Christine's Feed
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: link.reuters.com/caf82v)

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
Tuesday.

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.

Jul 11, 2013

U.S. drought grows for fourth week; South driest in weeks

Chicago (Reuters) – U.S. drought conditions expanded for the fourth week in a row as dryness persisted in the western half of the country, including key crop states of Kansas and Nebraska, while conditions in the South reached their driest in two months, according to a weekly drought report.

In contrast, the eastern half of the United States remained out of drought, given steady summer rains and cool temperatures.

Jul 3, 2013

U.S. drought expands for 3rd straight week-US drought monitor

CHICAGO, July 3 (Reuters) – Drought conditions expanded in
the contiguous United States over the past week given persistent
heat and dryness in the southern Plains, while the eastern half
of the country is out of drought amid steady rains, according to
a weekly drought report.

The U.S. Drought Monitor, issued by state and federal
experts on Wednesday, said drought areas in the “moderate to
exceptional” categories grew to 44.06 percent, from 43.84 a week
ago.

Jul 1, 2013

KCBT wheat futures trading debuts in Chicago with little fanfare

CHICAGO, July 1 (Reuters) – It was business as usual on the
first day of pit trading for Kansas City Board of Trade wheat on
the floor of CME’s Chicago Board of Trade on Monday, marking the
start of a new era for U.S. wheat futures trading, traders and
analysts said.

There was no fanfare, with no celebrities ringing an opening
bell and no donuts or cake served in the hallways to mark the
transfer of KCBT floor trading to the Chicago floor. The KCBT
closed its pits for good on Friday following CME Group’s
purchase of KCBT last fall.

Jun 27, 2013

USDA in bull’s eye again with key corn stocks report due Friday

CHICAGO, June 27 (Reuters) – Grain analysts are nervously
expecting the U.S. Agriculture Department to drop another
bombshell on Friday when it issues its U.S. quarterly corn
stockpile estimate, a key number they have wildly missed
forecasting the past three years.

The missed forecasts have resulted in wild price moves in
the world’s biggest grain market, Chicago Board of Trade
futures.

    • 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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