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Oct 24, 2013

Citgo Illinois refinery shut after fire; gasoline spikes

LEMONT, Illinois (Reuters) – Citgo Petroleum Corp effectively shut down its refinery in Illinois after a fire at its main crude unit and said on Thursday it did not know when operations would resume, sending gasoline prices higher.

The Wednesday night fire at the 174,500 barrel per day (bpd) refinery in Lemont, Illinois, broke out at a crude distillation unit, the workhorse of any refinery that processes crude oil into feedstock for other units within the plant.

Oct 13, 2013

Kenyans dominate Chicago marathon

CHICAGO (Reuters)- – Dennis Kimetto and Rita Jeptoo led a Kenyan sweep in contrasting styles at the Chicago marathon on Sunday in a race staged amid heightened security after the Boston marathon bombings in April which killed three people.

Kimetto won the men’s race after a gripping duel with compatriot Emmanuel Mutai while Jeptoo cruised to an easy victory to add the Chicago women’s crown to the Boston title she won this year.

Oct 9, 2013

Security tightened for Chicago Marathon after Boston attack

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Increased security will be in effect for Sunday’s Chicago Marathon, the first major marathon staged in the United States since the tragic April bombing at the Boston race, organizers and police said.

Organizers have instituted baggage checks for runners and fans as well as restricting access to key points along the 26.2-mile route that winds through the downtown Loop, passes Lincoln Park Zoo and neighborhoods such as Little Italy and Chinatown.

Aug 28, 2013

Cash-rich U.S. farmers slow to sell huge corn, soybean crops

By Mark Weinraub

CHICAGO, Aug 28(Reuters) – Several years of profitable crops
have left U.S. farmers with enough cash that they can delay
additional sales of corn and soybeans, which could be bad news
for food companies, livestock feeders, and exporters hoping for
an abundance of low-price grain after this year’s harvest.

While the U.S. Agriculture Department has forecast huge corn
and soybean crops this autumn, these rich farmers have enough
on-farm grain storage to hold onto much of their bounty until
prices move higher.

Jul 25, 2013

Northern N Dakota wheat crop seen below 2012 after late plant -tour

DEVILS LAKE, North Dakota, July 24 (Reuters) – Spring wheat
yields across northern North Dakota were projected lower than a
year ago but were still trending above average despite severe
planting delays, scouts on an annual crop tour of the top U.S.
spring wheat state said on Wednesday.

The crop was less mature than usual due to the delays and
will need good weather in the next few weeks to reach its full

Jul 24, 2013

US spring wheat prospects above average in northern N.Dakota-Tour

MAX, North Dakota, July 24 (Reuters) – Spring wheat yield
prospects in northwestern North Dakota are lower than they were
a year ago but still better than average, scouts on an annual
crop tour of the top U.S. spring wheat state said on Wednesday.

Much of the crop in the area was seeded later than usual,
and because of its delayed development, the crop will need good
weather in the next few weeks to reach its full potential.

Jul 23, 2013

Wheat yields in southern N. Dakota seen bigger than 2012-tour

BISMARCK, North Dakota, July 23 (Reuters) – Spring wheat
yields in southern North Dakota are expected to be larger than
average and higher than last year, as dry and hot conditions in
July helped the crop develop after rain delayed planting
throughout much of May, scouts on annual tour said on Tuesday.

Hard red spring wheat yields were projected at 43.3 bushels
per acre, based on a survey of 195 fields across southern
portions of North Dakota, as well as some fields in South
Dakota, on a tour organized by the Wheat Quality Council.

Jul 23, 2013

Scouts find yields variable in North Dakota wheat fields

WISHEK, North Dakota, July 23 (Reuters) – Yield prospects
for the spring wheat crop in southern North Dakota were
averaging about 5 bushels per acre better than a year ago but
variability was high between fields, scouts on an annual tour
said on Tuesday.

Scouts predicted an average yield of 46.7 bushels per acre,
based on surveys of four fields in Ransom and LaMoure counties.
A year ago, scouts along the same route pegged average yields at
41.6 bushels per acre. The tour’s five-year average for the area
is 42.6 bushels per acre.

May 31, 2013

U.S. soybean acreage to rise due to planting delays

CHICAGO (Reuters) – U.S. soybean plantings are set to rise above expectations following lengthy planting delays across the Midwest that have forced farmers to adopt new acreage plans.

The changes will be costly, as soybeans typically provide lower returns than corn that is seeded in a timely manner. The lengthy delays have pushed farmers right up to key insurance deadlines that hit on Friday, forcing them to make a decision about what to do with acreage they hoped would have been seeded weeks ago.

May 20, 2013

Monster machines fan out on U.S. farms facing slow sow

SHERIDAN, Illinois (Reuters) – With the U.S. spring planting season off to a historically slow start, an increasing number of farmers are counting on powerful tools to catch up: Monster machines that sow 36 rows of corn at once and feature high-tech innovations like computer-guided directional equipment.

The technological wizardry from companies like Deere & Co and AGCO Corp is pitted in a frantic race against time, with farmers scrambling to get seeds in the ground because a slow start depresses yields and reduces the size of their harvest. Delayed planting in turn can raise prices for food processors, livestock feeders, and ethanol producers, leading to eventual increases in food and fuel costs nationwide.

    • About Mark

      "I cover grain futures out of Chicago, with a focus on the wheat market. Examining the effects of world crop production on prices and the vagaries of export demand for U.S. supplies takes up most of my time. Previously, I was a reporter on the equities desk in New York and I got my start as a news assistant in the Washington Bureau."
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