CHICAGO, Jan 9 (Reuters) – U.S. agribusiness giant Cargill
Inc reported a four-fold increase in quarterly
earnings on Wednesday, tapping its global command of cash
markets and food processing and posting strong profits from
trading operations after a poor performance a year ago.
The strong results came as the United States, the world’s
top food producer and exporter, struggled with the consequences
of its worst drought in more than 50 years. Commodity prices
rose and fell sharply during the August-November quarter as
fears of crop losses gripped the markets.
CHICAGO, Jan 4 (Reuters) – The U.S. Corn Belt – the world’s
top grain region – is seeing another dry winter after the worst
summer drought in half a century, reducing prospects for a
bumper summer harvest that would help ease global food prices,
crop and climate experts said.
“We are still concerned about getting the leftovers out of
the way from the drought of 2012. At this time we would not
anticipate a national corn yield above the trend,” said Iowa
State University climatologist Elwynn Taylor, who has studied
crop production for decades. “Rather, we would expect a fourth
consecutive year of below-trend crop, not as far below as in
2012 but still not up to par.”
CHICAGO, Dec 11 (Reuters) – Red-hot demand for farmland in
the top U.S. corn-growing state of Iowa drove prices to record
highs in 2012, buoyed by demand from cash-rich farmers and
ignoring the worst U.S. drought in the last 50 years.
The average price of Iowa farmland was $8,296 an acre – an
all-time high – a 23.7 percent rise from a year ago, according
to the Iowa Land Value survey of 486 real-estate brokers and
other market participants compiled by Iowa State University.
That surpassed the previous record of $6,708 set in 2011. The
gains also mark the third year in a row where values rose more
than 15 percent.
CHICAGO, Dec 5 (Reuters) – A top Iowa State University
agricultural scientist predicted on Wednesday that the United
States would see below-trend yields for a fourth straight year
in 2013 and spotlighted long-term climate risks for farmers in
the years ahead.
“It’s looking likely that we will have a fourth year of
below-trend U.S. corn yields. But not as bad as in 2012, but
still below trend,” Elwynn Taylor, Iowa State University
climatologist, told Reuters Ag Forum, an on-line chatroom.
CHICAGO (Reuters) – Soaring farm operating costs, not record high land values feared by economists of possibly causing a repeat of the 1980s farm crisis, pose the greatest risk to U.S. farmers, the head of the country’s largest farm management company said on Tuesday.
CEO of Farmers National Company, Jim Farrell, told Reuters steep increases in cost of fertilizer, seed, fuel and machinery are the main concerns for farmers.
CHICAGO, Nov 19 (Reuters) – The U.S. grain industry says
high speed computerized traders are disrupting their markets,
but grain exchanges and regulators have no quick fix for the
concerns, according to grain industry officials and traders.
The dispute, which pits grain companies at the Chicago Board
of Trade against speculators armed with algorithms and superfast
data feeds, echoes protests seen in world stock markets in
recent years as old-fashioned arm-waving traders have been
replaced by electronic matching of bids and offers on screens.
CHICAGO, Nov 15 (Reuters) – Farmland prices in the United
States, the world’s largest grain and food exporter, stayed
strong in the third quarter as cash-rich farmers and investors
ignored the worst drought in 50 years and pushed values to
record highs in many areas.
Quarterly surveys by Federal Reserve banks in the Midwest,
Plains and mid-South showed that grain farmers, though hit hard,
did much better than livestock and dairy operators in coping
with the drought, thanks to extensive crop insurance. Growers
continue to buy and rent more land, with record corn and soybean
prices seen staying as key drivers in 2013.
CHICAGO (Reuters) – Average farmland prices in the Plains states jumped as much as 25 percent in the third quarter, setting new highs as demand remained strong, the Kansas City Federal Reserve said on Thursday.
But the rate of gains slowed down from the torrid pace of the past two years, the Kansas City Fed’s quarterly survey said.
MILWAUKEE (Reuters) – The Congress could delay passage of a new five-year farm bill until spring planting given the full plate of legislation needed after the election to avoid a fiscal cliff with its mandatory U.S. budget cuts, a top farm policy expert said on Monday.
“My prediction is that we will get a farm bill by April 2013. It will look very close to the Senate version,” Barry Flinchbaugh, a Kansas State University agricultural economist who advises legislators on shaping U.S. farm bills, told an agricultural bankers meeting.
CHICAGO (Reuters) – The merger of wheat futures markets in Chicago and Kansas City should boost trading volumes and exchange profits, but grain traders are worried about the effect on hedging and cash market pricing for hard red winter wheat.
“Hedgers and users of the Kansas City Board of Trade hard red winter wheat futures market recognize it and use it for what it is, the pricing mechanism for bread wheat. I don’t see that changing in the near future. But longer term, like everything in our industry, it may get interesting,” said Justin Gilpin, chief executive officer of the Kansas Wheat Commission, which represents growers of hard red winter wheat (HRW), the grain that’s traded in Kansas City.