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Mar 6, 2013

US ethanol giant POET makes rare bid for wheat in Indiana

March 6 (Reuters) – Leading U.S. ethanol maker POET
Biorefining, in a rare move, is bidding for soft red winter
wheat (SRW) at an Indiana facility as supplies of corn, the main
feedstock in ethanol production, shrink to the smallest in 17
years.

Privately held POET, the country’s No. 2 ethanol maker
behind Archer Daniels Midland Co, was bidding to buy SRW
wheat, a variety grown primarily in the eastern U.S. Midwest and
typically used to make crackers and biscuits.

Mar 5, 2013

Farm trade frets over sequestration, meat sector worries most

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Farmers and agribusiness companies are worried that across-the-board federal budget cuts will snarl the supply channels for everything from milk and broiler chickens to grain shipments, but many are hopeful that the Obama administration and Republican opponents will find a compromise before major disruptions hit the food system.

Most immediate concerns center on federal meat inspectors at U.S. meat plants, who must be present by law for animal slaughter and meat processing to take place. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s meat safety agency would have to furlough its 8,400 inspectors for 11 to 12 days to compile the savings required under the automatic federal budget cuts.

Mar 1, 2013

US cash cattle prices surge after blizzard reduces supply

CHICAGO, March 1 (Reuters) – U.S. cash cattle prices jumped
this week, posting their biggest increases in a year after
blizzard conditions in the southern U.S. Plains reduced the
amount of market-ready animals and slowed deliveries to packing
plants, traders and analysts said on Friday.

Live steer and heifer prices increased $5 per cwt in the top
cattle producing state of Texas, the largest increase since
February 2012. That is expected to push wholesale beef prices
higher and could further reduce already lackluster consumer
demand for red meat.

Feb 20, 2013

US lumber futures fall to 2-wk low as housing starts disappoint

CHICAGO, Feb 20 (Reuters) – U.S. lumber futures fell 1.7
percent, touching the lowest level in two weeks, on Wednesday
after housing starts declined and fell below analyst
expectations, traders said.

Lumber futures were headed for their biggest two-day slide
in a month after hitting a nearly eight-year peak on Monday.

Feb 11, 2013

Value of U.S. pork, beef exports hit records in 2012

Feb 11 (Reuters) – The United States exported a record-large
volume of pork in 2012 while the value of both pork and beef
exports was the most ever despite a decrease in shipments as the
year came to a close, government and trade group data released
on Monday showed.

Pork exports totaled 2.26 million tonnes, up narrowly from
2011, with the value of those sales up 4 percent at $6.3
billion, both records, according to the U.S. Meat Export
Federation, which compiles USDA data that was issued on Monday.

Jul 31, 2012

US livestock groups seek drought relief with ethanol waiver

July 30 (Reuters) – Hard-hit U.S. livestock and poultry
producers petitioned the government on Monday to reduce or
cancel the required use of ethanol in gasoline for a year,
asking for “a little help” to ride out the worst drought in 56
years.

The request for a first-ever waiver from the federal
Environmental Protection Agency’s mandate, which in essence
requires that more than a third of the U.S. corn harvest be
converted into ethanol, comes as grain prices have surged to
record highs, driving up feed costs and squeezing profits for
producers.

Jul 30, 2012

U.S. livestock groups petition for ethanol waiver

July 30 (Reuters) – U.S. livestock and poultry producers
have asked that the federal Environmental Protection Agency
waive for the first time the required use of ethanol in U.S.
gasoline as the drought has devastated the corn crop, the
primary feedstock of the biofuel.

Corn futures soared to a record this month at the Chicago
Board of Trade as the most extensive drought in five decades
reduced the yield potential of the developing crop.

Jul 26, 2012

Drought worsens despite rains in Midwest

By Michael Hirtzer

(Reuters) – The most extensive drought in five decades intensified this week across the U.S. Midwest and Plains states that produce most of the county’s corn, soybeans and livestock, a report from climate experts showed on Thursday.

Almost 30 percent of the nine-state Midwest was suffering extreme drought, nearly triple from the previous week, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor for the week ending July 24.

Jul 20, 2012

Speculators boost net long corn stake for 5th straight week

CHICAGO, July 20 (Reuters) – Large speculators raised their
net long stake in corn to the biggest in more than three months
as the most extensive drought in the United States in 56 years
triggered a sharp rise in corn prices, regulatory data released
on F rid ay showed.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s weekly
commitments of traders report also showed that noncommercial
traders, a category that includes hedge funds, boosted their net
long stake in soybeans to the most since early May in the five
trading days ended July 17.

Jul 19, 2012

Rains too late for some drought-savaged corn fields

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Indiana farmer Brian Scott saw on Thursday the heaviest rains of the year soak his 2,300-acre farm in the throes of the worst drought in five decades, but they were a mixed blessing at best.

The downpour came too late for his corn crop, which was already past the critical stage of setting yields. His soybeans, though, could get better and set more pods.