Karl's Feed
Dec 5, 2014

Harsh winter could reverse post-harvest grain freight slump

CHICAGO, Dec 5 (Reuters) – U.S. grain transportation costs
have slumped to multi-year lows as last winter’s weather-related
shipping problems have so far failed to materialize, but even a
modest cold snap could still overwhelm the nation’s train, barge
and truck network and send costs soaring again.

Food company Kraft Foods Group Inc warned recently
that industry wide logistic problems would drag on earnings, and
grain processor Archer Daniels Midland Co said this week
that rail service troubles could flare up in the first quarter
of 2015.

Nov 19, 2014

ADM sues Syngenta over rejections of GMO corn by China

Nov 19 (Reuters) – Archer Daniels Midland Co sued
seed company Syngenta AG on Wednesday over sales of a
genetically modified corn variety not approved for import by
China, joining more than 100 farmers and exporters in pursuing
damages from the Swiss-based company.

The lawsuit alleges that Syngenta commercialized the MIR162
corn variety, also known as Agrisure Viptera, without creating
an effective stewardship program to ensure the grain would not
be shipped to markets that have not approved it.

Nov 13, 2014

Farm groups, ag tech companies agree on data privacy standards

Nov 13 (Reuters) – A consortium of farmer organizations and
agriculture data technology providers on Thursday published a
set of data privacy and security principles aimed at reassuring
farmers that data they share with Big Data services providers
will not be misused.

The non-binding principles are also meant to provide
companies that collect, store and analyze farmer data some
guidelines when crafting their service contracts and marketing
tools that use farm data to boost crop yields or reduce costs
for farmers.

Nov 4, 2014

ADM sees tighter Q4 ethanol margins, but 2015 outlook bright

CHICAGO, Nov 4 (Reuters) – U.S. agribusiness Archer Daniels
Midland Co on Tuesday forecast tighter U.S. ethanol
margins in the fourth quarter following a steep drop in oil
prices, but said its biofuel business will remain strong in 2015
due to the low cost of corn.

Ethanol prices dropped in tandem with plunging energy prices
in recent months as the summer driving season ended and
inventories of the corn-based biofuel ballooned, eroding the
strongest margins in years to the lowest in seven months.

Nov 4, 2014

ADM third-quarter profit rises on solid processing margins, revenues off

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Archer Daniels Midland Co (ADM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) the giant U.S. agribusiness group, said on Tuesday that adjusted third-quarter earnings jumped 72 percent as gains in corn processing and agricultural services more than offset flat results in oilseed processing.

But revenues fell from a year ago and missed Wall Street estimates as sharply lower crop prices prompted many farmers to store their corn and soybeans instead of selling them.

Nov 4, 2014

ADM 3rd-qtr profit rises on solid processing margins, revs off

CHICAGO, Nov 4 (Reuters) – Archer Daniels Midland Co
the giant U.S. agribusiness group, said on Tuesday that adjusted
third-quarter earnings jumped 72 percent as gains in corn
processing and agricultural services more than offset flat
results in oilseed processing.

But revenues fell from a year ago and missed Wall Street
estimates as sharply lower crop prices prompted many farmers to
store their corn and soybeans instead of selling them.

Oct 20, 2014

No export bonanza this year from record U.S. harvest

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The largest U.S. grain harvest in history has pushed prices to four-year lows, which usually means a sales bonanza for the world’s largest food exporter. Not this year.

Traditional rivals and aggressive new competitors with their own huge harvests, such as Ukraine and Russia, are leveraging the dollar’s strength to snap up a bigger share of a market that is shrinking as importers themselves boost output.

Oct 8, 2014

All major U.S. railroads must report service statistics: regulator

By Karl Plume

(Reuters) – The top U.S. rail regulator ruled on Wednesday that all Class 1 railroads operating in the United States must provide detailed weekly freight service reports, a decision that cited months of congestion that has hit the grain and power industries particularly hard.

Carriers must submit detailed data on average train speeds, dwell times and other service metrics on a temporary basis beginning on Oct. 22, the Surface Transportation Board said. They must also jointly submit a narrative summary of operating conditions at the Chicago gateway, a busy rail hub that is a choke point in the national network.

Oct 8, 2014

All major U.S. railroads must report service stats -regulator

Oct 8 (Reuters) – The top U.S. rail regulator ruled on
Wednesday that all Class 1 railroads operating in the United
States must provide detailed weekly freight service reports, a
decision that cited months of congestion that has hit the grain
and power industries particularly hard.

Carriers must submit detailed data on average train speeds,
dwell times and other service metrics on a temporary basis
beginning on Oct. 22, the Surface Transportation Board said.
They must also jointly submit a narrative summary of operating
conditions at the Chicago gateway, a busy rail hub that is a
choke point in the national network.

Oct 8, 2014

The Big Data bounty: U.S. startups challenge agribusiness giants

By Karl Plume

MAPLE PARK Ill. (Reuters) – Chris Gould’s combine cab is loaded like the cockpit of a fighter jet he used to fly as he harvests soybeans in northern Illinois, steered by satellites, four video screens glowing with up to minute updates about his crop and the work’s progress.

The setup, light years from what it was when the former Navy pilot started farming nine years ago, includes technology from Monsanto and Deere & Co.. But alongside them is an iPad running an app by tiny startup 640 Labs, boasting every bit as much savvy as the Goliaths’ latest offerings.