Category: Fertilizer

13 May 2022

AG MARKET UPDATE: APRIL 28 – MAY 12

The May USDA report was mixed but the most bullish news out of it was lowering expected yield to 177 bu/acre from 181. This adjustment trumped the other numbers as US and world stocks were higher than expected. The USDA appears to think demand rationing is in the future but is also aware the late panted US crop will not achieve record yield.  The USDA did not change their estimates for Brazil’s safrinha crop, their estimates remain a few hundred million bushels over private estimates. Corn planting was seen as being 22% complete to start the week with more progress being made. The US is well behind its normal pace and there are still places that have yet to start, the longer planting drags out the lower that yield is expected to go.

Via Barchart

Soybeans have struggled the last few weeks as it has fallen to the low $16s. The USDA report was relatively neutral with a mixed bag of numbers that offset each other. They kept the US yield estimates at 51.5 bu/acre as the slow planting pace has not gotten to the end of the soybean window yet. One important thing to note is the USDA’s acreage already had a large shift to beans from corn. If the wet areas do not dry in time for corn to get in so beans get planted instead, we could see an even larger bean vs corn gap in acreage. The slower corn gets planted the more eyes will turn to soybeans and could make for an interesting year.

Via Barchart

Wheat has seen a good rally over the past 2 weeks, lead by a big day after the USDA report. World wheat supplies are at record low stocks to use ratios and moving deeper into 2022. Replacing lost Ukrainian and Russian bushels is a challenge for the USDA balance sheets. World wheat stocks are at 991 million bushels below expectations from the May report in 2021. With the continued war in Ukraine and troubles with wheat crops all over the world, including here in the US, wheat has several bullish factors behind it heading into the summer.

Via Barchart

Equity Markets

There really is not much to say as the markets continue lower with inflation posting 8.3% this week. The Fed raised rates last week another 50 points, this was expected, and the markets actually immediately responded favorably before continuing the loses of the last few months. Several rounds of earnings happened this week with few winners and Apple continues its fall as it falls below $150. Apple is always one to keep an eye on as it is no longer the most valuable company in the world. The S&P and NASDAQ are getting hit just as hard (NASDAQ the worst down over 30% from its record highs in November).

Via Barchart

Drought Monitor

The drought monitor below shows where we stand week to week.

Podcast

There is an agriculture tug of war happening across the nation, impacting America’s farmland. Fertilizer prices are continuously fluctuating, and it has us taking a page the “The Clash” should we stay or should we go?! And we aren’t the only ones. Many farmers are asking their agronomist and chemical salespeople, “what will fertilizer cost me the rest of the season, and what are my options if I don’t want to go all-in on my typical fertilizer treatment plan?”

 

In this episode of the Hedged Edge we are joined by a special guest who needs no introduction in his local circle, Dick Stiltz. Dick is a 50 year veteran of the fertilizer and chemical industry and is the current Agronomy Marketing Manager of Procurement fertilizer and crop protection at Prairieland FS, Inc in Jacksonville, IL. He is at the pulse of the current struggle and here to discuss the topic at hand.

 

 

Via Barchart.com

 

Contact an Ag Specialist Today

Whether you’re a producer, end-user, commercial operator, RCM AG Services helps protect revenues and control costs through its suite of hedging tools and network of buyers/sellers — Contact Ag Specialist Brady Lawrence today at 312-858-4049 or blawrence@rcmam.com.

 

10 May 2022

The Tug of War on Fertilizer Prices —Are Prices Staying or Going with Dick Stiltz

There is an agriculture tug of war happening across the nation, impacting America’s farmland. Fertilizer prices are continuously fluctuating, and it has us taking a page from “The Clash” should we stay or should we go?! And, we aren’t the only ones. Many farmers are asking their agronomist and chemical salespeople, “What will fertilizer cost me the rest of the season, and what are my options if I don’t want to go all-in on my typical fertilizer treatment plan.”

In this episode of the Hedged Edge, we are joined by a special guest who needs no introduction in his local circle, Dick Stiltz. Dick is a 50-year veteran of the fertilizer and chemical industry and is the current Agronomy Marketing Manager of Procurement fertilizer and crop protection at Prairieland FS, Inc in Jacksonville, IL. He is at the pulse of the current struggle and here to discuss the topic at hand…Should we stay or should we go…

Episode Quick Links:

https://www.prairielandfs.com/

https://twitter.com/PrairielandFS https://www.facebook.com/PrairielandFS/

IF you have additional questions, contact Dick at dstiltz@prlfs.com.

01 Apr 2022

AG MARKET UPDATE: MARCH 24 – 31

A bullish USDA Prospective Plantings report for corn saw both old and new crop corn getting a boost on Thursday. The USDA sees corn-planted acres for all purposes in 2022 at 89.5 million acres, down 3.87 million from last year and well below the average trade estimate of 92 million. Several factors might have played into this number but going from 92 million acres at the USDA Ag Forum to this number a month later is very interesting. Input prices and supply chain woes likely played a major role in the USDA predicting more bean acres than corn as the cost per acre to raise corn will be very high this year with the risk of not receiving all inputs in time. On top of the fallout of the war in Ukraine, this lower number should see tightening on the world balance sheets even with a record yield this year.

Via Barchart

Soybeans had a bearish report as the USDA came out with 91 million planted acres in the US for 2022. This would be a record for planted acres and 4 percent higher than last year, with planted acreage being up or unchanged in 24 of the 29 estimating states. Fewer inputs are needed per acre to grow beans than corn played a major role in the shift in acres year to year. How the market trades in the next few days will be interesting to watch as 91 million is a lot of acres, but the world needs it, so will it actually be enough?

Via Barchart

Wheat remains vulnerable to Ukraine and Russia news while also figuring out its value in the world market. Wheat acres came in at 47.351 million, lower than the pre-report estimates — 2022 winter wheat planted area at 34.2 million acres and (23.7 million HRW, 6.89 million SRW, 3.62 WW) 11.2 million acres of spring wheat. China’s poor crop and the issues with the U.S. crop seem to be priced into the market possible, but for the time being, Russia’s war in Ukraine will be the market moving news.

Via Barchart

Cotton made another jump higher this week before falling following the report. Cotton acres came in at 12.2 million acres, up 9% from last year. Many growing areas have been dry this winter and could use a spring rain to help improve planting conditions. World demand is still present, so the US will have buyers if they can produce a crop. The old and new crops have been over $1 for several weeks now, making it easier to plant than when it was in the 50 cent range a couple of years ago.

Via Barchart

Crude continued its move lower this week with a couple of large intraday ranges. The Biden administration announced that it would release 1 million barrels of oil a day from the Strategic Petroleum Reserves to help fight higher gas prices. The big dip came from rumors of progress in peace talks in Ukraine that seemed incorrect as the conflict continued. The Biden administration also wants to make companies with leases on federal land “use em or lose em” but that would take months to years to go from 0 production levels. When Democrats want to shift to EVs and other “green” energy, it is hard to see why companies invest capital when that party wants to get rid of their dependency as fast as possible.

Via Barchart

Dow Jones

The equity markets fell slightly during the week due to Thursday’s fall into the close of trading. The 2/10 yr treasury yield inversion has been the main talking point this week as it could be a signal of a recession. While it does not always mean there will be a recession, we have not had a recession without that happening, even though it is usually over a year later. Q1 ended this week after a few months of losses, volatility, confusion, and inflation, and it is hard to see it calming down anytime soon.

Via Barchart

Drought Monitor

The drought monitor below shows where we stand heading into April compares to last year.

Podcast

RCM Ag Services put a unique spin on National Agriculture Day by going international. That’s right, we jumped right into international waters with Maria Dorsett from USDA’s Foreign Agriculture Services for an interesting discussion about linking U.S. agriculture to the rest of the world.

Each year, March 22 represents a special day to increase public awareness of the U.S.’s agricultural role in society, so why not take it one step further by bringing in a global component? As the world population soars, there’s an even greater demand for producing food, fiber, and renewable resources. That’s why we’re taking a deeper dive into the USDA’s trade finance programs, like the GSM-102, which supports sales of U.S. agricultural products in overseas markets and supports export growth in areas of the world that are seeing some of the fastest population growth.

So, jump aboard (no passport needed), as Maria discusses how U.S. companies use GSM-102, what the program features, and the benefits that it offers!

Via Barchart.com

Contact an Ag Specialist Today

Whether you’re a producer, end-user, commercial operator, RCM AG Services helps protect revenues and control costs through its suite of hedging tools and network of buyers/sellers — Contact Ag Specialist Brady Lawrence today at 312-858-4049 or blawrence@rcmam.com.

 

24 Mar 2022

GROWING FOOD FOR THE GROWING POPULATION

According to estimates compiled by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), by 2050, farmers worldwide will need to produce 60 percent more food to feed the growing population, which is expected to hit roughly 10 million. We talk more about that in our What It Takes To Feed the World Infographic, but to grow more food, it’s essential to look into where food production begins, and that starts with seeds and chemicals.

The seed and chemicals that create the crops come from various companies and countries (including Russia). Input prices have been the talk of late, with prices, inflation, and supply chain issues impacting the industry. Seed and chemical economies are not much different from other parts of the global economy. Some countries are the leading global supplier of components in the industry, think China with chips for the automotive industry. 

How do seeds and chemicals help feed the world, and what are some of the benefits of this stage in the food production cycle? We’ll discuss the answers to these questions and more below.

Seeding The Ag Industry

Large players like Bayer (Monsanto) and BASF in Germany, Corteva in the U.S., and Syngenta in China play a significant role in the international seed trade. While these major players contribute significantly to seeding the globe, many other cutting-edge companies support the producers and distribute their seed and chemicals through local Co-Ops or companies like Helena Agribusiness

The global commercial seed market is estimated to be valued at $63 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow with a CAGR of 6.6% through 2026, based on HNY Research. With the increasing cost of R&D and advancements in farming, it is easy to see how this industry will keep growing. 

Thanks to a growing population and acceleration of global wealth, the demand for higher protein diets will continue to rise, putting even greater pressure on the production side of the equation. Historically, the majority of grain produced is utilized for animal feed. 

However, with emerging market countries like India and Nigeria requiring more nutrition, there is even more push for plant-based proteins. This only means one thing for seed and chemical companies – it’s time for scientists to get to work!

Genetically modified seeds currently are slightly less than half the market, but many experts see the growth potential as exponential in the years ahead. While the “non-GMO” crowd has seemingly gotten more prominent in recent years, it is crucial to take note of the benefits of GMO seeds, such as resistance to insects and tolerance to herbicides. No matter which side of the fence you are on, GMO seeds continued development and use will be critical moving forward. 

A Closer Look Into Chemical and Fertilizer

At a high level, the chemical and fertilizers used in the ag sector range from pesticides, weed killers, and fertilizers used to help boost yield. 

Like seeds, chemicals and fertilizers come from many different companies and from all over the world. Some of the pivotal companies in the global supply of fertilizer are Nutrien out of Canada, Wesfarmers out of Australia, and Mosaic and C.F. out of the U.S. While these companies are substantial fertilizer companies, China and Russia are also major players in chemicals needed by farmers. 

The global chemical production side has come to light during recent weeks following sanctions being placed on Russia and Belarus (Russia’s close ally). As it turns out, 40% of the global exports of potash (Canada is #1) last year was provided to global farmers from these countries, read more about that here. The estimated effect is continued rising pressure on prices; perhaps, to the tune of an additional 12% on top of the 17% increase last year.

China has historically been a critical urea, sulfate, and phosphate supplier. While the U.S. is not China’s only buyer of these products, it is essential to note that all fertilizer and chemical prices have been raised due to China lowering exports. With the war now a problem and supply chain issues on top of it, we are likely to see elevated prices for the foreseeable future. 

Like GMO vs. non-GMO seeds, the chemicals and fertilizers used to raise yields will need to continue to advance to keep up with global food demand. While we need to be mindful and use these in sustainable ways, it is essential to note that we must grow more one way or the other.

In our podcast with Dr. Chana Prakash, we discuss what will be necessary moving forward to continue to farm for a sustainable future with a growing population; you can view that here:

All in, the seed and chemical components of the industry are what feed the world. Whether the crop is used for feed, meals, or even ethanol that goes into gasoline, with a growing population, it will continue to be essential to produce more as we face challenges with changing weather patterns, global warming, and now increased international conflict. 

But before you go…

Did you know that by 2050, the world is expected to feed almost 2 billion more people than we do today? As the global population continuously rises, a significant amount of food will need to be produced over the next 30 years. Check out our latest infographic here.

CONTACT AN AG SPECIALIST TODAY

Whether you’re a producer, end-user, commercial operator, RCM AG Services helps protect revenues and control costs through its suite of hedging tools and network of buyers/sellers — Contact us today to speak with an ag specialist at 888-875-2110!

19 Nov 2021

AG MARKET UPDATE: NOVEMBER 9 – 18

Corn has seen a good bounce since the Nov 9 USDA report and has traded relatively flat the past few days despite some intraday volatility. There was no specific market-moving news to  fuel this rally but tidbits here and there to help fuel  overall positive  sentiment. IHS Markit updated their acreage for 2022 planted acres estimate with corn coming in at 90.8 million acres, 2.5 million lower than 2020. Ethanol production stays hot as the weekly grind rose to 312 mbu, up 7 from the previous week and well ahead of the USDA estimate for the year. With increased input costs going into 2022, the decrease in acreage makes sense, as balance sheets will be tighter. As harvest nears the end, eyes turn to South American growing conditions for the months ahead.

Via Barchart

Soybeans, like corn, have seen a solid rally since the USDA report. Soybeans continued their rally on Thursday until the EPA announced they would release their renewable fuel mandates by the end of the week. As the Biden administration has not been much of an ally for the ag sector, the decline on the coming news makes sense. Soybeans had decent exports this week as buyers keep showing up in the market even as prices trek higher. Continued demand from exports will help support beans, and it will be interesting to see how many beans get stored and who took advantage of higher prices with forward pricing. We will see this play out in the cash & basis market come the spring, but we expect most farmers to store corn for now. IHS Markit estimated  the 2022 bean acreage to be 87.9 million acres, 700,000 acres less than 2020.

Via Barchart

Dow Jones

The Dow struggled this week as earnings continue to come in, but market volatility seems to be expected with the holiday season coming up. The Fed can still raise rates this year, and the Biden administration has not yet announced their nominee to head the Fed (either keeping Powell or someone new).

Cotton

Cotton has had life in the $1.10+ range for a while now as demand overseas is high for U.S. cotton. Growers have seen mixed yields across the country but nothing too surprising to the market. Cotton demand does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon as the world still is coming out of the pandemic, and some countries still have major restrictions.

Podcast

For the past year, commodity prices have perpetually soared and continue to trend higher. We’re diving into the fertilizer forecast with a unique guest, Billy Dale Strader, a branch manager for Helena Agri-Enterprises in Russellville, KY., who is truly at the epicenter of the rising fertilizer prices.

Billy Dale planted his agriculture roots on his family-owned farm and has managed regional seed and chemical sales at Helena for the past decade. In this week’s pod, we tackle the big question for farmers and ultimately end-users — is the impact of higher-priced inputs, like seeds, chemicals, and fertilizer, on the supply and demand for the major U.S. crops? Listen or watch to find out!

 

U.S. Drought Monitor

The maps below show the U.S. drought monitor and the comparison to it from a week ago. The outlined areas in black are areas that the drought will have a dominant impact.

 

Via Barchart.com

08 Nov 2021

The Fertilizer Forecast with Billy Dale Strader

For the past year, commodity prices have perpetually soared and continue to trend higher. We’re diving into the fertilizer forecast with a unique guest, Billy Dale Strader, a branch manager for Helena Agri-Enterprises in Russellville, KY., who is truly at the epicenter of the rising fertilizer prices.

 

Billy Dale planted his agriculture roots on his family-owned farm and has managed regional seed and chemical sales at Helena for the past decade. In this week’s pod, we tackle the big question for farmers and ultimately end-users — is the impact of higher-priced inputs, like seeds, chemicals, and fertilizer, on the supply and demand for the major U.S. crops? Listen or watch to find out!


Find the full episode links for The Hedged Edge below:

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