Christine's Feed
Aug 20, 2011

Investors seeing gold in farmland, infrastructure

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The overall economy may be struggling against a double-dip recession but in farm country the boom times have rarely been better.

Farmland prices are setting records and farmer incomes have been buoyed by exports and biofuels, easing the pain of some rough summer weather from drought, floods and fires.

Aug 18, 2011

Biggest jump in Midwest farmland prices in 34 years

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Prices for farmland in the heart of the U.S. grain belt were up 17 percent in the second quarter compared to a year ago, the biggest jump since 1977, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago said on Wednesday.

The rising values were driven by strong crop, livestock and milk prices which spurred farmers and investors to buy land, the bank said. Low interest rates have also boosted demand.

Aug 15, 2011

Cargill to buy animal feeds producer for $2.1 billion

LONDON/CHICAGO (Reuters) – Agribusiness giant Cargill CARG.UL will buy animal feeds producer Provimi from private equity firm Permira for 1.5 billion euros ($2.1 billion), the companies said on Monday.

The acquisition by one of the world’s largest privately owned corporations will solidify Cargill’s dominant position in the animal nutrition business.

Aug 9, 2011

Cargill quarterly earnings dip on trading results

CHICAGO, Aug 9 (Reuters) – Giant U.S. agribusiness and
trading firm Cargill Inc [CARG.UL] said earnings fell 7 percent
in its fiscal fourth quarter, hit by volatile energy markets
and weaker risk management and food ingredient results.

Minneapolis-based Cargill, one of the world’s largest
privately held corporations, reported $404 million in earnings
from continuing operations in the quarter ended on May 31,
compared with $435 million a year earlier.

Aug 3, 2011

Farm leadership seen threatened by budget cuts

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Agriculture is poised to drive economic growth and job creation led by the dynamic north central region but proposed budget cuts may threaten that outlook, a study by an Ohio-based research firm said.

“Cuts are proposed in forthcoming budgets: cuts that will ripple through a system that leverages federal funding with state and local matching financial support,” Battelle, a Columbus, Ohio, research group, said in the study.

Jul 26, 2011

African land grab threatens food security: study

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Rich countries grabbing farmland in Africa to feed their growing populations can leave rural populations there without land or jobs and make the continent’s hunger problem more severe, an environmental think tank said on Tuesday.

The trend is accelerating as wealthier countries in the Middle East and Asia, particularly China, seek new land to plant crops, lacking enough fertile ground to meet their own food needs, Washington DC-based Worldwatch Institute said.

Jul 21, 2011

Bankers talk of farmland bubble, but jury still out

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Reuters) – Soaring farmland values in the past year are causing worries among agricultural bankers that a farmland “bubble” may be brewing similar to one that triggered the farm crisis of the 1980s.

But the fears are tempered by a healthy agricultural economy. Farmers have used record incomes as commodity prices spiked to reduce debt, upgrade equipment — and buy land.

Jul 21, 2011

U.S. bankers talk of farmland bubble, but jury out

, July 21 (Reuters) – Soaring U.S. farmland
values in the past year are causing worries among agricultural
bankers that a farmland “bubble” may be brewing similar to one
that triggered the farm crisis of the 1980s.

But the fears are tempered by a healthy U.S. agricultural
economy. Farmers have used record incomes as commodity prices
spiked to reduce debt, upgrade equipment — and buy land.

Jul 20, 2011

USDA economist: Hard to pin crop number on climate

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Reuters) – Climate and food production is a subject that needs more study in coming years but for now even the U.S. Agriculture Department finds it almost impossible to estimate the effects of one on the other.

“They are very elaborate models,” said USDA’s chief economist Joseph Glauber, referring to climate-crop forecasting in an interview on Tuesday on the sidelines of a farm lending conference at the Kansas City Federal Reserve.

Jul 20, 2011

Fed’s Hoenig: growth to continue at modest pace

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Reuters) – A top Federal Reserve official said on Thursday the U.S. economy should grow at a modest pace for the next several years, but issued a harsh criticism of the U.S. central bank’s just-concluded bond buying program.

“The outlook for the U.S. economy is that we will continue to grow at a modest pace of somewhere between 2.5 (percent), on a good quarter, 3 percent, at least in terms of next year and the year beyond,” said Kansas City Fed President Thomas Hoenig.

    • 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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