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.
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.
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.
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.
, 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
CHICAGO, Feb 27 (Reuters) – U.S. farmers should closely
consider the markets they serve when choosing to plant a new
genetically modified Syngenta AG corn variety as it is
not approved by all major importers, including China, the U.S.
Grains Council said on Thursday.
Grain exporters also need to be keenly aware of the
varieties they handle to prevent further disruptions to
international trade, said USGC, which helps develop foreign
markets for grain.