CHICAGO, May 3 (Reuters) – U.S. grain farmers have enjoyed a
rare combination of soaring prices and land values since 2009
but if incomes dip as expected they should be careful not to
fall into the trap of borrowing against inflated land values,
the Kansas City Federal Reserve said in a report on Friday.
“In 2013, historically high farm incomes are projected to
keep U.S. farm debt and leverage low. Yet longer-term
projections suggest that farm incomes could fall dramatically in
2014,” the study, entitled “The Wealth Effect in U.S.
Agriculture,” stated. “If agriculture’s historical wealth effect
holds true, farm enterprises might use existing wealth to
finance and smooth investment spending, sowing the seeds for
another round of debt accumulation.”
CHICAGO, March 22 (Reuters) – Cool, wet late winter weather
across most of the U.S. Corn Belt has raised hopes that the
world’s largest food exporter will rebound from last year’s
historic drought but experts warn that many crop and pasture
areas west of the Mississippi River remain bone dry.
A series of storms in the past month brought several feet of
snow and much needed moisture to the central United States,
replenishing parched soils and filling low rivers just as the
U.S. planting season nears. Moisture is near normal for farms
east of the Mississippi River, the dividing line of the western
and eastern Corn Belt. But the west has not been as fortunate.
CHICAGO, Feb 15 (Reuters) – Farmland values in the U.S.
Plains states jumped more than 20 percent in the fourth quarter
from a year earlier as farms sold at record-high prices, with
the biggest jump seen in irrigated land given the worst drought
in 50 years to hit the world’s top food producer, the Kansas
City Federal Reserve bank said.
This was the seventh consecutive quarter irrigated and
non-irrigated cropland values posted year-over-year gains of
more than 20 percent as record crop prices kept demand hot for
farmland, according to a quarterly survey of bankers by the
Kansas City Fed released on Friday.
CHICAGO, Feb 14 (Reuters) – Farmland prices in the U.S.
Midwest Corn Belt states rose 16 percent in the fourth quarter
of 2012 from a year earlier, setting new all-time highs as
demand for farmland remained strong despite the worst drought in
50 years, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago said on Thursday.
The Chicago Fed’s quarterly survey of bankers showed prices
of good farmland in the October-December period notched the
third largest year-on-year increase since the late 1970s.
Farmland values gained an average 7 percent from the prior
CHICAGO, Feb 13 (Reuters) – Farm income and land values in
the southern Midwest and mid-South regions of the central United
States were steady to firm in the fourth quarter of 2012, with
more strength expected in early 2013, the Federal Reserve Bank
of St. Louis said in a quarterly survey of agricultural bankers.
“The District’s relatively strong performance in the fourth
quarter contrasts sharply with the widespread anticipation in
the previous survey that last summer’s drought would
significantly lower income and capital spending,” the bank said,
based on its survey of 61 agricultural banks. “Many bankers
cited the effect of crop insurance in alleviating the expected
negative impact of the drought.”
CHICAGO, Feb 8 (Reuters) – The CME Group, the
largest U.S. futures market operator, is tinkering with its
trading hours to try and please two factions in its oldest
constituency: the grain industry.
Industry officials said CME is looking for a way to strike a
balance between international grain companies that want shorter
hours and small rural grain elevators that like longer trading
MIAMI BEACH, Florida (Reuters) – IntercontinentalExchange Inc (ICE.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has received inquiries from rivals interested in buying NYSE Euronext’s (NYX.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) European stock exchanges once ICE completes its planned purchase of the New York-based exchange operator, ICE’s chief executive said on Monday.
Jeff Sprecher, whose $8.2 billion deal to buy the Big Board parent took markets by surprise in late 2012, said he is not considering any offers.
CHICAGO, Jan 17 (Reuters) – U.S. agribusiness giant Cargill
Inc, and one of the nation’s largest beef processors,
said on Thursday it will close its Plainview, Texas, beef plant
on Feb. 1 in reaction to the smallest U.S. cattle supply in more
than 60 years.
“The U.S. cattle herd is at its lowest level since 1952.
Increased feed costs resulting from the prolonged drought,
combined with herd liquidations by cattle ranchers, are severely
and adversely contributing to the challenging business
conditions we face as an industry,” John Keating, president of
Cargill Beef, said in a statement.
CHICAGO, Jan 9 (Reuters) – U.S. agribusiness giant Cargill
Inc reported a four-fold increase in quarterly
earnings on Wednesday, tapping its global command of cash
markets and food processing and posting strong profits from
trading operations after a poor performance a year ago.
The strong results came as the United States, the world’s
top food producer and exporter, struggled with the consequences
of its worst drought in more than 50 years. Commodity prices
rose and fell sharply during the August-November quarter as
fears of crop losses gripped the markets.
CHICAGO, Jan 4 (Reuters) – The U.S. Corn Belt – the world’s
top grain region – is seeing another dry winter after the worst
summer drought in half a century, reducing prospects for a
bumper summer harvest that would help ease global food prices,
crop and climate experts said.
“We are still concerned about getting the leftovers out of
the way from the drought of 2012. At this time we would not
anticipate a national corn yield above the trend,” said Iowa
State University climatologist Elwynn Taylor, who has studied
crop production for decades. “Rather, we would expect a fourth
consecutive year of below-trend crop, not as far below as in
2012 but still not up to par.”