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October 30, 2013 | Views on the News |

China Inks Deals, House Passes WRRDA and The USDA Gets Back to Work

And Cargill opens cutting edge horse feed facility

The top stories for the week of Oct. 20 were…

  1. Chinese Delegation Signs 1 Billion in Deals with Iowa
  2. Man Dies in Accident at Grain Elevator in Harvey ND
  3. House Passes 82 Billion Water Projects Bill
  4. USDA Reports Corn at 39% Harvested with Soybeans at 63%
  5. Cargill Opens State-of-the-art Horse Feed Plant


Chinese Delegation Signs 1 Billion in Deals with Iowa

The Hebei province, China, inked 20 separate deals with Iowa companies, for an estimated total of $1 billion. This continues the Hebei province’s long standing relationship with Iowa that stretches back to 1983. China has made recent deals with U.S. soybean organizations and the Ukraine, as it looks for ways to provide for its growing middle class. Though the details of individual agreements have not been made public, the deal will provide new jobs, economic investment and a continued relationship and access to a giant emerging market. 

Man Dies in Accident at Grain Elevator in Harvey, ND

Alex Rall, an electrician, died in an accident at the Prairie Towers Elevator in Harvey, ND. During the installation of a distributor, a grain chute came loose while being moved. The chute was between 250 to 300 pounds and fell 120 feet before hitting Rall, who was leaving for the day. The accident is still under investigation by OSHA at the time of this writing. 

House Passes $82 Billion Water Projects Bill

The Water Resources Reform and Development Act did the seemingly impossible; it passed through the U.S. House of Representatives with overwhelming bipartisan support. While the Farm Bill seems to be moving at a snail’s pace, with significant obstacles to overcome on the SNAP nutrition portion, the WRRDA flew through the House with a 417-3 vote and will soon go to a conference with the Senate. The bill was passed by playing up its job making potential and that it affects almost every state. The bill will make moves to allocate money in order to finance a much needed upgrade of the nation’s waterways. Some of the infrastructure being used are approaching their 100th birthdays, and the question of if they will fail has been replaced with when they will fail. Because other nations that are in direct competition with the United States are upgrading their infrastructure, the United States’ upgrades are a must in order to stay competitive in the global marketplace.

USDA Reports Corn at 39% Harvested with Soybeans at 63%

After going dark for two and a half weeks due to the government shutdown, the USDA released its first crop report of October. Wet conditions are slowing down the harvest in much of the Corn Belt, and the crop report reflects this. Corn harvested is 14 percentage points behind the five-year average and 46 points behind last year. Luckily, the maturity of the corn crop has grown to 94%, just about the five-year average. Soybeans are at 63% harvested, a 50 point rise from the last report in September and close to its five-year average.

Cargill Opens State-of-the-art Horse Feed Plant

Cargill’s new horse feed plant in Strathroy, Ontario, opened on Oct. 23. The facility will produce its Purina® equine feed and supplements and Loyall®  dog and cat food. The facility cost around $11 million to build and equip and was necessary for Cargill’s goal of meeting the increasing quality demands of its customer.

It’s hard to believe, but this week’s Views marks our fourth month with the new format. As always, I want to thank you for reading and 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.

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