March 14 (Reuters) – Smithfield Foods Inc, the world’s
largest pork processor, suspended hog slaughter at its Tar Heel,
North Carolina, plant on Friday because of the spread of the
deadly Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv) which has
tightened hog supplies, industry sources said.
The Tar Heel plant, the company’s largest pork processing
facility, reduced its slaughter schedule this week to four days
from five days, said the sources, who have knowledge of the
plant’s operations and hog purchases. They requested anonymity
because of the sensitivity of the issue.
CHICAGO, March 14 (Reuters) – U.S. farmers this week
finalized their crop insurance plans for spring planting with
critics of the government-subsidized program saying insurers are
set up for a bonanza after passage of the new five-year farm
bill last month.
Farmers who sign up for crop insurance by March 15 won’t in
fact enjoy the enhanced subsidies of the new federal law, which
go into effect with the 2015 crop year.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – WhatsApp, the rapidly expanding mobile messaging app, suffered an outage for more than three hours on Saturday, frustrating users just days after its acquisition by Facebook for $19 billion.
“WhatsApp service has been restored. We are so sorry for the downtime…,” WhatsApp tweeted to its more than 1 million Twitter followers on Saturday around 5:48 p.m. EST (2248 GMT).
CHICAGO, Feb 19 (Reuters) – U.S. farmers and bankers have
almost a year to get ready for major changes in 2015 as crop
insurance rather than direct cash payments to producers becomes
the centerpiece of farm policy under the five-year farm bill
signed by President Barack Obama earlier this month
For 2014 plantings, analysts said there will be no major
changes to crop insurance except sharply lower grain prices than
in 2013, which will lower potential payments and premiums. Then
in 2015, farmers will have a new insurance option for
supplemental coverage based on local county yields.
Feb 14 (Reuters) – Farmland values in the U.S. central and
southern Plains held steady in the fourth quarter from the
previous period, but the market tone is soft, and bankers expect
weakness in the coming months, the Federal Reserve Bank of
Kansas City said on Friday.
“Cropland values increased only modestly in the fourth
quarter compared with the rapid pace of the past few years,” the
Kansas City Fed said in its quarterly survey of 226 farm
CHICAGO, Feb 13 (Reuters) – Farmland values in the Midwest
mostly edged higher in the fourth quarter of 2013 with the
market tone improving from the weakness the prior three months
and easing some concerns about a potential farmland “bubble”
that has worried bankers and policymakers.
In quarterly surveys of farm bankers in the Midwest issued
on Thursday, the Federal Reserve banks of Chicago and St. Louis
said that most farmland prices in the central Corn Belt edged up
in the October-December period from the prior three months.
CHICAGO, Feb 13 (Reuters) – Prices of quality farmland in
the southern Midwest and mid-South region of the U.S. crop belt
edged higher in the fourth quarter, bouncing back from a
third-quarter slide which halted years of gains, the Federal
Reserve Bank of St Louis said on Thursday.
“Quality farmland values across the district averaged $5,868
per acre in the fourth quarter of 2013, which was modestly
higher than the third-quarter average of close to $5,300 per
acre,” the bank said in its quarterly bank survey.
CHICAGO, Feb 6 (Reuters) – The U.S. oat market soared to an
all-time high on Thursday, ignited by a razor-thin supply of
oats moving into the United States from top exporter Canada in
the wake of logistical nightmares.
Chicago Board of Trade oat futures rose the 20-cent
daily trading limit – notching a record high of $4.63-1/4 a
bushel and surpassing the previous record of $4.59-3/4 set in
August 2008. That topped a month-long rally, with oats climbing
35 percent since early January.
MIAMI, Jan 31 (Reuters) – After years of battling tighter
regulations in the wake of the 2008 financial crash, the U.S.
grain industry is hoping a change in the regulators can bring
Agricultural executives at the annual Commodity Council
Markets gathering in Florida this week pointed to coming changes
in the composition of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission
as a ray of hope. Three of the CFTC’s five commissioners have
left and will be replaced this year.
MIAMI, Jan 26 (Reuters) – Stock market regulators should
take a hard look at the ‘maker-taker’ form of trading that now
dominates share transactions in the United States, Jeffrey
Sprecher, CEO of the IntercontinentalExchange and new
chief of the New York Stock Exchange, said on Sunday.
“Unfortunately it’s spread throughout the equities markets
in the U.S. and we can’t unilaterally change it alone. But it’s
certainly something we want to raise the profile and start a
conversation around because I think it hurts everybody in the
market,” Sprecher told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines
of the Commodity Markets Council industry meeting in Miami.