Cal-Maine Foods, Inc. marketing director Alan Andrews,. USDA Photo by Lance Cheung
Cal-Maine Foods, Inc. marketing director Alan Andrews, presents a producer’s perspective of the transition from current production practices to cage-free production during the USDA's 93rd Annual Agricultural Outlook Forum on Feb 24, 2017.

USDA Forum: Argentina focused on roads, Russia wheat on the rise, GMO labels continue

Those topics and more were covered at USDA’s two-day event.

USDA’s annual agricultural outlook forum concluded on Friday and featured forecasts and updates on livestock and crop production, weather, foreign production and more.

The presenters were from USDA and private firms. The following are a few of the presentations that filled the two-day event:

  • Argentina and Brazil’s combined share of the global corn market is at 33%, up from 20% in 2000.
  • Argentina is making long-term plans to improve roads, railroads and port systems that will aid shipment of crops from farms to markets.
  • U.S. corn’s share in world markets is 40%, down from 60% in 2000.
  • Swiss commodity trading firm Solaris Commodities sees Russian wheat production in excess of 75 million metric tons during the 2030-2040 decade, compared with 70 million now.
  • Solaris says Russia plans infrastructure projects in Black Sea, the Asov Sea and the Caspian regions to aid wheat exports to the Middle East and Asia.
  • U.S. organic food sales are expanding at a double-digit rate with a Gallup survey finding that 45% of Americans try to use organic foods in their diets.
  • Increasing demand may push for cage-free eggs to 70% of total egg production by 2025, compared with 4.5% in 2015. However, most of that increase will be near 2025.
  • If we lose 50% of dairy immigrant labor milk prices would rise 45% and reduce the cow herd by 1 million. If we instantly saw an elimination of 100% of immigrant workers, milk prices for consumers would double.
  • If farmers were allowed to re-enroll in PLC program in new farm bill environment, payments would be much more likely for corn producers.
  • Due to negative correlations between farmland values and bankruptcy rates, a further uptick in bankruptcies is expected in 2017 and beyond.
  • Campbell Soup Company says it will continue to use GMO crops in its products, which will carry labels identifying such usage.
  • Production methods are driving market-changes today in the food arena, but the next big trend will be what’s in your food.
  • Retail food prices in 2016 declined for the first time in nearly 50 years, down 1.3% for the year. Eggs saw the biggest hit, down 21.1%.
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