Christine's Feed
Jun 24, 2015

Smart software key to fate of CME options pits as futures closure looms

CHICAGO, June 24 (Reuters) – As the July 6 deadline for
closing the century-old Chicago Board of Trade grain futures
pits looms, a cloud hangs over the future of the neighboring
options pits.

Traders and analysts say they are likely to stay open for at
least 18 months and probably longer, while CME Group Inc
, which runs them, will not say how long it intends to
keep them open. The answer depends in part on how soon
developers deem it cost-effective to create the fancy software
needed to execute complex options trades on screens.

Jun 17, 2015

USDA says backing push to expand “bio-economy”

CHICAGO, June 17 (Reuters) – The productivity and innovation
of U.S. agriculture is driving a transformation to bio-based
products across the economy that is supporting millions of jobs
and significantly displacing fossil fuels, according to a study
from the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Wednesday.

“We need to think more broadly, beyond fuel and energy, that
there is an amazing opportunity in chemicals, in enzymes, in
bio-plastic materials, in forest products,” USDA Secretary Tom
Vilsack said in an interview.

May 14, 2015

U.S. Corn Belt farmland values steady but weakness seen -Fed

CHICAGO, May 14 (Reuters) – Prices for prime crop land in
the central Corn Belt held up better than other regions in the
first quarter, but the outlook for low grain prices looked
likely to pressure land values and farm incomes further in
coming months, according to Federal Reserve quarterly surveys of
farm bankers issued on Thursday.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago reported an average rise
of 1 percent in the value of prime farmland in the first quarter
of 2015 compared to the prior three months, with values holding
steady from a year ago. But it said a jump in farmland values in
the dairy state of Wisconsin masked declines in values in the
big crop states of Illinois, Indiana and especially Iowa.

Apr 22, 2015

Farm loans keep rising in U.S. grain belt as cash squeeze tightens

CHICAGO, April 22 (Reuters) – Farmers in the central U.S.
grain and livestock states continued to take out new operating
loans in the first quarter of 2015 as low grain prices failed to
cover high costs for seed, rents and crop chemicals ahead of
spring field work, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City said
on Wednesday.

“Loan volumes for almost all farming purposes rose at
commercial banks as many producers contended with tighter profit
margins,” the bank said in its quarterly review of agricultural
lending in the Corn Belt and Plains states which dominate U.S.
grain, oilseed, cattle and hog production.

Apr 15, 2015

Vilsack says pleased with Farm Bill sign-up, results likely in May

CHICAGO (Reuters) – U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said on Wednesday he is pleased with the number of grain farmers signing up for the new five-year federal farm bill’s main crop supports, but final results will not be available for another month.

“They are still signing up,” Vilsack told Reuters in an interview. “We are trying to finish these appointments and paperwork by the middle of May.”

Apr 15, 2015

U.S. pushing organic crops as demand grows, Vilsack says

CHICAGO, April 15 (Reuters) – The U.S. government will boost
support for production of organic crops and produce this year to
meet growing consumer demand and boost rural incomes, U.S.
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said on Wednesday.

“There’s been significant expansion and interest in
organics. Both the number of producers expanding and the sales
expanding are an indication that this is a fast-growing aspect
of agriculture,” Vilsack told Reuters in an interview.

Apr 15, 2015

U.S. pushing organic crops as demand grows, Vilsack says

CHICAGO, April 15 (Reuters) – The U.S. government will boost
support for production of organic crops and produce this year to
meet growing consumer demand and boost rural incomes, U.S.
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said on Wednesday.

“There’s been significant expansion and interest in
organics. Both the number of producers expanding and the sales
expanding are an indication that this is a fast-growing aspect
of agriculture,” Vilsack told Reuters in an interview.

Apr 15, 2015

U.S. pushing organic crops as demand grows

CHICAGO, April 15 (Reuters) – The U.S. government will boost
support for production of organic crops and produce this year to
meet growing consumer demand and boost rural incomes, U.S.
Agriculture Department Secretary Tom Vilsack said on Wednesday.

“As demand for organic products continues to soar, more and
more producers are entering the organic market,” Vilsack said in
a statement.

Apr 2, 2015

U.S. wheat crop worries build as drought expands in Plains, West

CHICAGO, April 2 (Reuters) – Drought pressures intensified
in the U.S. Plains hard red winter wheat fields in the past week
with rain forecast next week only for the northern portions of
the belt while many parched western areas will likely remain
dry, meteorologists said on Thursday.

The weekly U.S. Drought Monitor, issued on Thursday by state
and federal climate experts, said nearly 36 percent of the High
Plains from Kansas to North Dakota was in moderate to
exceptional drought, up from 28 percent a week ago.

Mar 31, 2015

Iowa farmland prices down 7.6 percent in 6 months – survey

CHICAGO, March 31 (Reuters) – Farmland prices in Iowa, the
top U.S. corn and soybean state, are down by an average 7.6
percent over the past six months and 11 percent from a year ago,
pressured mainly by lower grain prices, according to a survey
released Tuesday.

The report by the Iowa Realtors Land Institute said that all
nine Iowa crop acreage districts showed a decrease in value
since September 2014, ranging from 4.6 percent in the southwest
to 11 percent in the northeast.

    • About Christine

      "As community editor for Thomson Reuters global on-line chatroom for grains traders and analysts, the Global Ags Forum, I lead chats on the latest factors driving grains and oilseeds markets worldwide, organize chat events with expert industry sources and promote the room to potential market players. Based in Chicago, I also report on U.S. cash and futures grains and oilseeds markets."
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