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As expected, the U.S. corn and soybean crop condition ratings have been left unchanged from a week ago, according to the USDA Crop Progress Report Monday.For corn, the USDA rated the crop as 74% good/excellent, equal to a week ago and ahead of the 63% five-year average. The report shows that 4% of the crop has been harvested, with 2% completed in Illinois and 12% in Missouri.Overall, 82% of U.S. corn is in the dent stage, behind an 85% five-year average. Only 27% of the U.S. corn total production is rated as mature, behind a 39% five-year average.Mother Nature Welcomes Midwest Harvest Season Al Kluis, Kluis Commodities trader, says today's report is negative for prices tonight. "I expect corn to start out 1 to 2 cents lower tonight. For soybeans, today's report is likely to take prices 2 to 3 cents lower tonight."In its weekly report, the USDA pegged the U.S. soybean crop as 72% good/excellent, equal to a week ago and significantly ahead of a 50% five-year average. The USDA reported that 74% of the U.S. Spring Wheat harvest is complete, compared to an 86% five-year average. Meanwhile, winter wheat planting is 12% complete, vs. the 11% five-year average.
Cargill has filed a lawsuit against Syngenta Seeds, Inc. seeking damages from Syngenta for commercializing its Agrisure Viptera (MIR 162) corn seed before the product obtained import approval from China. Cargill’s grain export facilities in Reserve and Westwego, Louisiana loaded the vessels that were destined for and rejected by China.In court documents filed Friday, Cargill said that it has lost more than $90 million because Syngenta sold MIR 162 to U.S. farmers before gaining import approval from China, one of the world's biggest markets. “Unlike other seed companies, Syngenta has not practiced responsible stewardship by broadly commercializing a new product before receiving approval from a key export market like China,” said Mark Stonacek, president of Cargill Grain & Oilseed Supply Chain North America. “Syngenta also put the ability of U.S. agriculture to serve global markets at risk, costing both Cargill and the entire U.S. agricultural industry significant damages.”Since mid-November 2013, China has rejected imports of U.S. corn due to the presence of Syngenta’s MIR 162 trait because of its lack of approval for import, virtually halting U.S. corn trade with China. A study by the National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) estimated that U.S. exporters and farmers lost up to $2.9 billion because of the uncertain trade environment. Syngenta’s ResponseIn response Syngenta issued a statement saying the lawsuit is without merit and strongly upholds the right of growers to have access to approved new technologies that can increase both their productivity and their profitability. MIR162 was approved for cultivation in the U.S. in 2010. Syngenta commercialized the trait in full compliance with regulatory and legal requirements. Syngenta also obtained import approval from major corn importing countries. Syngenta believes it has been fully transparent in commercializing the trait over the last four years. The company believes MIR 162 has demonstrated major benefits for growers, preventing significant yield and grain quality losses resulting from damage by a broad spectrum of lepidopteran pests.MIR 162 BackgroundIn the last two seasons, MIR162 was planted on about 3% of U.S. acres. It is also approved and planted in Brazil and Argentina.Darci Vetter, USDA's chief ag negotiator says the agency is attacking the issue at all levels. "We are using our embassy in Beijing, urging China to immediately approve MIR 162, asking the government to follow the science on this issue to make a sound decision. We are asking China to streamline the regulatory process on trait approval. This issue is very important," negotiator Vetter says.
With the Midwestern farmers getting set to start the 2014 corn and soybean harvest season any day now, this week's weather is expected to trend warmer and drier in the Midwest. The coolest morning for this week will be Tuesday morning, with a few upper 30s far northwest. But there is no frost threat this week, as a gradual warming trend to near-normal temps will take place after a minor cooling trend Monday. There may be some lows in the mid- to upper 30s in the northern Corn Belt early next week around September 22-23, as a Canadian high moves down into the Midwest at this time. Right now, however, it does not look strong enough to cause any damaging frost. Highs Monday will be in the 60s; highs Tuesday and Wednesday will warm into the low to mid 70s southwest and remain in the 60s elsewhere. There will be a stronger push of warmer air later in the week with highs by Friday mostly in the 70s, near 80 far southwest. Light rain will move into the west later today and across the Corn Belt tonight through tomorrow night from west to east with most amounts in the range of .10 to .40 inch. Tuesday through Thursday looks dry for much of the region, but a few scattered showers may fall in the southwest on Wednesday. There will be scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms Friday and Saturday across the Corn Belt. For the six- to 10-day outlook, September 20-24, mostly near-normal temps, above normal west portion. Near to above-normal rainfall northwest half and near to below normal southeast. Looking ahead to the 11- to 15-day period, it looks warmer with above-normal temps as ridging in the western U.S. moves into the Midwest during this time. The latest European model looks warmer during the six- to 10-day period compared to the past run Saturday night, especially for early next week. It shows the Canadian high moving farther east through the Great Lakes rather than the Northern Plains into the Midwest as the past run showed. This afternoon, the USDA will update U.S. crop progress. Last week's crop progress report showed 15% of the corn crop mature but this is lagging well behind the five-year average of 26%. Missouri and Kansas are among the top Midwest states with 36% of the corn mature as of last Sunday (September 7).-----------Story edited by Mike McGinnis