La Nina expected in August-October 2016 – NOAA
Apparent cooling of the sea surface in the equatorial Pacific Ocean prompted NOAA’s climate prediction center to forecast that a La Nina event “is favored” to develop during August to October this year.
While weather models vary on the onset of a La Nina, NOAA said a concensus of forecasts indicates an August-October occurrence, with about a 55% to 60% chance during the fall and winter.
In the past La Nina events have led to droughts in the United States.
Egypt rejects U.S. wheat shipment due to ergot fungus - Reuters
Egypt said it rejected a shipment of U.S. wheat because it had higher than acceptable levels of the ergot fungus.
In a Reuters story, Egypt’s agriculture ministry said the wheat had an ergot content of 0.096%, which is above its allowable 0.05%. High levels of the fungus can cause hallucinations, but is harmless at minor levels.
The wheat was tested a second time in July after it was initially rejected in June.
Drought turns India into a corn importer – WSJ
India is typically self-sufficient in corn but two straight years of drought will cause it to import the grain this year, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
The world’s sixth largest corn consumer intends to import 500,000 metric tons to bring down local prices. Earlier this year it sought 240,000 metric tons, the first corn imports since 1991. The government said it will invite bids next month for the corn imports.
One problem for India is its insistence on non-genetically modified (GMO) corn. Most world producers use GMO corn, but the Ukraine and some European countries do raise non-GMO corn, the report said.
An excess of corn worldwide, due in part to huge stockpiles in the U.S. and shrinking demand in China, has pressured corn prices in the last five years. Global corn prices are more than 50% below a record price of $8.49 a bushel reached in 2012. India’s turnabout to become a major importer of corn could help counterbalance the challenges for the sector, the story said.
July 8, 2016 - Global Hot Spots: China to import record amount of soy
June 29, 2016 - Global Hot Spots: Canada plants less spring wheat