November 2, 2017

PITY THE POOR MALTHUSIANS:

Special Report: Drowning in grain - How Big Ag sowed seeds of a profit-slashing glut (Rod Nickel, 9/27/17, Reuters) 

On Canada's fertile Prairies, dominated by the yellows and golds of canola and wheat, summers are too short to grow corn on a major scale.

Paul Gregoire, an Agronomic Research Specialist with Monsanto, examines corn on Monsanto's research farm near Carman, Manitoba, Canada August 3, 2017. REUTERS/Zachary Prong
But Monsanto Co (MON.N) is working to develop what it hopes will be North America's fastest-maturing corn, allowing farmers to grow more in Western Canada and other inhospitable climates, such as Ukraine.

The seed and chemical giant projects that western Canadian corn plantings could multiply 20 times to 10 million acres by 2025 - adding some 1.1 billion bushels, or nearly 3 percent to current global production.

The question, amid historically high supplies and low grain prices, is whether the world really needs more corn.

A global grains glut is now in its fourth year, with supplies bloated by favorable weather, increasingly high-tech farm practices and tougher plant breeds.

The bin-busting harvests of cheap corn, wheat and soybeans are undermining the business models of the world's largest agriculture firms and the farmers who use their products and services. Some analysts say the firms have effectively innovated their way into a stubbornly oversupplied market.

Posted by at November 2, 2017 7:57 AM

  

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