start of the summer driving season, June 1. NCGA appreciates EPA’s efforts to meet this deadline and we look forward to fully reviewing the content of the proposed rule. We will be providing comments to EPA and urging our membership to provide input during the comment process as well.

“Allowing year-round sales of higher blends of ethanol not only grows a domestic market for farmers, but E15 gives consumers more choice at the pump, a lower price option and greater environmental benefits from a cleaner fuel. This fix removes an outdated barrier to all of these benefits.”

Kansas E15 retailers can be found at kscorn.com/eth