Christine's Feed
Feb 16, 2012

U.S. Midwest farmland values see biggest rise in 35 years

CHICAGO, Feb 16 (Reuters) – The record rise in
farmland prices for the U.S. Midwest Corn Belt slowed in the
fourth quarter, tempering the biggest annual gain since 1976,
the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago said on Thursday in its
quarterly survey of agricultural bankers.

Farmland values rose 22 percent last year, but gained only 4
percent from the third to fourth quarter and may have been
“cooling some from the blistering pace,” the bank said in
summarizing its survey results of 205 bankers in Iowa, northern
Illinois and Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan. In the third
quarter, land values were up 25 percent year-over-year.

Feb 15, 2012

US Plains farmland values jump 25 pct to record in Q4

CHICAGO, Feb 15 (Reuters) – Farmland prices in the
U.S. Plains states extended record-setting gains in the fourth
quarter of 2011, rising 25 percent from a year earlier as
cash-rich farmers competed for land, the Federal Reserve Bank of
Kansas City said on Wednesday.

In a quarterly survey that provides an important gauge of
the U.S. agricultural economy, the Fed also said credit
conditions improved as farmers paid down debt at the year-end,
comments that may help temper concerns of a land-price bubble.

Feb 7, 2012

Illinois farmers worried by extremely warm winter

CHICAGO, Feb 7 (Reuters) – Illinois, a key farm state
in the heart of the Corn Belt, is basking in its sixth warmest
winter in 117 years — good news for residents who have not had
to shovel snow but a red flag for some of the state’s most
productive businesses: farms.

Illinois and neighboring Iowa – also in the midst of a balmy
winter – produce about a third of all the corn and soybeans
grown in the United States, the world’s largest exporter of both
crops. Farmers in both states feel more comfortable when there
is a substantial snow cover to ensure adequate soil moisture
that can nurture crops through the region’s hot dry summers.

Feb 3, 2012

USDA awards $40 million grants to boost local food supplies

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The U.S. Agriculture Department on Friday awarded $40.2 million in grants to farmers, ranchers and farmer-controlled rural business ventures aimed at spurring locally produced food supplies and renewable energy ventures.

USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan said 298 recipients in 44 states and Puerto Rico will receive business development assistance through the Value-Added Producer Grant program.

Feb 3, 2012

USDA awards $40 million grants to boost local farm/food projects

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The U.S. Agriculture Department on Friday awarded $40.2 million in grants to farmers, ranchers and farmer-controlled rural business ventures aimed at spurring locally produced food supplies and renewable energy ventures.

USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan said 298 recipients in 44 states and Puerto Rico will receive business development assistance through the Value-Added Producer Grant program.

Jan 23, 2012

CME to expand clearing of ag swaps in February

CHICAGO, Jan 23 (Reuters) – CME Group (CME.O: Quote, Profile, Research), the
world’s largest derivatives exchange, said on Monday
it will expand its offering of “swap” contracts for grain
commodities by listing eight new grain and oilseeds swaps for
central clearing by the CME on Feb. 13.

Swaps are private, over-the-counter agreements between
traders to exchange financial obligations. They are widely used
in the currency and interest rate markets to supplement risk
management positions taken by banks and other traders in
market-based futures and options contracts listed and cleared on
exchanges like the CME.

Jan 23, 2012

CME to expand clearing of ag swaps Feb 13

CHICAGO, Jan 23 (Reuters) – CME Group (CME.O: Quote, Profile, Research), the
world’s largest derivatives exchange, said on Monday it will
expand its offering of “swap” contracts for grain commodities by
listing eight new grain and oilseeds swaps for central clearing
by the CME on Feb. 13.

Swaps are over-the-counter private agreements between
traders to exchange financial obligations. They are widely used
in the currency and interest rate markets to supplement risk
management positions taken by banks and other traders in
market-based futures and options contracts that are listed and
cleared on exchanges like the CME.

Jan 23, 2012

CME to expand clearing of ag swaps

CHICAGO, Jan 23 (Reuters) – CME Group (CME.O: Quote, Profile, Research), the
world’s largest derivatives exchange, said on Monday it will
expand its offering of “swap” contracts for grain commodities by
listing eight new grain and oilseeds swaps for central clearing
by the CME on Feb. 13.

Swaps are over-the-counter private agreements between
traders to exchange financial obligations. They are widely used
in the currency and interest rate markets to supplement risk
management positions taken by banks and other traders in
market-based futures and options contracts that are listed and
cleared on exchanges like the CME.

Jan 10, 2012

Cargill reports worst quarter since 2001

By Christine Stebbins

(Reuters) – U.S. agribusiness giant Cargill Inc CARG.UL reported a third consecutive slump in quarterly earnings on Tuesday, as one of the world’s largest commodity traders took a beating from sugar losses and volatility in financial markets.

Minneapolis-based Cargill, a family-owned enterprise with a century-long history of dominating global grain markets, reported $100 million in earnings from continuing operations for its second quarter ended November 30, down 88 percent from $832 million a year earlier and the worst quarter since 2001.

Dec 26, 2011

MF Global sows winter of discontent for CME

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Agricultural bankers and other players in the world’s grain markets say fallout from the collapse of giant broker MF Global is changing cash grain trading and fuelling calls for alternatives and reforms.

Trading changes include more “back to back” transactions and more direct contracting by farmers to end users, eliminating middlemen like MF Global, merchandisers say.

    • 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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