Christine's Feed
Jul 25, 2012

U.S. banks boost loans to cash-rich grain farmers in 2012

CHICAGO, July 25 (Reuters) – Demand for agricultural loans
at U.S. commercial banks rose during the first six months of
2012, led by farmer loans for machinery, grain bins and machine
sheds, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City said on
Wednesday.

“During the first quarter, commercial banks reported a 1.4
percent increase in total agricultural loan volume, led by
stronger gains in non-real estate farm loans,” the Fed said in
its agricultural finance databook based on a national survey of
250 ag bankers.

Jul 24, 2012

Crops get much-needed drink, more rains needed soon

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Rainfall across the northern U.S. Midwest over the next 10 days will provide some relief for the drought-stricken corn and soybean crops, but more rain is needed to stem further crop losses, agricultural meteorologists said on Tuesday.

Rains from central Minnesota eastward to the northern regions of Illinois, Indiana and Ohio since late Monday through midday Tuesday averaged 0.75 inch to 1.25 inch, said Joel Widenor, an agricultural forecaster with Commodity Weather Group. Heavier amounts of up to 2.0 inches fell in central and southeastern Minnesota.

Jul 24, 2012

Farmers seen weathering 2012 drought better than in 1988

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Crops are taking a beating in the worst drought since 1988 but most farmers are not sweating like they did 24 years ago when a drought hit as they were just starting to recover from a farm depression that brought down a big slice of the Midwestern economy.

While financial losses from the 2012 drought in the world’s largest food exporting nation will no doubt top the $40 billion of losses in 1988 — an inflation-adjusted $78 billion today — U.S. farmers face this drought in their strongest financial position in history, buoyed by less debt, record-high grain and land prices, plus greater production and exports, according to agriculture bankers, farm managers and economists.

Jul 24, 2012

U.S. farmers seen weathering 2012 drought better than in 1988

CHICAGO, July 24 (Reuters) – U.S. crops are taking a beating
in the worst drought since 1988 but most farmers are not
sweating like they did 24 years ago when a drought hit as they
were just starting to recover from a farm depression that
brought down a big slice of the Midwestern economy.

While financial losses from the 2012 drought in the world’s
largest food exporting nation will no doubt top the $40 billion
of losses in 1988 — an inflation-adjusted $78 billion today –
U.S. farmers face this drought in their strongest financial
position in history, buoyed by less debt, record-high grain and
land prices, plus greater production and exports, according to
agriculture bankers, farm managers and economists.

Jul 17, 2012

Monetary policy not a cure for unemployment -Fed’s George

CHICAGO, July 16 (Reuters) – A top Federal Reserve
policymaker said on Monday that while persistently high
unemployment is weighing on the sluggish U.S. economic recovery,
she is not sure monetary policy can put people back to work.

“At this point we have a tremendously accommodative policy
for the economy to begin the process of recovery,” Kansas City
Federal Reserve President Esther George said in introductory
remarks at a conference on agriculture. “Will monetary policy
put people back to work at this point? That’s not clear.”

Jul 13, 2012

Scattered showers move through Iowa but more rain needed

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Scattered showers moved through the center of the U.S. Midwest crop belt by midday Friday, giving some relief to drought-stressed corn and soybeans, but more was needed to help the struggling crops, agricultural meteorologists said.

“You are seeing a little more rainfall going on now in parts of central and southwestern Iowa,” said Joel Widenor of Commodity Weather Group, noting the amounts were more than had been expected earlier.

Jul 13, 2012

Cargill buys AFA Foods Fort Worth beef processing plant

CHICAGO (Reuters) – U.S. agribusiness giant Cargill Inc said on Thursday it bought a former AFA Foods Inc ground beef processing plant in Fort Worth, Texas, for $14.1 million, in a move that will add to its already strong position in the U.S. and Canadian consumer market.

Based in King of Prussia, Pa., AFA filed for chapter 11 protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court at Wilmington, Del., on April 2. Of those assets, Cargill bid only for AFA’s Fort Worth plant. The transaction received court approval on Thursday and the sale is expected to close next week, Minneapolis-based Cargill said in a statement.

Jul 12, 2012

U.S. grain trade wants answers in PFGBest broker scandal

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The largest U.S. grain trade group was stunned by the latest scandal to hit the futures industry when Iowa-based brokerage PFGBest collapsed after regulators accused the firm of misappropriating customer funds.

“Even though we don’t know at this point the scope of Peregrine’s agricultural customers or their grain customers, it is troubling to have another failure this soon after MF Global at a time when presumably there was enhanced oversight by regulators,” Todd Kemp, vice president of marketing for the National Grain and Feed Association, said.

Jul 9, 2012

U.S. Corn Belt heat wave breaks, but this week’s rains light

CHICAGO, July 9 (Reuters) – Sizzling temperatures abated in the U.S. Midwest
Corn Belt over the weekend, but light, scattered rains this week were expected
to miss the areas that need it most, agricultural forecasters said on Monday.

Midday weather updates indicated little to no change for this week’s
forecast, with milder temperatures blanketing the Corn Belt, but rains will be
limited.

Jul 6, 2012

Weather fears on boil as center of US Corn Belt prays for rain

CHICAGO, July 6 (Reuters) – Fears are rising that grain
crops in the core of the U.S. Corn Belt – the top corn-producing
region in the world – will suffer big losses that are already
causing farmers to plow up fields in other regions of the belt,
agronomists and traders said on F rid ay.

Iowa and Illinois – which produce about a third of all U.S.
corn and soybeans — are threatened by the harshest heat wave in
more than half a century. Blistering temperatures, combined with
little rain, are stressing corn during pollination, the key
growth stage.

    • 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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