Christine's Feed
Oct 3, 2013

USDA shutdown hobbles livestock markets, grain traders make do

CHICAGO (Reuters) – U.S. livestock markets are reeling from this week’s disruption of data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture as the federal government shutdown drags on, while grain traders are muddling through without a key report on weekly export sales.

“It’s a bigger deal for the livestock traders as they rely on daily numbers – slaughter, wholesale pork and beef prices. On the grains, you’re missing more of the big picture,” said Don Roose, president of Des Moines-Iowa brokerage U.S. Commodities, which serves both crop and livestock customers.

Sep 27, 2013

U.S. farmland market cooling entering key auction season

CHICAGO, Sept 27 (Reuters) – The red-hot rush for U.S. grain
land is cooling after years of record prices, but prime acreage
is still attracting top dollar in the heart of the Corn Belt so
far this fall, according to land auctioneers.

“On higher quality land it’s been pretty strong steady, but
on medium and lower quality land we’ve seen some pullback,” said
Randy Hertz, CEO of Iowa-based Hertz Farm Management. “There’s a
lot of uncertainty out here in terms of what the future holds.”

Sep 11, 2013

Soy price premium to corn points to record soy acres in S.America

CHICAGO, Sept 11 (Reuters) – Worry that a late-summer heat
wave in the U.S. Midwest is shrinking the soybean crop, boosting
the premium of soybean prices over corn, which should encourage
South American farmers to plant a bumper soy crop there, traders

The Chicago Board of Trade soy/corn ratio, or the price of
soy divided by corn, is a keystone annual reference point used
by farmers in the United States and South America to determine
profitability and allocate acres for planting each crop. To a
great extent, both hemisphere crops are also hedged at the CBOT.

Sep 11, 2013

Cargill picks new CEO to take over December 1

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Agribusiness Cargill Inc CARG.UL on Wednesday said its chief executive officer will step down on December 1 in the latest management shuffle among the world’s top agricultural trading houses.

CEO Gregory Page, 62, will be replaced by David MacLennan, Cargill’s president and chief operating officer, as part of the company’s ongoing succession plans, the company said.

Sep 5, 2013

Illinois farm mangers see land values easing from record prices

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Farmland values in the key U.S. grain state of Illinois are seen easing slowly over the next 12 months after years of record prices due to a fall in both corn prices and government subsidies for crop insurance, according to a survey of the state’s farm managers.

Eighty percent of the farm managers and rural appraisers responding to a mid-year survey of the Illinois Society of Professional Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers expected the value of the state’s farmland to hold steady or decline over the next year. (Survey:

Aug 7, 2013

Cargill CFO says acquisitions will depend on fit, not finance

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Rising interest rates will have little to no effect on Cargill CARG.UL acquisitions in the coming year as the U.S. agribusiness company builds its network of supplies and customers in the global food system, Cargill Chief Financial Officer Marcel Smits said on Wednesday.

“Our view of the world is that very low interest rates lead to most people chasing for yield, and that doesn’t help us in our operations,” Smits said in an interview.

Aug 7, 2013

Cargill doubles annual earnings after strong quarter

CHICAGO (Reuters) – U.S. agribusiness giant Cargill CARG.UL on Wednesday reported a six-fold rise in fourth quarter net earnings and nearly doubled full-year earnings, citing strength in its core grain-based and financial services.

Minneapolis-based Cargill, one of the world’s largest privately held corporations and a top commodities trader, reported $483 million in earnings for the fourth quarter ended May 31, up from $73 million a year earlier when the company was hurt by volatile commodity markets and reported its worst quarter in more than 20 years.

Jul 25, 2013

Dry area expands in western U.S. Corn Belt -Drought Monitor

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Abnormally dry areas expanded in the U.S. western Corn Belt, including the top crop state of Iowa, over the past week to put much of the corn crop at risk, according to a weekly drought report.

The U.S. Drought Monitor, issued by state and federal climate experts, said dry conditions in the U.S. Midwest for the week ended Thursday, reached 18.94 percent, up from 7.16 percent a week earlier. Dry areas expanded in Minnesota and Iowa south to Missouri, Arkansas and Louisiana.

Jul 22, 2013

US corn crop sressed by heat wave, bulk of crop enters pollination

CHICAGO, July 22 (Reuters) – Last week’s heat wave across
the central and southern United States stressed the developing
corn and soybean crops, causing the U.S. Department of
Agriculture to cut its ratings for both on Monday.

USDA rated 63 percent of the U.S. corn crop good to
excellent, versus 66 percent a week ago. For soybeans, 64
percent of crop was rated good to excellent, down 1 percentage
point from a week ago.

Jul 16, 2013

Kansas City Fed president sees no threat yet of a farmland bubble

, July 16 (Reuters) – Soaring U.S. farmland
prices remain a cause of concern for many bankers and
policymakers, but the forces driving gains nowadays are
different from the debt-driven farmland crash in the 1980s,
Kansas City Federal Reserve president Esther George said on

George, who flagged concerns about a potential farmland
“bubble” in remarks earlier this year, has argued consistently
for higher interest rates and an end of the Fed’s easy money
policies. But in remarks to a gathering of bankers and business
leaders at a conference here, she expressed confidence that both
farmers and banks had learned and remember the hard lessons of
being “over-leveraged” in the 1970s. When the Fed raised
interest rates sharply in the 1980s to subdue inflation,
thousands of farmers were pushed into bankruptcy as land values
popped and collateral for their bank loans collapsed.

    • 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."
    • Follow Christine