Grain and Farm Supply Reports

Reports from CoBank Knowledge Exchange focusing on the grain and farm supply industries.

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Ukraine Sunflower Oil Just the Latest Chapter in Vegetable Oil Price Rally
May 2022

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has shaken up global agricultural markets, including vegetable oil. But some perspective is needed: Even before the war, global vegetable oil prices had appreciated sharply. Since 2020, vegetable oil prices are up 113% versus gains of 51% for soy meal and 71% for unprocessed oilseeds.

Ukraine Grain: Tight Stocks, Price Volatility Likely for Years
March 2022

Global grain markets have been managing through a period of extreme price volatility following Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine, a situation that has reignited the grain rally of 2020-21.

Fertilizer Inflation Likely to Persist into Spring Planting
December 2021

U.S. crop farmers and the farm supply cooperatives serving them are facing operational anxiety heading into 2022, driven by high fuel prices, shortages of agrochemicals (herbicides, fungicides, insecticides) due to COVID-related disruptions and, most importantly, the recent parabolic rise in fertilizer prices.

Precision Agronomy Services Will Factor Heavily in the Future of Ag Retailing
September 2021

Ag retailers, including farm supply cooperatives, are benefitting from crop farmers’ strong spending on inputs and agronomic services in a second year of above-average grain prices.

Feeding the Hungry Dragon: China Changes Buying Tactics in Volatile Phase of U.S. Grain Run
June 2021

China shook up the U.S. feed grain export market this past year when it nearly tripled its previous year’s purchase of soybeans, and made record purchases of sorghum and more recently, corn.

Agronomy Outlook: A Time to Plant, a Time to Prosper
March 2021

U.S. farmers are in a sound financial position heading into spring 2021 given the cyclical turn in grain prices and robust government support, both of which have driven a rise in net farm income.

Dollar Divergence: US Dollar Index Does Not Reflect True Dollar Impact on US Ag Exports
February 2021

The U.S. Dollar Index saw rapid deflation in 2020 and has coincided with a rally in commodity prices. 

Grain Elevator Outlook: Accelerated Merchandising Margins Today, Potential Volatility Tomorrow
December 2020

An explosive rally in grain prices – driven by a smaller-than-expected U.S. harvest, strong China export demand, dryness concerns due to La Niña, and resulting tight corn and soybean stocks – dramatically changed the complexion of the 2020-21 grain marketing season.

Surging Feed Prices to Test US Animal Protein’s Recovery
December 2020

Feed costs have been relatively benign since 2012, helping the beef, pork and poultry sectors to expand more from 2014 to 2019 than in any five year period in the industry’s history. But in the coming year, U.S. livestock and poultry producers will face more feed cost inflation than they have in over a decade, challenging their ability to recover after a difficult and volatile 2020.

Field of Agronomic Dreams: Rethinking the Farm Supply Co-op to Drive Value
November 2020

Farm supply service cooperatives remain the dominant form of input distribution in North America. 

Ethanol Sector Outlook: Readjustment Today, Rationalization Tomorrow
June 2020

The economic shock in spring 2020 resulting from COVID-19-led economic shutdowns was unprecedented, causing ethanol demand destruction. 

Spring 2020 Agronomy Outlook: Retailers Are Adequately Prepared to Ride Out the Storm
March 2020

According to an analysis of CoBank’s proprietary borrower database, ag retailers are on relatively firm footing as they prepare for spring following last year’s complicated agronomy season.

Grain Elevator Outlook: Tight Basis Squeezes Grain and Oilseed Margins
December 2019

Grain elevators face a struggle in the year ahead as they buy expensive basis on corn, soybeans, and wheat at levels not seen in years. 

Corn Crop Uncertainty Raises Volatility for Grain Elevators
August 2019

Grain elevators and end users are navigating heightened market volatility as the size of this fall’s corn harvest remains uncertain.

Ethanol Outlook Weak Amid Sluggish Demand
July 2019

Persistent low margins will likely drive ethanol plants to diversify revenue streams.

Gene Editing: A Potential Game Changer for Crop Agriculture
February 2019

Interest, innovation, and investment in gene editing tools like CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) and TALEN® (transcription activator-like effector nucleases) have heated up in recent years, and will only intensify in 2019.  

Grain Elevator Outlook 2018/2019
November 2018

Trade disputes and large fall crops have been the major drivers of grain markets this year. Both factors have contributed to wider carry and weakened basis.
 

Shifting Ground: Mega Mergers to Realign Farm Supply
April 2018

Seed and crop protection rebate programs will change over the coming years due to mergers in the seed and crop protection industry.

2018-2020: Pressure on Grain and Farm Supply Sectors to Persist
November 2017

The long-term outlook for grains and ethanol is one of cautious optimism, with domestic and global demand expected to continue rising as export competition builds abroad. 

Who Will Own the Grain? Elevators Eye Improved Prospects
November 2017

The 2018 crop year is likely to offer much better prospects to elevators than producers. Wide carry in futures markets, weak harvest basis, and low transportation rates should provide opportunities for grain elevators to secure healthy margins. A wet fall in the Eastern Corn Belt and Northern Plains will also improve drying revenue in these areas. Demand growth is critical to reduce large stocks and support appreciating basis.

Ethanol’s Growth Path: Output and Export Uncertainties Both Rising
August 2017

The ethanol industry is currently in an expansion phase. Blessed with an abundant supply of cheap corn, rising domestic ethanol demand and a quickening export pace, ethanol producers marked strong profits in 2016. 

More Feed, Fewer Mills: Upgrades Accelerate Consolidation
May 2017

Feed mills have enjoyed substantial increases in profitability in recent years as grain prices have fallen, making the cost of their main input more affordable. 

Organic and Non-GMO Specialty Grains: Assessing the Impact and Opportunity for Growers
January 2017

Recent studies show that 68 percent of Americans have recently bought organic food items and 44 percent have recently bought non-GMO labeled food. So what impact are these trends in food consumption having on U.S. production agriculture?