Agricultural science and practice
The Agriculture Reddit
Agriculture, also called farming or husbandry, is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi, and other life forms for food, fiber, biofuel and other products used to sustain human life. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the development of civilization.
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Argentina’s planting cycle, what you need to know.
The main growing area of Argentina is concentrated in the areas adjacent to the Parana River. This is primarily the provinces of Santa Fe, Entre Rios, Cordoba, and surrounding areas. The world’s largest soybean processing facilities are located along the river with Rosario the largest hub. In the South of Buenos Aires Province are the ports of Necochea and Bahia Blanca. Most corn and soybeans are grown to be sent to the river (soybeans) or southern ports (corn).
To put this in perspective, the largest soybean processing facility in the United States is less than 10,000 metric tons per day. There are 3 facilities located on the Parana with a capacity greater than 20,000 metric tons daily.
Argentina plants two corn crops, generally referred to as corn 1 and corn 2. The main difference is a short-season seed versus a longer varietals. The main drivers of the split are weather and locations. Argentina has a high water table, but almost no irrigation outside of seed production. If it is dry, farmers will wait until after rains to plant.
If rains do not arrive in time, farmers will need to switch to the shorter season. The planting can start as early as October, but the main planting window is early November until the middle of December. The second crop corn will be from December into the first week of January. 2022 was the latest planting ever for corn and the highest share of corn 2 due to the La Nina induced drought. Soybeans are the preferred cash crop of Argentina’s farmers. The planting window goes from early November until late December.
This year’s acreage could swing materially in November and even December depending on weather and the upcoming elections. Two of the three candidates are talking about merging the currency rates and cutting taxes. This would have a material impact on the profitability of farmers. Further, the weather remains dry, so farmers are already in a wait-and-see mode. Easy Newz will provide weekly updates beginning in late October.
I'm looking to get into farming properly. (UK based)
When I say properly, I mean that I already live on a farm, however they cannot pay me due to not having the money. I have literally no agricultural qualifications, and currently work in IT. And I hate it.
If I were to do a Lantra Tractor Course, and a Telehandler Course, would I be able to get a job just with these two qualifications and experience on our own farm? Or are there others that I would need? Perhaps some that are beneficial to have.
Most shows (besides county and state fairs) have began to allow kids to show livestock till they are 21 as of Jan 1. Meaning, most of these individuals can legally drink for a year or two while being allowed to show (depending on when their birth date falls). So, what happens when these exhibitors are getting completely intoxicated at these shows? Should there be rules or consequences within the show? What type of example does this set for younger exhibitors when they see these older (of age) exhibitors completely abusing alcohol at the show venue? Truthfully I don’t mind what happens outside the show venue, but around the arena/in the barns? What are your thoughts? If there is a show the following day should they be disqualified if they are out of hand the night before due so excessive alcohol intake?
My name is Jan and I’m trying to gather some knowledge about gathering data at farms, the benefits you see as farmers that come with it, how do you collect it and if you have any concerns regarding its collection. Here is a couple of questions, which I’d love you to answer if you’ve got 2 spare minutes.
How big is your farm (acres)?
Do you collect data at your farm, if yes what methods of data collection do you use? If you do not collect and data please specify the reason, and ignore the following questions.
What are the biggest benefits that you can see of collecting data at your farm, how do you use it?
Do you use the data to try to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions at your farm? If so, how?
Thank you so much for help!
The September USDA was bearish, led by higher soybean stocks.
The September WASDE will once again push the focus back to the demand side of the balance sheet. Poor finishing weather and shrinking yields are not likely to change the perception that domestic balance sheets are getting heavier while the US is missing out on business during its main export window.
Agriculture futures are down between 1% and 3% following the report. The biggest surprise was quarterly soybean stocks at 268 million versus expectations of 240. This takes much pressure off the transition from old to new crop for the next few weeks.
Soybeans are likely to take the brunt of the selling following this report. On-farm stocks are up 14% from a year ago. Farmers should keep an eye on these on-farm versus off-farm figures.
Corn stocks came in at 1.361 billion, which was about 60 million below expectations but well within the range of expectations. The domestic new crop carry-out for the corn balance sheet is the most comfortable of wheat, soybeans, and corn. On-farm stocks were up 19% from a year ago.
Easy Newz suggested a number below 1.3 billion was needed to concern speculative shorts or end users with little coverage.
Wheat stocks came in at 1.779, just in line with last year. This was slightly above expectations. The bulls hoped for a number under 1.77 to keep tightening the domestic situation. The June through August disappearance was up 8% from a year ago.
The agency did add the following note:
Nationally, corn production for 2022 is revised down 15.0 million bushels and soybean production is revised down 5.93 million bushels from the previous estimate.
As a consumer, we're all taught that you should eat whole grains and avoid refined grains and that grain products come in these two varieties, but I've never heard the distinction invoked when it comes to proso millets, nor have I seen the varieties distinguished at the super market - they just sell proso millets.
So, my question is, does proso also come in refined and whole form or is this grain just not refined the way rice or wheat is?
Is Ukraine loading grain at its deepwater ports to China?
This is an important story because some international traders are denying it, but two vessels are in port and others are sailing in this direction. Rumor is over 1 million tonnes have been traded to China. This would compete directly with USA corn during the peak export window. Easy Newz will provide updates on the evolving situation.
Rumors that China was booking corn from Ukraine’s deepwater ports appear to be confirmed by Agricensus’ Fastmarkets. Traders in Europe and the Black Sea have been discussing the opportunity to offer new crop as cash prices delivered to China pushed higher.
Brazil is dealing with logistics bottlenecks as its record Safrina crop continues to move. The Low Mississippi River level has sent barge freight skyrocketing. Ukrainian delivered prices are in the $260 to $270 range for October compared with the US over around $290. Brazil is around $275 landed China.
Since the grain deal fell apart, Ukraine has focused on its processing industry and higher-value exports from the southern Danube port. This may be an opportunity for farmers as Russia is unlikely to intervene in vessels going to China.
Ukraine’s deepwater ports have the capacity for full 75,000 deadweight tonnage panamaxes. The smaller river ports do not generally have the draft (river depth) or equipment for the larger vessels. This raises the price for China’s consumers. 15 panamaxes would be roughly 1.1 million tonnes.
Freight rates could fall further if insurers get comfortable and boats on these routes will not be targeted by either side. Sinking merchant vessels carrying food will not be a welcome development for either side.
Secretary Vilsack addresses Chinese farmland ownership.
Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack spoke at a White House briefing and acknowledged industry participants' concerns and national security risks of Chinese farmland ownership.
There are more calls for greater scrutiny of foreign ownership, especially Chinese, as tensions grow between the two world superpowers. Agriculture has been a main flashpoint, starting with the tariffs during Trump’s Presidency. The scrutiny will only increase as the US de-risks, and China shifts its purchasing away from US farm products to more Brazil and other origin.
Secretary Vilsack focused on the complexity of the issue when it comes to monitoring transactions promptly. Ultimately, there will need to be a balance between the importance of national security and creating more headaches for farmers due to increased bureaucracy regarding land transfers and sales.
“Well, I think there is concern, as there was in the North Dakota circumstance, where the Chinese interest was purchasing a land near a military installation.”
“I think there is legitimate concerns in that space. And I think that’s one of the reasons why, you know, we’ve articulated the need, as a department, to be more engaged in the CFIUS [Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States] process…”
“It’s complicated. But every county has their county recorder. And on any given day, somebody may walk into that recorder’s office and file a deed, and there is no way of knowing precisely whether or not that is a Chinese purchaser…”
“if folks are looking for a foolproof system so that nothing gets through the cracks, then I think there are ways in which we can be helpful, and — and we can improve that process. Being part of CFIUS, I think, is part of it.”
I’m looking for an online degree in agriculture. What’s the cheapest option , yet I will get the most from?
I am not sure if this is the place to ask, but I am currently doing research for an artwork for which I need to find a seed that can only germinate at high temperatures, no less than 25°C, ideally above 29. I have been looking into seed dormancy, and was wondering if anyone knows a plant that would fit that temperature criteria?
Some agriculture officials expect that summers with more severe weather events, from heat waves to droughts, could be even more common in the coming years as a result of a changing climate.
The importance of data in 2023 cannot be understated. It allows one to remain objective when prices are jumping around and weather forecasts are rapidly shifting. The Wall Street Journal article does a good job of covering several topics, but it weaves in a misplaced narrative.
2023 was a unique year and up-and-down campaign for America’s producers. Summers are hot, and seeds resist stress better than ever before. But, the data shows that stress during critical periods makes record crops and limits the upside. This year’s crops were exposed to stress early in the season due to dry weather and localized heat.
June and July received better precipitation after one of the driest planting campaigns on record. July’s two-week forecast kept showing extreme heat that never materialized. The July pollination window is the critical period when hot temperatures will severely retard the development of ears. This critical period was dry but, more importantly, cool.
Conversely, late August and early September for soybeans were extremely dry and experienced pockets of above-average temperatures. This is the critical pod-filling period. The USDA has been slow to cut yield forecasts, which is normal. Soybean forecasts are likely too optimistic today, but this is not the market’s focus. Poor demand and South American production are the critical questions going forward.
Agriculture Department crop reports are estimates but have historically been on target.
The USDA reports are the estimates of the market trades. The accuracy of the estimates is not traded or priced as a stand-alone event. The markets' interpretation results from a broader range of inputs, including demand updates and historical revisions. How many soybeans are produced is priced in the context of how many were left over and how many are expected to disappear.
During hot periods, feedlot operators need temperatures to stay in the mid-60s for about five hours at night so the cattle can cool down. About four days in the 90s and nights in the 70s could result in deaths, according to feedlot operators.
Livestock producers are focused on the cost of gain, and hot (or cold weather) will have an impact. But deaths are generally rare. Animals suffering from ongoing stress combined with high humidity and extreme heat could create a devastating combination. It is doubtful that a few days, as outlined above, will prove fatal.
Only a couple of years ago, these same climate change articles focused on the cows' carbon footprint as the cause of the extreme weather. Now, there are circular links that their deaths are becoming the result.
Weather forecasting has improved over time but is still an unknown. Farmers can use their experience, objective data, and weather forecasts to mitigate risks to crops and animals. Low-cost tools and improved access to technology can help reduce the impact of heat waves and droughts. But the risks these seasonal weather patterns pose are not going away. Climate change has very little to do with it.
I'm in my second year of community college and I'm interested in getting a job in agricultural science. I want to do something like lab work, soil scientist, R&D, etc that helps food be produced. To those who already work that kind of job, how is it? What do pay and benefits look like? Are you happy?
Is this a field of study any of you would recommend for someone with 0 experience and limited knowledge who would like to own a small family farm sometime in the future? I would definitely spend some time on a farm too working as a farm hand to gain experience as well But this field of study appears to me as a wealth of invaluable knowledge and could be a great asset to me The US army is going to pay for my degree so I’m not worried about that at all I would truly like to live the rest of my life on a farm growing my own food with my family and animals
I'm currently studying for a plant science degree and I've been wondering what the best kind of career there is to get into. Im curious if there's a more specific branch of plant science worth majoring in or if more than a batchelors degree is necessary in reality. I'd love any first hand stories or advice.