Christine's Feed
Mar 17, 2011

Almost half of U.S. faces spring flooding: NOAA

WASHINGTON/CHICAGO (Reuters) – Almost half the United States — the North Central region, the Midwest and the Northeast — faces a high risk of spring flooding over the next two weeks, government forecasters said on Thursday.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said in its spring forecast that the stage was set for potential widespread, record flooding, particularly in the North Central United States for the third year in a row.

Mar 16, 2011

Cargill says new lo-cal product hits sweet spot

CHICAGO (Reuters) – U.S. agribusiness giant Cargill, further expanding beyond its traditional commodities-based businesses, says its latest product will make a splash in beverages.

“It’s a capability that allows us to take sugar or other materials out of products and replace the sugar with other materials that maintain the flavor, the sweetness and the body,” Kerr Dow, Cargill’s vice president of global food technology, told the Reuters Food Summit on Wednesday.

Mar 15, 2011

“Get used to higher food costs”: experts

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Higher food prices are here to stay.

A rising tide of global forces is supporting the surge in prices for important food staples like meat, dairy and grains, commodity experts said at the Reuters Global Food and Agriculture Summit on Tuesday.

“This is a pretty sustainable increase … A number of factors have been building over time in terms of the commodity increase: world economic growth, rising crude oil prices, increased Chinese import demand all have conspired,” said Bill Lapp, president of Advanced Economic Solutions, a commodity analytical firm based in Omaha, Nebraska.

Feb 17, 2011

US Midwest farmland price jumps 12 pct in 2010

CHICAGO, Feb 17 (Reuters) – Farmland values in the U.S.
Midwest, heart of the world’s most productive grain belt, rose
12 percent in 2010, the second largest annual gain in 30 years,
the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago said on Thursday.

“After adjusting for inflation, the 2010 annual increase
became the second largest since 1976 all by itself. Iowa
farmland values led the surge, closely followed by those of
Illinois and Indiana,” the Fed said in its quarterly survey of
212 banks in the region.

Feb 11, 2011

U.S. cash commodity traders fret over “swaps” regs

PALM BEACH, Florida (Reuters) – Traders in physical commodity markets from grains to oil to sugar and gas are worried that a U.S. government push to regulate opaque over-the-counter trading will disrupt their business.

At issue is scrutiny by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission on trading by cash merchants of contracts for things like grain barges or oil tank cars, as “paper” commodities.

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.

    • 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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