Karl's Feed
Apr 8, 2015

US farmers take a gamble with belt-tightening as incomes slide

CHICAGO, April 8 (Reuters) – Bracing for their leanest
season in eight years, U.S. farmers are skimping on everything
from machinery to fertilizers, betting that they can go
down-market and yet maintain crop production and quality.

The belt-tightening has already squeezed sales of suppliers,
and farming experts warn the gamble can backfire: less robust
crop protection and less resilient seeds combined with some
rough weather could hurt crops this year and beyond.

Mar 4, 2015

Soybeans drop for third day, wheat falls on strong dollar

CHICAGO, March 4 (Reuters) – U.S. soybean futures fell for a
third straight session on Wednesday as a fading truckers’ strike
in Brazil and easing concerns about a farmers’ protest in
Argentina reduced fears of major South American export

Wheat fell under combined pressure from a stronger dollar,
which makes U.S. grain more expensive on world markets, and an
improving outlook for the U.S. winter wheat crop.

Feb 18, 2015

Farmers disappointed by restrictions in proposed drone rules

CHICAGO (Reuters) – U.S. farmers hoping to use drones to locate lost livestock or monitor trouble spots in their fields were disappointed by what they say are overly restrictive commercial drone rules proposed Sunday by the Federal Aviation Administration. 

Two of the long-awaited draft rules were singled out for particular criticism: a requirement that pilots remain in visual contact with their drones at all times and a height restriction that limits the crafts to flying no more than 500 feet above ground.  These constraints, farmers and drone operators say, would limit a drone’s range – and consequently its usefulness.

Feb 14, 2015

From cattle to corn, crude oil dive ripples through farm economy

CHICAGO, Feb 13 (Reuters) – Craig Uden, who fattens cattle
for beef on his Nebraska feedlot, expects to cut his energy
costs by as much as a quarter this year because of falling oil
prices – a silver lining in an otherwise tough rural economy.

The lowest energy prices since 2009, which have already
benefited transport, retail and industrial companies, are giving
farmers a boost just as the U.S. Department of Agriculture
forecasts their incomes will plunge 32 percent this year.

Feb 7, 2015

Tempers flare as CME execs meet members over futures pit closure

CHICAGO, Feb 6 (Reuters) – Dozens of angry CME Group members
abruptly left a meeting with CME Group Inc on Friday,
saying executives were dismissive and largely failed to answer
questions about the exchange’s plans to close most open-outcry
futures markets.

It was the first of two members-only sessions in Chicago and
New York to address this week’s announcement by CME Group that
most open-outcry futures markets will be closed by July 2 due to
dwindling trading volumes.

Feb 6, 2015

CME options traders see open outcry resisting fate of futures pits

CHICAGO, Feb 5 (Reuters) – Traders packed
shoulder-to-shoulder in Chicago’s grain options pits on Thursday
were confident closure of the neighboring futures space did not
herald the imminent demise of their business, despite eroding
trading volumes and improving technology.

The CME Group Inc, which runs the trading rooms in
Chicago, said on Wednesday it would shut down most of the
open-outcry futures markets in July. Floor trading accounts for
about 1 percent of all futures business at the world’s biggest
futures exchange.

Feb 3, 2015

Glencore grain port venture to shuffle Brazil grain flows

CHICAGO, Feb 3 (Reuters) – Plans by commodities trading
rivals Archer Daniels Midland Co and Glencore PLC
to jointly develop an export terminal in northern
Brazil promise to shift grain flows both within South America’s
largest producer and to Asian importers.

ADM will give Glencore 50 percent in its Barcarena export
terminal in Brazil’s Para state, it said on Tuesday, the
Swiss-based company’s first foray into Brazilian grain ports.

Feb 3, 2015

ADM profit jumps as big U.S. harvest boosts ag services

CHICAGO, Feb 3 (Reuters) – U.S. agribusiness Archer Daniels
Midland Co on Tuesday reported higher quarterly earnings
as a record-large U.S. harvest boosted grain volumes and
supported strong exports, though revenue fell short of

Earnings in agricultural services, ADM’s biggest business
segment in terms of revenue, grew as bumper U.S. corn and
soybean crops replenished thinned inventories of the crops that
the Illinois-based company buys, sells, stores and processes.

Jan 8, 2015

Cargill profit surges as lower grain prices spur demand

By Karl Plume

(Reuters) – Replenished grain supplies following a bumper North American harvest bolstered global commodities trader Cargill Inc’s [CARG.UL] bottom line in its latest quarter as lower prices lifted demand for crops and padded margins on meat sales.

Privately-held Cargill, based in Minnesota, reported net earnings of $784 million for the second quarter ended Nov. 30, up 41 percent from $556 million a year earlier. Quarterly revenue fell 8 percent to $30.3 billion from $32.9 billion.

Jan 8, 2015

Coldest temps since polar vortex test U.S. transport network

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Armed with lessons learned from last year’s polar vortex, the U.S. transportation and shipping network faces its first big test of the winter this week as harsh cold and dangerous wind chills buffet the Plains to the East Coast.

Moving people and products has proved tedious but not impossible as upper Midwest temperatures topped out in the single digits to below zero Fahrenheit on Wednesday, with gusty winds making it feel like 20- to 40-below. Snow blanketed much of the eastern United States, with lake-enhanced accumulations of more than a foot in northwest Indiana and western New York.