Christine's Feed
Jun 20, 2012

U.S. visa types for immigrants: Papers in farmland

CHICAGO (Reuters) – There are some 185 different types of visas offered by the U.S. State Department. The government approved 7.5 million visas in 2011, with 94 percent for th o se who enter the U.S. on a temporary basis for travel or short-term work. The remaining 6 percent were awarded to immigrants seeking permanent residency.

Immigration experts estimate that at least 12 million immigrants remain undocumented and thus illegal in the United States, including thousands of workers in agriculture and food-related industries.

Jun 5, 2012

MF Global payouts could take six years: CMC exec

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The complex pursuit of the missing $1.6 billion in segregated customer funds lost by bankrupt broker MF Global could take up to six years to sort out, with full payback to customers unlikely, a top futures industry official said on Tuesday.

“Six years, that’s my personal estimate,” Christine Cochran, an attorney and president of the Commodity Markets Council, told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of an industry meeting on MF Global at the CME Group (CME.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) offices.

Jun 1, 2012

CFTC seen delaying broker conflict-of-interest rule

CHICAGO/WASHINGTON, June 1 (Reuters) – The U.S. futures
regulator is poised to postpone the compliance date of a hotly
debated new rule that the industry says will disrupt brokerage
research and damage customer communications, two people familiar
with the matter said.

The rule, finalized by the Commodity Futures Trading
Commission in February, seeks to establish a firewall between
the research, trading and clearing sides of big futures brokers.

May 17, 2012

Analysis: Japan’s Marubeni has eye on China with Gavilon bid

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Japan’s biggest potential investment in U.S. agriculture can be summed up in a single word: China.

Marubeni’s interest in buying U.S. grains merchant Gavilon to help provide grain to its hungry Asian neighbor would be a quantum leap from the 1970s and 1980s. Back then, Japanese trading houses tried to improve their own country’s food security by obtaining footholds in the U.S. grain supply chain.

May 15, 2012

US farmland stays hot at record high prices-Fed surveys

CHICAGO, May 15 (Reuters) – U.S. farmland prices soared to
record highs in the first quarter of 2012 fueled by strong crop
prices and buoyant farm income, with the pace of sales strongest
in the Plains but firm also in the Midwest Corn Belt, according
to two Federal Reserve bank surveys released on Tuesday.

The value of nonirrigated cropland in the Plains, which
stretches across big wheat, cattle and corn states, was up 25
percent from a year ago and irrigated farmland prices jumped 32
percent, the Kansas City Fed said.

May 15, 2012

U.S. Midwest farmland values stay hot -Chicago Fed

CHICAGO, May 15 (Reuters) – The price of prime farmland in
the U.S. Midwest grain belt was up 19 percent in the first
quarter compared with a year earlier, boosted by higher
commodity prices and net farm incomes, the Federal Reserve Bank
of Chicago said on Tuesday.

District land values extended their rapid rise at the start
of the year but fell “short of the torrid pace of 2011,” with
prices for good agricultural land up 5 percent in the quarter
compared to the final three months of 2011, the Fed said in its
quarterly survey of 231 bankers in the district.

Apr 10, 2012

Cargill earnings bounce back led by food sector

April 10 (Reuters) – U.S. agribusiness giant Cargill Inc
reported a rebound in earnings after its worst quarter
in a decade, led by record profits in its global food ingredient
businesses and stronger results in energy trading.

Minneapolis-based Cargill, one of the world’s largest
privately held corporations, reported $766 million in earnings
from continuing operations for the fiscal third quarter ended
Feb. 29, just ahead of $763 million a year earlier.

Apr 4, 2012

U.S. farmers resist temptation to rush corn planting

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Many U.S. farmers are waiting for crop insurance coverage to kick in before getting too aggressive in planting corn early, resisting the temptation presented by record warm temperatures this spring, a top agronomist said on Wednesday.

“Monday’s numbers from USDA certainly showed ‘some’ early planting but the dam has not broken yet. The short-term weather forecast is favorable in terms of no expected heavy rains, but a cool off in temps may dampen some spirits,” Robert Nielsen, a state extension corn specialist with Purdue University in Indiana, told Thomson Reuters online ags forum. “Most have been impatiently waiting for the April 6 insurance date before getting too serious about planting corn,” he added. While Indiana farmers had seeded 1 percent of their corn as of Sunday, nationwide farmers had planted 3 percent, matching the earliest start on record since 1999. Some farmers took advantage of summer-like temperatures in March, brushing off crop insurance dates which do not kick in until the first or second week of April — betting on an early harvest so they can meet the world’s demand for corn amid a tight U.S. supply left from the 2011 harvest.

Mar 15, 2012

Cargill sticking with ethanol despite challenges

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Agribusiness company Cargill Inc CARG.UL is expanding in the corn-based ethanol business despite a sluggish demand outlook for the renewable fuel, the head of the company’s corn milling group said on Thursday.

Alan Willits, president of Cargill Corn Milling, said the company is on track to spend $200 million retrofitting and expanding a corn processing facility in Fort Dodge, Iowa, that will employ 200 and open by the fourth quarter of 2013. “Biofuels have an important role to play as a fuel source in North America,” Willits said in an interview at the Reuters Food and Agriculture Summit.

Feb 21, 2012

US farm-loan giant confident it will stay free of Dodd-Frank

CHICAGO, Feb 21 (Reuters) – The Farm Credit System, a
giant government-linked lender to U.S. farmers and rural
communities with $230 billion in assets, is confident it can
stay mostly exempt from oversight by U.S. banking regulators
despite bitter criticism by competing private banks, Farm Credit
officials say.

“We are competitors. They’d be happy if the system didn’t
exist,” Kenneth Auer, president of the Farm Credit Council, the
system’s lobbying group, said in an interview. “We had our Dodd
Frank moment in the 1980s,” he added, citing a bailout by
Congress that revamped and tightened government oversight and
laid the foundation for the System’s current strength.

    • 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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