News

Morning Commentary

Dec corn up 3/4 at $3.44

Nov beans up 1 ½ at $8.155

The DOW is up

USD is stronger

Crude oil down .$13 at $69.72

Good morning,

Stocks are steady this morning after rallying into yesterday’s headlines of China punching back at the U.S. with tariffs of 5% to 10% on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods. Reports circulating indicate China’s new tariffs will affect 5,207 U.S. products and account for as much as 95% of all U.S. exports to China.

Van Trump says “Corn prices fall to fresh new contract lows as more inside the trade start to fear an extended trade battle with the Chinese and an already record U.S. yield perhaps getting larger. Harvest reports are heavily flowing and causing some bulls to backpedal. On the opposite side, more bears are talking about perhaps a +182 yield estimate. It was just earlier this week we were hearing more bulls talk about a 180 yield estimate. I don’t think anybody knows the USDA’s next move, but everyone seems in agreement that the U.S. yield will certainly be record setting. I should also note, Informa has confirmed early talk of more U.S. corn acres in 2019, thinking we jump by close to +4 million to just north of 93 million total corn acres planted. That type of acreage has many fundamentalist now penciling in a +15.0 billion bushel crop, obviously excluding any major weather hiccups.”

Soybean prices are coming off another contract low. In fact, soybean prices have now posted a fresh new decade low. The lower-highs and lower-low dance steps clearly remain in vogue. Talks of an already record U.S. crop getting larger, record acreage being planted in Brazil, and thoughts of the U.S. – Chinese trade conflicts perhaps dragging on for an extended period, is allowing the bears to swing for the fences.

Agriculture Under Secretary Greg Ibach announced yesterday that the USDA is investing $102.7 million to increase opportunities for farmers, ranchers and other growers across the country through five grant programs. Much of the grant money will go to support farmer growing specialty crops, including fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, and nursery crops. (Source: USDA, AMS)

USDA said new funding will go toward rebuilding rural water and wastewater infrastructure in 42 states, including for projects such as replacing water lines and mains, digging wells and building treatment plants.

For decades, producers have used low doses of human antibiotics to help fatten their chickens. However, in 2018 those numbers are changing. Poultry producers like Perdue, Tyson and others and restaurant chains including McDonald’s, Chick-fil-A, Wendy’s, Burger King, etc. have pledged en masse to limit antibiotics in their chicken. They point to recent evidence linking antibiotics on animal farms to possible drug resistance in humans. Without debating or arguing the reasons why, it seems “change” is coming. If one company has its way, poultry producers will be using a fungal extract originally found in a Japanese pigsty. Scientists at the Danish company Novozyymes recently found that an enzyme in the fungus helps clear dead cells in chickens’ guts. The enzyme, which the company and its animal-nutrition partner DSM are calling Balancius, allows the birds to absorb more nutrition from food. The result appears to be less feed, less poop, and more chicken. Balancius is the latest in a category of products — including probiotics and essential oils — that have gained popularity with the phasing out of antibiotics. Probiotics, or beneficial bacteria, are one alternative to help with maintaining healthy gut flora in the chicken. Farmers can also feed chickens probiotics, which are carbohydrates that beneficial bacteria like to eat. Essential oils form plants like oregano and thyme are also used. All these methods seem to have positive effects on the gut flora, but testing and finding the most effective is a tedious task. Chicken producers who once had decades of experience using antibiotics are learning the process all over again with new probiotics. It is a difficult situation for poultry farmers. For years antibiotics were considered a wonder supplement for farmers, but the new products don’t have the same range of functions. Many believe antibiotics helped build modern industrial chicken farming and the practice of using in mass will be tough to break. Data shows that in 2016, use of antibiotics on animal farms in the U.S. fell for the first time since the Food and Drug Administration began keeping track of the data. The FDA also put a new policy into effect in 2017 that recommends farmers stop using important human antibiotics for growth enhancement. While feeding prebiotics, probiotics, essential oils and fungal enzymes to chickens may currently sound ridiculous, we may ultimately see it as routine in the decades ahead. (Source: The Atlantic, Novozymes)

 

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