Adventures in Pet Food

Debbie Phillips-Donaldson, editor-in-chief of Petfood Industry, shares her insights and opinions on all things pet food, addressing market trends as well as news and developments in pet nutrition, food safety and other hot topics for the industry.
Pet Food Ingredients

For petfood manufacturers, corn and wheat harvests might mean good news

Recent reports from the US Department of Agriculture offer good news for petfood manufacturers that use corn- or wheat-based ingredients in their formulations: Planting of corn and wheat in the US is ahead of schedule so far this year thanks to favorable weather. As of April 15, about 37% of the spring wheat crop had been seeded and 17% of the corn crop had been planted, according to reports.



Both percentages represent increases over previous five-year averages for the same date (9% for wheat and 5% for corn), USDA said. Compared with last year at this time, this year's plantings are also well ahead; as of April 15, 2011, only 5% of the spring wheat crop had been planted. Moreover, because of above normal levels of rain  in parts of the southern Great Plains and the Midwest in the US, the potential for wheat yield has improved, said Mike Tannura, president of T-Storm Weather LLC. USDA estimates 64% of this year's wheat crop is in good or excellent condition, compared with only 36% at this point last year.


As for corn, farmers are expected to increase sowing by 4.3% this year to 95.86 million acres, the most since 1937, USDA said in March. Speculation for boosted yields based on the rapid US planting has led to a 5.7% decrease in April corn contracts.
For more information on what this all might mean in terms of supplies and pricing of these commodity crops later this year, you might want to sign up for a free webinar, "What to expect from feed grains to be harvested in 2012." Part of the 2012 WattAgNet Webinar Series, this webinar is scheduled for May 8. Though it is directed at the feed industry, no doubt the expert speakers will have information that petfood companies and their purchasing personnel can use.
Find another (though briefer) source for commodity pricing information by viewing a video from Petfood Forum 2012 of Bob Bresnahan, CEO of Trilateral, explaining the driving forces behind commodity prices.



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