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Grains See New Lows as Ag Economy Barometer Plummets
On Monday this week, the Bloomberg Grains Subindex Total Return hit the lowest level in 42 years. U.S. farmers sure could use some positive news.
The Ag Barometer neared the lowest level in three years after a Trump tweet to start the week threatening to increase tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese products from 10% to 25%.
Flood and Planning Updates
Floods continue to cause problems across large portions of the U.S. growing belt. The planted acres for corn and soybeans across the major growing area fell further behind last year and the five year average in the May 5th release of USDA Crop Progress report.
With farmers this far behind on corn plantings, many may have no choice but to plant more soybeans, which have a quicker growing season. Additional acreage planted with soybeans could further depress already low soybean prices.
It’s a rare occasion when we get to combine our two favorite topics as of late: hemp and blockchain. The South China Morning Post reports that Grandshores Technology, a Hong Kong-listed blockchain investor, is entering into medicinal and industrial cannabis to move away from the “lethargic” cryptocurrency market.
Industrial scale hemp production is legal in two provinces in China: Heilongjiang in the north and Yunnan in the south. Because the hemp plant acts like a sponge and absorbs just about everything in its environment, areas in China with heavy air and ground pollution produce a hemp and CBD with higher contaminants like heavy metals and pesticides. Since CBD extraction processes can pull these contaminants in potentially dangerous amounts, we understand that U.S. based CBD crude oil, distillate, and isolate buyers strive to avoid purchasing China origin product. There’s a lot of talk of European wholesalers buying cheap Chinese products, relabeling and transshipping to the U.S. claiming it’s European origin. As of now, there are few ways to track product back to its origin.
In the marijuana industry, there’s a pink “sticker” that follows a marijuana plant from the grower all the way to end users, validating the chain of custody through the entire supply chain. Some larger hemp and CBD companies have some origin tracking systems, but this hasn’t yet been fully implemented across the hemp supply chain.
The most interesting part of this announcement is that the industrial hemp and CBD market could actually use a solution like blockchain to track CBD back to its origin. The ironic part relating to this story is that that blockchain solution would be specifically used to label Chinese origin CBD for rejection.
PepsiCo Advertising with Blockchain
PepsiCo and Mindshare, a media agency network which is part of WPP plc, announced the results from a blockchain based pilot project ran through March 2019. The program ran against a test budget control and found a “28% increased efficiency in terms of costs for viewable impressions, in running the campaign through smart contracts, versus one without.”
This project is interesting as it measured actual efficiency increases (or really anything), used a control, and ran relatively under the radar. If the claims are true, this project is certainly a breath of fresh air in the cacophony of blockchain proclamations.
“The lack of well-identified use cases is causing “blockchain fatigue” to set in; caution urged for early adopters”