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TheCropSite Newsletter - 6 June 2012

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The Crop Site

Wednesday 6th June 2012.

Sarah Mikesell - TheCropSite Senior Editor

Sarah Mikesell
Senior Editor

Editorial: Welcome to TheCropSite Newsletter

I'm coming to you a day later than usual because the fabulous 5m team that sends out my newsletter is located in England, and yesterday they were celebrating Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee, which was a national holiday for all of England. Those lucky English…

On the agenda today is China - even with a slight slow-down in their economy, they are still the one to watch. Following is some new information just released in a USDA Gains Report regarding China's oilseed market.

Low soybean profits in major production areas continue to push farmers toward alternative crops, a trend expected to carry into MY12/13. Soybean production in MY12/13 is forecast at 13 MMT, down from the previous year's estimated 13.5 MMT.

MY12/13 corn and rice planted area reached 95 million Mu (6.33 MHa) and 53 MMu (3.53MHa), respectively, both up 6 MMu (400,000 Ha) and 1.3 MMu (87,000 Ha), while soybean area declined to 40 MMu (2.67 MHa), down 10 MMu (667,000 Ha) over the previous year.

A local Chinese soy consultant expects an even more dramatic shift, forecasting MY12/13 soybean planted area will plummet to 35.5 MMu (2.37 MHa), significantly lower than the 52.2 MMu (3.48 MHa) in the previous year, while corn and rice area will increase 17 percent and 8 percent, respectively over the previous year.

Stable production is expected for MY12/13 rapeseed at 12.5 MMT based on planted area of 7.05 MHa. Modest yield gains due to favorable weather conditions will compensate for a slight decline in planted area.

Many analysts agree that rapeseed production of 13 MMT for MY11/12, as reported by the National Statistics Bureau, is high. Field trips confirmed a reduced planted area for MY12/13 as farmers explained that planting rapeseed is not as profitable as growing wheat or vegetables.

China's industry sources speculate that the government is likely to announce the MY12/13 rapeseed purchase policy in May. Industry insiders believe the purchase price will reach RMB 5,000/MT (or $794/MT, up from RMB 4,600/MT) based on increased labor and input costs and the price ratio among crops.

China's feed production growth is a key factor driving soybean imports. Industry statistics show total feed production of 36.9 MMT in the first quarter of 2012, of which compound feed reached 24.2 MMT, both up 25.6 percent over the same period in 2011. The increasing scale of swine and poultry production nationwide continues to drive feed production and consumption.

I encourage you to take a look at the full report, which includes harvest photos and data charts. And there's a ton of great information regarding imports that I didn't get to in my summary above. Click here to read the full report.

Ag Outlook: Grain Exports Up; Ag Imports at Record $107.5B
Agricultural exports are forecast higher versus the February report but lower compared to 2011 figures. However, import demand is booming, jumping $1 billion to $107.5 billion, writes Sarah Mikesell, The CropSite senior editor.

Cotton Land for Bioenergy Crops, ‘Green’ in More Ways Than One
What happens when traditional cotton country is converted to grow bioenergy crops? That’s what a team of Texas AgriLife Research scientists will determine in a new US Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture-funded project.

UK Farm Sector Worth £5.69 billion
Total Income from farming is estimated to have risen by 25 per cent in real terms over the last year after adjusting for inflation, to £5.69 billion, according to Defra's Agriculture in the United Kingdom 2011 report.

Europe’s Rural Landscapes Classified Using New Approach
A recent study recommends a new approach to classifying Europe’s rural landscapes that accounts for their diversity and provides better consistency across EU rural policies. This framework can be used to analyse past and present trends in landscapes, and to make future projections.

What Are the Benefits of Cover Crops?
Cover crops could be considered the backbone of any annual cropping system that seeks to be sustainable. There are several ways to use cover crops, each delivering specific benefits for your crops or soil.

New Climate Change Adaptation Tool Helps Manage Water
Water demand often exceeds supply in Mediterranean areas and, as climate change is predicted to raise temperatures by 2-4oC in Southern Europe and reduce river flows and surface runoff, the problem is likely to worsen.

   United Kingdom

GM Wheat Experiments Protected by Injunction
Lloyds TSB Loans Support Farm Business Development
Defra Must Not Ignore CAP Advice

   United States

Alltech Cultivates Crop Science Division
Season for Determining Corn Yields is Underway
Specialty Soybean Varieties Geared for Niche Markets
Hot, Dry Weather Takes It's Toll on Young Corn Plants
Texas South Plains Cotton Farmers ‘Planting like Gangbusters’
No 'One-Size-Fits-All' Solutions to Water, Food Security
CME: Corn Futures Closed Sharply Higher Monday CME: Corn Futures Closed Lower Tuesday
CME: Corn Futures Closed Lower Wednesday
CME: Corn Futures Closed Lower Thursday
CME: Corn Futures Closed Mixed Friday
CME: Potential Impact of Weather on Crop Yields
Scattered Insect Observations from Around the Illinois
How Much Nitrogen Should You Apply at Sidedress?
US Farm Exports Reach Second-highest Level on Record
Hot, Dry May Brings Drought to Parts of Indiana
Grain Hedge: Funds Liquidate and Outside Market Have Jitters
GeoGrain: Wheat Harvest Begins; Spot Basis Drops a Penny
Early-Season Crop Ratings and Yield
US Exports to EU Decline Amid Competition
May Farm Prices Received Index Declined Two Points
Is Agriculture Leading the Way Out of the Recession?
EBI Energy Farm Researchs Bioenergy Solutions
Energy-dense Biofuel from Cellulose Close to Being Economical
Hot, Dry May Brings Drought to Indiana

Texas Drought Continues, Critical Time for Cotton
One Sample Testing Programme Receives USDA-RMA Approval


Harper Government Strengthens Japan Trade Relations
Alberta Sugar Beet Crop off to a Good Start
Day Marks Importance of Honey Bee to B.C. Agriculture
Prairie Winter Wheat Crop in Excellent Condition
Winter Wheat Development Ahead of Normal
Canada Organic Research Centre Receives C$13 Million Funding
Alberta Promotes Forage, Beef and Canola in UAE


Cuba's Sugar Harvest Disappoints

   European Union

Scottish and Irish Unions Unite in CAP Budget Call
EU Farm Rules Will Cut Food Production, May Harm Environment
EFSA Reviews Studies on Some Pesticides and Bee Health
Measures Proposed to Ensure Green Transition


Corn Prices Expected to Drop Near-term
African Agriculture Sector to Gain Considerable Funding
Ag Outlook: Grain Exports Up; Ag Imports at Record $107.5B
Monsanto Launches Biologicals Platform; Shares Global Plans
Soybean Prices: A Roller Coaster
Nufarm Expands US Production Capabilities
New In-Season Satellite Tech Helps Make Production Decisions
Consumers More Likely to Choose GM if Benefits Clear


Australian Growers Warned to Watch for Seedling Insect Pests
Controlling Stripe Rust in Dual Purpose Wheat


EU’s Agricultural Ministers Form Green Think Tank
EU’s Agricultural Ministers: More for Less


Indian Food Ministry Creates Grain Analysis Laboratory


Peru Makes Progress With Demands of Rice Producers


IMS, FAO and Private Sector Partner on Livestock Emissions

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