GRAIN HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

Features Dow Jones Newswires

TOP STORIES:

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Grain, Soybean Futures Drift Lower

Grain and soybean futures gave back early gains to close slightly lower on Tuesday.

Traders were reluctant to take positions ahead of new government crop forecasts due Thursday, analysts said. Those estimates are expected to bolster further the view that the U.S. is on track for another large corn and soybean harvest.

ADM Warns Against Complacency in Security -- Food Forum Market Talk

15:19 ET - A succession of bumper crops in North and South America have swelled grain stockpiles, and potentially lulled food policymakers into a false sense of security as to the challenges of feeding a global population expected to swell to 9.7 billion by 2050, says Juan Luciano, CEO of Archer Daniels Midland. "Right now, we have an abundance of crops," Luciano says at the WSJ Global Food Forum. "That could lead us to this sense of complacency that everything is going to be alright." He figures the world needs to produce more food in the next 40 years than it has in the last 10,000, requiring continued investment in agricultural technology. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)

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Seed Giants See Fresh Start in Gene-Editing

NEW YORK -- The agriculture industry is betting that new technology for editing the genes of plants will yield enhanced crops -- and potentially reset a long-running debate over genetically engineered seeds.

Seed developers including Monsanto Co. and DowDuPont Inc. have invested in gene-editing technology, which enables scientists to make precise changes to plants' existing DNA. Executives say they're also strategizing on how to introduce it to consumers without arousing the same fears and suspicion that followed the development of earlier biotech crops, which involved adding genes from other species.

STORIES OF INTEREST:

Small Farmers Grapple With Consumer Demands -- Food Forum Market Talk

15:40 ET - Farmers struggle with consumers' aversion to technology, complaining that they are "schizophrenic" in wanting high-tech medicine and surgery, but not high-tech seeds or farm equipment. "People think because cows are being milked by robots, it's a bad thing," said Craig Fink of Fink Farms. But he'll cater to the consumers, even if it doesn't make sense to him. "It doesn't matter what we want to do, everything we will end up doing is because the consumer is going to dictate what it is we are going to do and how we are going to do it," he says. (annie.gasparro@wsj.com)

Monsanto Sees GMO 'Conversation' Changing -- Food Forum Market Talk

8:57 ET - Genetically engineered crops have been sold commercially for over two decades now, and Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant says consumers' perception of biotech crops have changed in that time. "22 years, a trillion meals, not a hiccup or a sneeze," Grant says at WSJ Global Food Forum, referring to early consumer worries that GMO crops could harm human health. While Grant says the "conversation" around GMOs has changed, it's still going on -- consumer concerns around biotech crops, whether related to environmental or other effects, have driven the market in non-GMO products above $19B in annual sales, according to the Non-GMO Project. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)

India to Sell Grain to Clear Space for Fresh Crop -- Market Talk

0555 GMT - Record stockpiles of pulses have become a headache for the Indian government, which is planning to sell up to 800,000 tons of the grain in the local market, creating room for fresh supplies. A government official notes pulses "cannot be stored for more than 6 months." India is the world's largest producer and created a buffer stock of close to 2 million tons so it could push prices down in case of a spike. But following a bumper crop and subsequent price drop, the government started buying to support prices. Pulse output was a record 23 million tons in the year through June, helped by good rains. (vibhuti.agarwal@wsj.com)

THE MARKETS:

Cattle Futures Hit Two-Month High

Cattle futures rose to the highest close since early August on strong demand for beef and technical support.

Meatpackers late last week paid higher prices for slaughter-ready cattle, sparking a rally in the futures market this week. That helped live cattle contracts find technical momentum and leapfrog their most recent highs.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 10, 2017 17:37 ET (21:37 GMT)