Edith Munro

Corn & Soybean Digest
Soybean oil growth projections

Both traditional soybean oil and high-oleic soybean oil are poised for growth over the next five years, according to the latest outlook assessment by Soy Insights experts. However, this depends on how several key questions are resolved.

New NCGA leader: Chris Novak 2

Ask about the qualities of Chris Novak, the National Corn Growers Association’s (NCGA) new chief executive officer, and common themes quickly become apparent. Members of the NCGA selection committee, which picked Novak to succeed retiring CEO Rick Tolman, call Novak “strategic.” John Johnson, National Pork Board acting CEO, who worked under Novak there, calls him “a strategic thinker par excellence.”

Corn exports back on track 2

U.S. corn exports rebounded dramatically in 2012/13 from the previous market year, when sales hit levels not seen since 1970. The first six weeks of the current marketing year suggest further improvement.

China's corn outlook: It’s all about yield 

Yield improvements will be the key to Chinese efforts to continue boosting corn production, according to Dr. Fred Gale, USDA Economic Research senior economist, but yield improvements will not be adequate to meet growing corn demand.

Rail transportation challenges impact grain industry 

Farmers undertake various tasks to meet the challenge of flowing their crop efficiently from field to market. Though on a very different scale, railroads are confronted with a similar logistical challenge. In 2013, U.S. Class 1 railroads hauled 124.5 million tons of grain.

What are your grain storage/marketing plans?  1

As corn and soybean prices drop below breakeven levels, we asked farmers: What are your grain storage and marketing plans? From using on-farm storage and carry to selling to ethanol plants and little forward selling, read what farmers in Missouri, Ohio and Minnesota are planning for their corn and soybeans after harvest this fall.

Corn exports strong in Ukraine, despite conflict  1

Sanctions and trade disruptions in the ongoing Ukraine-Russia dispute have yet to hamper Ukraine’s corn exports, which the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates at almost 800 million bushels for the 2013/14 marketing year.

Optimism on waterway reforms 

While the recently passed Water Resources Reform and Development Act “moves the needle,” far more needs to be done, says Paul Rohde, Midwest area vice president for the Waterways Council, Inc. He warns that by the end of this decade, 78% of waterway locks will have surpassed the end of their design life.

Is Africa the next cerrado?

Africa’s Guinea savannah is “one of the largest underused agricultural land reserves in the world,” according to a 2009 World Bank study that found 990 million acres suited for agriculture, of which less than 10% was in crops.

Q&A: What practice improved your ROI? 1

Next in our Q+A series, we asked farmers what practices they've used that improved return on investment. From split nitrogen applications to variable rate and grid sampling to implementing auto-steer, farmers in Minnesota, Ohio and Iowa talk about what practices have offered them a better ROI.

Nitrogen on soybeans? 1

Soybeans fix their own nitrogen, but high-yielding beans need a lot of nitrogen – 4 to 5 pounds per bushel total with some 3 pounds per bushel in the harvested seed, according to Emerson Nafziger, University of Illinois Department of Crop Sciences. “That’s why some people try applying nitrogen to boost yields,” he says. “You would think if you put on 100 to 200 pounds per acre, there would be a response.”

ARS offers improved nitrogen management tool 1

A new 4.5 version of the Nitrogen Index, available this winter from NRCS-ARS, makes the program quicker and easier to use as a tool for nutrient-application decision tool.

Q&A: What new idea paid off the best in 2013?

We asked farmers which ag practices and ideas paid off for them in 2013. From narrow rows in corn to cover crops to nutrient management, growers sounded off about the new things they tried with success last year.

Will India follow China’s path?

A consistent corn supplier in recent years, India has captured some 45% of the Southeast Asian corn export market. India’s ability to supply those exports reflects a long-term increase in harvested acreage, yield gains from increased hybrid seed use, and expanded production that, so far, has kept up with growing domestic demand.

Q&A: What are your most effective soil conservation practices?

We asked farmers what their most effective soil conservation practices are. From Iowa to Missouri, their responses included bioreactor water control systems, no-till and cover crops.

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