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Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by DTN
Aug 29, 2008
Food —Argument shifting from bushels to acres Heavy rains flooded Midwestern cornfields in June, raising questions about what a severely crippled corn crop would mean to the ethanol industry. But improved seed hybrids and ideal weather may be turning the food-versus-fuel debate on its head. An August USDA production forecast of a 12.3-billion-bushel corn crop in the face of seemingly catastrophic corn losses in some parts of the Corn Belt has left ethanol supporters scratching their heads. "It was surprisingly high," said Rick Tolman, president of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA). "Every year we have better germplasm traits that make that plant less
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by DTN
Aug 1, 2008
USDA will not allow landowners to take acres out of the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) early unless the landowner agrees to pay the normal early-out penalties for breaking a contract, Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer said last Tuesday. Schafer said the decision not to allow early out "strikes the best possible balance between supporting programs that protect our natural resources and meeting the nation’s need for grain production." The decision effectively means farmers wanting to void a CRP contract for 2009 crops would have to pay the USDA penalties to do so. In choosing to stand pat on CRP, Schafer said USDA completed
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by DTN
Jun 27, 2008
Business advisor: 16 ethanol plants filing bankruptcy, many more to come The U.S. ethanol industry is in trouble and can expect to see a rash of bankruptcies and dismantling of at least some production, according to a specialist who helps companies in distress. Alex Moglia, president of Moglia Advisors based in the Chicago area, said he knows of at least 16 ethanol companies that are filing for bankruptcy, and there will be at least two to three times that number filing within the next year. Though he declined to give the names of companies involved, Moglia said, "There’s a whole host of them
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by DTN
Jun 27, 2008
Wheat not yet cost-effective corn alternative Amid fears that flood-induced acreage losses will push corn prices even higher, livestock producers are considering their options to find the least-cost feed rations for their herds. For now, wheat prices are too high to be considered a cost-effective alternative for corn, but that could change as flood damage is assessed and corn acreages losses calculated. "How this all turns out in the end will depend on what happens with the corn crop and the price of corn," said Gary Vocke, ag economist for USDA’s Economic Research Service. "We don’t know the result of all this flooding, what
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by DTN
Jun 27, 2008
Small businesses search for next generation fuel feedstocks Robert Byrnes has all the proof he needs that biodiesel from camelina, restaurant waste and animal fat is a viable fuel source. To testify before Congress on recently, Byrnes made the 1,200 mile trek to the nation’s capital without using a drop of petroleum. Byrnes, a farmer from Oakland, NE, powered his Jeep using only farm-made biodiesel. He was one of five expert witnesses testifying before the House Subcommittee on Rural and Urban Entrepreneurship on second generation biofuels and their effects on America’s small businesses. "The idea was to try and quantify the potential opportunities,"
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by DTN
Jun 27, 2008
Farmers prepare for higher fuel costs Central Iowa corn and soybean farmer Charles Helland usually waits until closer to fall before securing his fuel needs for the season, but this year he’s planning to firm up fuel needs in the next week or so. "In the past, fuel costs haven’t varied that much from the beginning of summer to the end, so it wasn’t much of an issue,"" said Helland, who farms with his brother Mike near Huxley, IA. "But in these markets, who knows how high the price of diesel will be come fall?" Early-bird buying isn’t the only new habit for
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by DTN
Dec 20, 2007
Chicago Mercantile Exchange Holdings Inc. (CME) said it would increase the value of its $10 billion bid for the Chicago Board of Trade by adding a special dividend for owners of CBOT Holdings Inc. (BOT). The move, announced last Thursday, is designed to respond to a similar proposal from IntercontinentalExchange Inc. (ICE), which is pursuing a hostile bid for CBOT, the owner of the country’s oldest futures exchange. Shortly afterward, CBOT said it had rejected ICE’s latest offer. In its announcement, which followed a meeting of CBOT’s board, CBOT said the revised bid isn’t superior to its revised agreement with
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by DTN
Dec 20, 2007
That’s 15 percent of the federally controlled water in California, which would make it the largest grant to irrigators since the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation was created in 1903, agency officials said. The Westlands Water District, a coalition of giant agribusinesses in the fertile San Joaquin Valley, draws its water from the Central Valley Project, a vast irrigation system that also supplies drinking water to about 1 million households. If drought-like conditions persist in the West, a deal would guarantee the farmers’ irrigation pumps will flow, even if that means some cities in the San Francisco Bay area will get
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by DTN
Dec 20, 2007
Working to heighten public awareness on the Bush administration’s efforts to improve the safety of imports, two cabinet secretaries toured a small meat plant on Sept. 12 to talk about the importance of high business standards. Cracks in import safety have become a national focus this year with recalls ranging from pet foods to children’s toys. It has led to a political and consumer backlash that will place more demands on businesses and government officials to ensure foreign products are safe. The demands, however, are stressing the inspection system as the global economy and more trade deals open up U.S. ports
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