Karl's Feed
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.

Oct 7, 2014

Cargill reports lower Q1 profit amid slumping grain markets

CHICAGO, Oct 7 (Reuters) – Cargill Inc, a top global
commodities trader, said on Tuesday its quarterly earnings fell
as global grain and oilseed prices tumbled in anticipation of a
record-large U.S. harvest and as turmoil in some countries
impacted its operations.

Minneapolis-based Cargill noted that its fiscal first
quarter ended Aug. 31 was “marked by a great deal of
geopolitical uncertainty,” including inflation in Venezuela and
Argentina, violence in eastern Ukraine, and tightening credit
markets in China.

Sep 30, 2014

Marubeni venture expands in U.S. Pacific Northwest

Sept 30 (Reuters) – Archer Daniels Midland Co
strengthened its hand in the global grains marketplace by
acquiring a stake in a second export terminal in the U.S.
Pacific Northwest, a vital gateway for U.S. agricultural
shipments to Asia.

Illinois-based ADM said on Tuesday that it gained an
ownership stake in the Columbia Grain export terminal in
Portland, Oregon, by expanding its Kalama Export Company joint
venture with Japanese grain trader Marubeni Corp,
previously the terminal’s sole owner.

Sep 27, 2014

Chicago-area air traffic center fire grounds 1,750 flights

CHICAGO, Sept 26 (Reuters) – A fire apparently set by an
employee at a Chicago-area air traffic control center led to the
cancellation of more than 1,700 flights at the city’s two major
airports, snarling air traffic across the United States,
officials said.

Flights resumed at O’Hare International Airport, one of the
world’s busiest, after a delay of about four hours, but there
were bottlenecks across the entire air system that carriers
expect to last through the weekend.

Sep 26, 2014

Air traffic center fire grounds flights in Chicago, snarls traffic

CHICAGO (Reuters) – An intentionally set fire at a Chicago-area air traffic control center led to the cancellation of more than 1,000 flights at the city’s two major airports, snarling air traffic across the nation.

The blaze at the facility in Aurora, outside of Chicago, apparently was set by a man who suffered self-inflicted wounds, Aurora police said. There were no indications that it was an act of terrorism and the blaze was extinguished, it said.

Sep 25, 2014

US river freight system near breaking point as huge harvest looms

CHICAGO, Sept 25 (Reuters) – With a record U.S. harvest just
coming in, the river transportation system that is at the heart
of the nation’s farm economy is overstrained by rising demand
for shipping capacity, a low barge inventory, and a dilapidated
lock system.

The pressure is building on an inland waterways network that
is just one flood, drought or mechanical breakdown from calamity
after decades of neglect, industry sources say.

Sep 25, 2014

Wheat sinks on higher dollar; harvest hits corn and soy

CHICAGO, Sept 25 (Reuters) – U.S. wheat futures plunged more
than 2 percent on Thursday to a four-year low on fears that a
rising dollar could hamper global demand for U.S. exports as
global supplies rise to a record high.

Corn and soybeans dropped about 1 percent on spillover
pressure from sinking wheat and on rising supplies from the
rapidly advancing harvest of record-large crops.

Sep 24, 2014

Corn, soybeans and wheat bounce from four-year lows

CHICAGO, Sept 24 (Reuters) – U.S. wheat futures jumped more
than 1 percent on Wednesday as a recent plunge to four-year lows
encouraged investors to cover short positions as the lower
prices sparked improved export demand.

Corn and soybean futures also ticked higher in a
short-covering bounce from four-year lows, though good weather
speeding the harvest of expected record crops in the U.S.
Midwest anchored prices.

Sep 23, 2014

Corn, soybeans sink to four-year lows as harvest advances

CHICAGO, Sept 23 (Reuters) – U.S. corn and soybean futures
fell to four-year lows on Tuesday as mild and mostly dry weather
across the U.S. Midwest is expected to boost the harvest of
record crops.

Wheat fell in tandem with retreating corn and soy, anchored
by plentiful global supplies and strong competition for export
business.

Sep 12, 2014

Cargill sues Syngenta over sale of GMO corn banned by China

CHICAGO, Sept 12 (Reuters) – Cargill Inc, the top
U.S. grain exporter, sued a unit of Syngenta AG in a
Louisiana state court on Friday for damages stemming from
China’s rejection of genetically modified U.S. corn, which
Cargill said cost the company more than $90 million.

Minnesota-based Cargill accuses Syngenta of exposing the
grain trader to losses by selling the seeds to American farmers
before the Swiss company had secured import approval from China,
a major buyer.