Karl's Feed
Apr 11, 2014

U.S. farm industry seeks rules on data privacy, no consensus yet

April 10 (Reuters) – The American Farm Bureau Federation
(AFBF) said on Thursday it had more work to do to find consensus
on a set of standards aimed at protecting farm data privacy,
after meeting in Kansas City with a dozen leading U.S.
agricultural industry players.

At stake is who will spearhead the drive toward a common
standard for data produced on farms as the industry aims to turn
information into profit and productivity, projected to be a
multi-billion dollar industry in the coming years.

Apr 9, 2014

High-tech U.S. farm machines harvest Big Data, reap privacy worries

MOLINE, Illinois (Reuters) – Steps away from a replica of the revolutionary 1837 steel plow at tractor company John Deere’s (DE.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) headquarters sits a combine as big as a tank and packed with computer wizardry that harvests huge volumes of valuable data as it gathers crops.

The original “plow that broke the plains” enabled American farms to grow massive swathes of wheat and corn with its lightness and durability. The modern machines are using data to take another giant step in efficiency and output.

Apr 8, 2014

CME hogs tumble on slowing pork demand, weak cash market

CHICAGO, April 8 (Reuters) – Chicago Mercantile Exchange
lean hog futures tumbled on Tuesday on slowing demand for pork,
in a session disrupted by technical problems that halted trading
on the exchange’s Globex electronic platform near the close.

Before Globex was restored nearly an hour later, brokers
were forced to execute orders in the exchange’s open-outcry
trading pits, a venue that has lost nearly all of its trading
volume to computer screens in recent years.

Apr 6, 2014

Snowden, Greenwald urge caution of wider government monitoring at Amnesty event

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Edward Snowden and reporter Glenn Greenwald, who brought to light the whistleblower’s leaks about mass U.S. government surveillance last year, appeared together via video link from opposite ends of the earth on Saturday for what was believed to be the first time since Snowden sought asylum in Russia.

A sympathetic crowd of nearly 1,000 packed a downtown Chicago hotel ballroom at Amnesty International USA’s annual human rights meeting and gave Greenwald, who dialed in from Brazil, a raucous welcome before Snowden was patched in 15 minutes later to a standing ovation.

Apr 6, 2014

Snowden, Greenwald urge caution of wider govt monitoring at Amnesty event

CHICAGO, April 5 (Reuters) – Edward Snowden and reporter
Glenn Greenwald, who brought to light the whistleblower’s leaks
about mass U.S. government surveillance last year, appeared
together via video link from opposite ends of the earth on
Saturday for what was believed to be the first time since
Snowden sought asylum in Russia.

A sympathetic crowd of nearly 1,000 packed a downtown
Chicago hotel ballroom at Amnesty International USA’s annual
human rights meeting and gave Greenwald, who dialed in from
Brazil, a raucous welcome before Snowden was patched in 15
minutes later to a standing ovation.

Mar 26, 2014

Illinois governor’s budget would make tax hike permanent

, March 26 (Reuters) – In an effort to keep
the state budget afloat, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn on
Wednesday proposed making permanent a once-temporary hike in the
state’s income tax, a key issue in the 2014 gubernatorial
election campaign,

Quinn, who is facing a tough re-election campaign against
wealthy Republican venture capitalist Bruce Rauner, sought to
soften the move to lock in the higher tax rate by also offering
a property tax refund to homeowners and increasing the earned
income tax credit for low-income workers.

Mar 25, 2014

Oil spills into Lake Michigan from BP refinery

Whiting, Indiana, March 25 (Reuters) – Oil leaked from BP
Plc’s Whiting refinery in Indiana into Lake
Michigan after a malfunction at a recently upgraded processing
unit on Monday afternoon, the company confirmed on Tuesday.

Between 10 and 12 barrels, or around 500 gallons, of crude
oil spilled into the lake, according to a local CBS report
citing a source. That would make this a relatively small
discharge; last week, a pipeline owned by Sunoco Logistics
Partners spilled 240 barrels into an Ohio nature preserve.

Mar 20, 2014

China buys first U.S. corn in two months despite unresolved GMO spat

March 20 (Reuters) – China bought its first U.S. corn in
more than two months last week, the U.S. Agriculture Department
said Thursday, despite an unresolved dispute over a biotech
variety that has not been approved for import by the country.

The purchase, which followed seven consecutive weeks of
cancellations by the world’s third-largest corn importer,
puzzled traders as the risk for rejection was high and China’s
corn stocks were ample.

Mar 11, 2014

Agriculture companies launch effort to standardize, secure farm data

CHICAGO, March 11 (Reuters) – Purdue University researchers
and a group of agricultural companies on Tuesday announced an
open source project to standardize farm data formats and improve
communication between farm equipment and farm management tools
made by different companies.

The Open Agriculture Data Alliance, or OADA, will also seek
to set standards on data privacy and security, among the top
concerns of farmers gathering and sharing increasingly deep
pools of data from high tech farm machines armed with global
positioning technology and wireless data transfer capability.

Mar 5, 2014

Grain markets recall past, brace for volatility amid Ukraine crisis

CHICAGO, March 4 (Reuters) – The crisis in Ukraine is
roiling grains markets, but with wheat already harvested and
shipped and global stockpiles of corn that can substitute for
Ukrainian maize, it appears unlikely, at least for now, that
there will be major global supply shocks.

Some traders are even seeking lessons from the 1986 disaster
that hit the nuclear plant at Chernobyl in northern Ukraine.
When the plant exploded and sent radioactive particles across
the western Soviet Union, fears of widespread radiation
contamination disrupted grain shipments from the region, and
caused significant price volatility, before markets returned to
normal.