The top news stories for the week of Sept. 23 are …
Key Midwestern cities have already started to court ADM after the company announced that it would be moving is world headquarters from Decatur, IL, a relatively small city of 75,000. ADM will only be moving the top level corporate part of their presence in Decatur, amounting to about 100 jobs, while leaving more than 4,000. Though this move may knock Decatur off the map, it is a very big opportunity for whatever city lands No. 27 on the Fortune 500 list. Chicago is considered the front runner, but Minneapolis, St. Louis and Indianapolis all plan to make aggressive pushes for the company.
ADM announced its plans to move its headquarters mere days after it opened a new intermodal rail hub that will give its products better access to the world. The new hub is located in Decatur, IL, in ADM’s processing complex. This rail hub gives ADM direct access to Canadian National, Norfolk Southern Corp. and CSX rail lines. This opening is being lauded for having major potential for other Decatur businesses, as well, giving them unprecedented access to shipment by rail. Craig Coil, president of the Economic Development Corporation of Decatur and Macon County, stated that this was the city’s first step in becoming a Midwest inland port.
CHS announced that it will give a total of $3 million in an effort to make agriculture safer for the next generation. The initiative will be focused on young adults, and have a total of $1 million for a competitive grants program supporting rural safety projects and the remaining $2 million in grants to partner associations. The Agricultural Health and Safety Council (ASHCA), the AgriSafe Network, the GEAPS Foundation, the National AgrAbility and the Propane and Education Research Council (PERC) will be receiving portions of the $2 million in grants to further their safety initiatives. CHS has also promised to work with the organizations in order to gather further donations.
This story is a holdover from last week, showing just how much the coming harvest is on everyone’s minds. The USDA lowered its estimated soybean levels by 70 million bushels in September over its August estimate. This shouldn’t be much of a surprise due to the late planting season for soybeans and the drought re-emerging in key states during a key developmental period. The big surprise is the increase in estimated corn yields, increasing the estimated total harvest by 80 million bushels. As with soybeans, a late planting along with the drought in the Corn Belt during key times makes many experts skeptical of the corn numbers, but more accurate numbers should come in as harvest moves forward.
Cargill continued its string of facility updates, completing a $50 million upgrade of a North Dakota facility that processes canola and sunflower seed into oil used in food processing. The facility has been in operation for 30 years and was modernized with this upgrade along with having its capacity enlarged, keeping it competitive against other products and facilities.
Well, those are the top five. I want to remind you to email me if you have any story ideas, comments on what news you want to hear about, or just to say hey. Subscribe to Industry Watch, follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook for all the latest news in the industry.