Christine's Feed
Feb 4, 2011

Analysis: U.S. biodiesel on life support, but smiling

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Biodiesel, still a money-losing proposition in the United States compared to oil-based diesel, is about to have its best year ever thanks to government tax credits and usage mandates.

But it will take months for the biodiesel industry to bounce back after being stranded last year, when the government let its six-year subsidy expire. Biodiesel production fell 20 percent in 2010 and was only half of 2008 output as plants across the country closed or slashed production.

Dec 16, 2010

Farm Credit System to see Cobank, US AgBank merge

CHICAGO, Dec 16 (Reuters) – U.S. AgBank and CoBank, major
lenders to U.S. agriculture and part of the
government-sponsored Farm Credit System, said on Thursday they
plan to merge in 2011 to boost diversification and efficiency.

CoBank, with $60 billion in assets, is based in Denver,
Colorado, while U.S. AgBank, headquartered in Wichita, Kansas,
has $25 billion in assets. Both banks are members of the Farm
Credit System, a cooperative created by Congress in 1916 to
provide credit to U.S. farmers and rural areas.

Nov 18, 2010

US Midwest farmland prices up 10 pct from year ago

CHICAGO, Nov 18 (Reuters) – Farmland values in the U.S.
Midwest, one of the world’s top grain growing regions, jumped
10 percent in the third quarter compared to a year ago due to
rising agricultural prices and the low cost of money, the
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago said on Thursday.

“Just two years after a string of double-digit increases,
District farmland values increased 10 percent in the third
quarter of 2010 relative to the same period last year,” the
Chicago Fed said in its quarterly survey of 227 agricultural
bankers in the five-state area.

Nov 12, 2010

US Plains farmland values up as income, demand rise

CHICAGO, Nov 12 (Reuters) – U.S. Plains farmland values
increased in the third quarter due to generally rising farm
incomes and robust demand for land, the Federal Reserve Bank of
Kansas City said on Friday.

“A summer rally in crop prices continued through the fall
harvest as global and domestic grain supplies were lower than
expected. Higher crop prices boosted farm incomes, supporting
strong annual gains in cropland values,” the KC Fed said in its
quarterly survey of 243 bankers across the region.

Nov 8, 2010

Farm credit foe sees Republicans keeping them

OMAHA, Nebraska (Reuters) – The Farm Credit System (FCS) and the farm bill, two frequent targets of conservative attacks on government spending and farm supports, will likely see little change despite the big win for Republicans in U.S. mid-term elections, a top critic of the FCS said on Monday.

“The thing that is interesting about agriculture when it comes to the Farm Credit System there is fairly broad bipartisan support. That is something that drives bankers nuts,” Ely told Reuters on the sidelines of a farm lending conference here.

Oct 15, 2010

U.S. hopes to sow Afghan peace with farm recovery

DES MOINES, Iowa (Reuters) – As the United States struggles to end the longest war in its history in Afghanistan, agriculture is becoming a crucial part of its long-term strategy.

Donors, government officials and food industry executives say the United States, the world’s most productive grower and exporter of food and fiber, is making progress in efforts to reestablish Afghan agriculture ravaged by decades of war.

Oct 14, 2010

No immediate investment boost from E-15 -Cargill

DES MOINES, Iowa, Oct 14 (Reuters) – Agribusiness giant
Cargill Inc [CARG.UL], a major producer of biofuels, said on
Thursday the U.S. government’s move to allow more ethanol in
U.S. gasoline would have no immediate effect on its investment
plans.

“I think it’s something that has to be considered. At this
moment it’s unlikely to be an immediate stimulus,” Cargill
chief executive Greg Page told Reuters in an interview on
Thursday.

Oct 12, 2010

Cargill earnings rise, Mosaic stake lifts

CHICAGO (Reuters) – U.S. agribusiness and trading giant Cargill Inc CARG.UL said quarterly earnings rose 68 percent, boosted by its majority stake in fertilizer maker Mosaic Co (MOS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and its food and trading sectors.

Minneapolis-based Cargill, one of the world’s largest privately held corporations, reported net earnings of $883 million for the quarter that ended August 31, from $525 million a year earlier.

Sep 29, 2010

Big Cargill corn plant feeds green economy

BLAIR, Nebraska (Reuters) – From the road, an hour north of Omaha, the giant industrial plant looks like a typical oil refinery, sprawling over more than 600 acres with massive storage drums, miles of piping, clouds of steam and exhaust.

But this refinery is tied more to corn oil than crude oil.

It also presents visitors with an intriguing glimpse into what boosters like President Barack Obama call “the green economy,” an industrial base centered on renewable resources like crops and on products like ethanol and biofuels.

Sep 2, 2010

Grains analyst Rich Feltes moves to RJ O’Brien

CHICAGO, Sept 2 (Reuters) – RJ O’Brien, the largest
independent U.S. brokerage, announced on Thursday that top
grains analyst Rich Feltes will join the firm as vice president
of research beginning Sept. 30.

Feltes, 61, who served as senior vice president and
director of commodity research at MF Global (MF.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the world’s
largest futures retail broker, left that company this week.

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      "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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