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Agriculture Headlines from Farms.com Canada East News - click on title for full story

Pulse Market Insight #250

Even though there are still three months left in the 2023/24 marketing year, most of the focus is on next year’s crop. Most of last year’s crop has already been sold but some farmers are still holding old-crop supplies that need to be marketed. At this time of year, the opportunities and risks for remaining old-crop supplies are magnified. The relationship between old-crop and new-crop bids is an important signal about how much risk and how much opportunity is left as the marketing year winds down. In general, a large difference between price levels means greater risk for remaining old-crop supplies. In 2023/24, prices for some pulse crops experienced extreme highs, which add to the vulnerability as the year winds down with the risk of a sharp drop outweighing the potential for higher prices. Old-crop prices for green peas are still running close to record highs at nearly $4.50 per bushel higher than the average new-crop bid. Once buyers have enough green peas to fill remaining sales

US Corn Ending Stocks Down on Greater Ethanol, Feed Demand

The USDA has trimmed its 2023-24 US corn ending stocks estimate from last month amid heavier ethanol and feed demand. In its latest monthly supply-demand estimates Thursday, the USDA pegged ending stocks at 2.122 billion bu, down 50 million from the March projection but still well above the previous year’s 1.36 billion. The USDA number was above the average pre-report trade guess of 2.109 billion, with futures trading 3-4 cents lower following the report’s noon ET release. On the demand side, corn used for ethanol was raised 25 million bu from March to 5.4 billion bu, compared to 5.176 billion in 2022-23. Feed use was bumped an identical 25 million bu higher to 6.805 billion – versus 6.558 billion last year – based on indicated disappearance during the December-February quarter. The USDA surprisingly left its 2023-24 Brazil corn production steady from last month at 124 million tonnes. Going into the report, most trader and analysts were expecting the Brazil crop to be lowered to

Map: Late Season Snow Improves Saskatchewan Runoff Conditions

Late season snowfalls at the end of March have improved spring runoff conditions in Saskatchewan, even as moisture levels in many areas of the province remain below, or well below normal levels.  In its latest spring runoff update on Friday (see map below), the Saskatchewan Water Security Agency said a mid-March snowstorm increased the expected additional runoff volumes to some degree across southern Alberta and southwestern Saskatchewan.  Much of this area across both provinces was snow free prior to the storm, the report said, adding that how quickly the snow melts will impact how much additional runoff will be experienced. With the area being so dry prior to the snowfall event, if a slow melt occurs, a lot of the water will infiltrate into the soil, it said. Another snowstorm in late March brought 5 to 15 cm of snow across most of eastern Saskatchewan, with the heavier snow falling in the northeastern portions of the grain belt.  A decent snowpack still exists in the Assiniboine

Livestock expansion unlikely until 2025, economists say

Despite some market signals that usually result in expansion, cattle and hog producers are likely to wait until at least 2025. Numbers are down for a variety of reasons in the cattle industry, says Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing economist with Oklahoma State University. Those factors include drought conditions throughout much of the country. “I haven’t seen anything starting despite these record high prices we’re seeing for calves,” he says. “Those price signals usually get expansion going, but it hasn’t happened yet.” Thousands of cows were culled in 2023 and going into 2024 because of drought. Producers struggled to find adequate grass to maintain the cattle inventory. “They had to make a difficult call,” Peel says. Because of the record prices last year, he says many producers sold heifers to take advantage of that income. Peel says because of that, it’s going to take longer to rebuild the herd. “Last year’s beef cow herd was the lowest we’ve seen since 1961, and

Consistency key to maintaining beef industry value

In the beef industry, consistency is key to just about everything. From sire and A.I. choices to ration options to market opportunities, producers can add value at each production stage based on their decisions. Garrett Englin, cattle buyer for JBS USA, said consistency is key for packers, too. Speaking at the 2024 Feedlot Forum in northwest Iowa, he told attendees how a current trend is helping. “Having cattle at the same size and same weight is key, and the beef-on-dairy crosses help a great deal in reaching and maintaining consistency,” he said in an Iowa State University Extension news release. “Being able to provide the same product to consumers starts with getting similar cattle from producers.” At the 2024 Feedlot Forum sponsored in part by the Iowa Beef Center and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Englin was asked to talk to the group about the beef-dairy cross that’s becoming very popular. A big part of how this approach works is the narrowing of genetic divers

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