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October 21, 2013 | Grain Hedge Insights | Elise Schafer | Views: 250

Basis Levels Taper Their Decline

Basis levels tapered their decline this week with corn basis off 2 cents on the week and soybean basis unchanged

Grain basis levels were mostly steady to weaker over the last week as harvest continues to add supplies to the pipeline. For the week, US average corn basis was down 2 cents a bushel while soybean basis was unchanged.

For corn, much of the weakness this week was confined to the Northern Plains and Western Cornbelt as corn supplies start to ease the premium offered at key end users. Ethanol plants as a group were off 5 cents this week across the US, but losses of 10 cents or ore were fairly typical in the Western Cornbelt.  However, in far reaches of Northern Wisconsin, some grain buyers continue to hold strong with +50Z still being offered for fresh supplies. At river terminals, basis levels held mostly stable as strong export demand continues to underpin river markets.

In soybeans, basis levels were not as well defined with southern stretches of the country starting to show basis strength as harvest concludes while northern markets were generally steady to weaker for the week. At soybean plants, Eastern Cornbelt plants were generally steady to slightly higher on the week, while plants in the West were generally weaker. River markets were generally weaker for the week with losses of a nickel on basis being fairly commonplace.

October 16, 2013 | Views on the News | | Views: 275

U.S. Goverment Shutdown Didn’t Slow Down the News

News shows the continued need for government agencies

The top news stories for the week of Oct. 7 are …

  1. Longshoremen’s Union Sued by Tidewater Barge Lines
  2. Dakota Plains Cooperative Approves Merger With CHS Inc.
  3. The American Petroleum Institute Sues EPA Over the Renewable Fuels Mandate
  4. USDA May Close Three California Poultry Plants in Salmonella Outbreak
  5. Monsanto Halts Work on Corn Processing Facility in Argentina

 

Longshoremen’s Union Sued by Tidewater Barge Lines

 

The longstanding lockout of International Longshore and Warehouse Union workers by United Grain and Columbia Grain had a rollercoaster week. The two sides have agreed to resume negotiations for the first time since last spring, with the Port of Vancouver even offering to pay for a mediator to try to get the two sides to settle their disagreements. But with that came news of a lawsuit filed by Tidewater Barge Lines over some of the picket lines set up by the union. Tidewater Barge Lines claims that the water bound picket lines have negatively affected their business even though they are a neutral third party. Tidewater cited instances where their unionized workers refused shipments from Columbia Grain in a show of support, along with instances of impeding barges and tug boats.  International Longshore and Warehouse Union stated that they are well within their rights to free speech. Disrupting the business of a neutral third party is illegal under the National Labor Relations Act.

Dakota Plains Cooperative Approves Merger With CHS Inc.

 

Dakota Plains Cooperative, a Valley City, ND-based organization, voted to merge with CHS Inc. The deal now only has to make it past the CHS board of directors before being made final. Dakota Plains had $135 million in sales during its last fiscal year and offers agronomy, seed, feed and energy services and products to its members. Dakota Plains cited three main reasons for the merger: the desire to keep up with its members’ needs,, CHS’ ability to keep up with new technology and CHS’ ability to offer members a wider range of services.

The American Petroleum Institute Sues EPA Over the Renewable Fuels Mandate

The dispute between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the oil industry over the Renewable Fuel Standard escalated on Oct. 10 when the American Petroleum Institute filed a lawsuit with the Washington, D.C. Circuit Court. The American Petroleum Institute is a lobbying organization that represents the oil industry and has been one of the leading organizations pushing for the repeal or delay of the RFS. This lawsuit pertains to the 2013 requirements for the national fuel volume mandate, the level of biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuel and cellulosic biofuel that must be blended with oil-based fuels. The AIP’s reason for filing the suit is the late issuing of the mandate (nine months after the deadline) and a cellulosic biofuel requirement that is well above what is currently being produced. The Renewable Fuel Association claims that the lawsuit is frivolous and is searching for a problem before one emerges.

USDA May Close Three California Poultry Plants in Salmonella Outbreak

A Salmonella outbreak has emerged in the midst of the U.S. government shutdown, with the USDA and CDC working with a diminutive staff. There have been at least 300 cases of Salmonella related sickness since the outbreak began with 42% of those of those with symptoms needing to be hospitalized — twice the normal rate.  Several strands detected are resistant to antibiotics. The outbreak has been linked to Foster Farms, whose facilities were under threat of shutdown at the time of this article’s posting, but have been allowed to stay open under government supervision.

Monsanto Halts Work on Corn Processing Facility in Argentina

The debate over Genetically Modified foods continues to plague Monsanto across the globe. Though more journalists and scientists are coming out for GM crops, citing the lack of evidence that they are harmful to humans when consumed and that the few studies that show signs of them being so are flawed, the opposing side tends to drown out their opposition. Monsanto has been forced to delay their corn processing facility in Argentina due to protests by the Argentine Malvinas Assembly over the company’s GM crops.

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.

October 07, 2013 | Grain Hedge Insights | | Views: 247

Corn Basis Drops for the Sixth Consecutive Week

Corn basis dropped 11 cents amid harvest pressure while soybean basis also lost ground, falling 3 cents for the week ending Oct. 3

Corn basis slid for the sixth consecutive week falling another 11 cents this week amid harvest pressure, while Soybean basis lost 3 cents for the week ending October 3rd.

Harvest pressure has already been affecting basis for a few weeks, so when will basis bottom? Figure 1 illustrates that in more normal harvest year’s spot basis tends to bottom around the first week of October, but with some northern crops still behind in development this year basis lows may still be a week or two away. As of September 30th the USDA reported 12% of U.S corn is harvested compared to the five year average of 23% harvested.  Soybeans were 11% harvested compared to the five year average of 20% harvested. Though the rate of basis decline seems to be letting up a bit, we still expect basis to fall more in the weeks to come Soybeans basis lost 3 cents this week, with parts of western Missouri losing as much as 8 cents. Soybean plants dropped their basis by an average of 5 cents this week while river markets bucked the trend and improved 2 cents on the week.On average, corn basis fell 11 cents this week with the largest losses seen in Iowa which fell as much as 20 cents. Ethanol basis contributed to the decline falling 14 cents as new crop grain comes onto the market. Basis in the southern part of the U.S and along the river remained mostly unchanged for corn.

October 02, 2013 | Views on the News | | Views: 312

ADM’s Big Moves

Corporations continue to top the news

The top news stories for the week of Sept. 23 are …

ADM Announces Intent to Set Up New Global HQ

ADM Opens Intermodal Rail Hub in Decatur IL

CHS Commits 3 Million to Make Agriculture Safer

USDA Offers September Surprises in Crop Reports

Cargill Completes Oilseed Expansion Project

 

 

ADM Announces Intent to Set Up New Global HQ

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 Opens Intermodal Rail Hub in Decatur IL

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 Commits $3 Million to Make Agriculture Safer

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.

USDA Offers September Surprises in Crop Reports

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 Completes Oilseed Expansion Project

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.

September 24, 2013 | Views on the News | | Views: 242

Big News as Agriculture Gets Ready for Harvest

Surprising crop reports, a disease report and two lawsuits top last week

Harvest is ramping up here in Wisconsin as the weather cools and producers want to beat the first frost to the field. Things are also ramping up here at the Feed & Grain office as the press date for our Oct./Nov. issue gets closer. So, if you missed some of last week’s biggest news (there were some big developments) in all of your pre-harvest preparations — here it is handy shortened form.

The top news stories for the week of Sept. 16 are …

USDA Offers September Surprises in Crop Reports

Grocery Manufacturers Association Sued Over Funds against GMO Labeling

Centers for Disease Control Report Links Antibiotics Use in Livestock to Bacterial Resistance

Firefighters Put Out Fire at Cargill Soybean Plant

Six People and Three Firms Charged With $100 Million Biofuels Fraud

 

USDA Offers September Surprises in Crop Reports

The USDA lowered its estimated soybean levels by 70 million bushels over last month. This shouldn’t be much of a surprise due to the late planting season for soybeans and the drought reemerging in key states during a key developmental period. What is a surprise is the increase in estimated corn yields, increasing the estimated total harvest by 80 million over last month. 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.

Grocery Manufacturers Association Sued Over Funds against GMO Labeling

Just like last year’s battle in California over GMO labeling, things are turning ugly. In just the last few weeks, the pro-labeling side of the debate has gone from a position of dominance in donations, to being vastly outspent. That’s because of large multi-million dollar donations by companies like Monsanto and DuPont, along with the advocacy group the Grocery Manufacturers Association. The Grocery Manufacturers Association is being sued over its $2.2 million donation by the pro-labeling group Moms for Labeling. The lawsuit claims that the group needs to disclose who donated the money used to fight labeling and to register as a political committee if they wish to donate to specific ballot measures.

Centers for Disease Control Report Links Antibiotics Use in Livestock to Bacterial Resistance

For the first time ever, the Centers for Disease Control has reported a connection to antibiotics used in livestock to increasing bacterial resistance that is the estimated result in the deaths of over 23,000 people a year. CDC Director Thomas Frieden is calling for a scale back in antibiotic use and to start regulating their use across all uses. The low but constant dosing in the animal agriculture sector are said to be ideal breading grounds for these super bacteria, though overuse in the medical field is also a problem. The Animal Health Institute states that the problem is being overblown, and that livestock antibiotics can only be linked to two of the 18 noted threats.

Firefighters Put Out Fire at Cargill Soybean Plant

There was a fire at Cargill’s Soybean processing plant in Raleigh, NC, on Friday the 13th. The sprinkler system in the facility was effective in subduing the initial blaze, and the fire was under control by 10 p.m. Even so, firefighters stayed on the scene as the soybean smoldered due to the risk of explosion.

Six People and Three Firms Charged With $100 Million Biofuels-Fraud

In what is being called the "largest tax and securities fraud scheme in Indiana history," Craig Ducey, Chad Ducey, Chris Ducey, Brian Carmichael, Jeff Wilson, Joseph Furando and Evelyn Katirina Pattison are being charged with fraud from knowingly selling lesser biodiesel. The defendants sold 35 million gallons of the biodiesel B99 as B100. The Renewable Identification Numbers they received where worth about $2 more than B99. Not only were they claiming that the fuel was more valuable than it was, but they were relabeling fuel that they had purchased not produced. This means that the RINs had already been claimed for that fuel by the company that manufactured it, and the defendants were claiming again. Prosecutors say that the defendants cheated their customers out of $55 million and the IRS out of $35 million.

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.

September 18, 2013 | Views on the News | | Views: 230

Longstanding Feuds Took New Steps

Cargill names a new CEO and an Iowa feed mill starts to smolder

The top news stories for the week of Sept. 9 are…

 

  1. Grain Barge Apparently Deliberately Set Adrift on Columbia River
  2. Cargill Names New CEO
  3. Monsanto Donates 46 Million to Fight GMO Labeling in Washington
  4. Firefighters Douse-Smoldering Feed at Iowa Feed Mill
  5. Monsanto Case Appealed to US Supreme Court

 

Grain Barge Apparently Deliberately Set Adrift on Columbia River

A grain barge that was reported missing on Sept. 6 was luckily found by a passing tug boat. When found, it was floating down the Columbia River with no lights and no crew. The barge was found before it sustained or caused any damage, which would have been an easy feat for an unmanned but loaded 252-foot-barge. The workers at the dock where the barge was released say that the moorings that held it in place seemed to have been loosened. The barge was headed to one of the ports who have locked out the International Longshore and Warehouse Union since last spring. The union denies having any knowledge of the potential sabotage, but notes that private security and the strikebreaking firm should be examined just as closely during the investigation.

 

Cargill Names New CEO

Cargill has named its current president, David Maclennan, as its next chief executive officer. Maclennan has been with the company since 1991 and has held a variety of top executive positions over the last five years. The current CEO, Greg Page, will still be active in the company as the new executive chairman. 

 

Monsanto Donates $46 Million to Fight GMO Labeling in Washington

It seems that the state of Washington’s legal battle for GMO labeling is where Monsanto and DuPont have decided to stand their ground. Both companies made multimillion dollar donations this past week, propelling the funds of the anti-labeling side of the debate well above those of the pro-labeling side. This is a similar to the California vote that took place last year, where the anti-labeling campaign raised almost five times as much as the pro-labeling side. The California vote was only won by 4%, and with over twenty states bringing similar legislation, two have already passed the measures, it’s unclear if these new donations will be enough.  

 

Firefighters Douse-Smoldering Feed at Iowa Feed Mill

Iowa’s late season heat wave may have been responsible for a feed ingredient to combust and start to smolder. When the employees at the Gilbert office of Key Cooperative were notified of smoke coming from the bin, they called in local firefighters. The smoldering grain was quickly doused by the firefighters. Luckily, there were only three tons of feed in the bin at the time and though that feed is lost, there is only minor clean-up and water damage to deal with.

 

Monsanto Case Appealed to US Supreme Court

A group of organic farmers, seed companies and public advocacy groups sued Monsanto in 2011, to stop Monsanto from suing farmers who have their fields accidently contaminated with Monsanto’s patented genetically engineered crops. The first judge to hear the case issued a ruling that the lawsuit was preemptive, and cited Monsanto’s public stance that it wouldn’t sue farmers in the case of accidental exposure. This June the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld the ruling. That same coalition is now appealing to the United States Supreme Court, hoping for a different outcome. Monsanto released a statement accusing these groups of trying to stir up nonexistent controversy.

Check out the digital issue for Aug/Sept.  here. 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. 

September 16, 2013 | Grain Hedge Insights | | Views: 182

Southern Crops Provide Slight Relief

Corn moves North by barge and rail to the Midwest in an attempt to replenish tight pipeline supplies

Corn and soybean spot basis were hammered this week as end users see some relief from newly harvested southern crops. For the week, spot corn basis was off 50 cents a bushel while spot beans were off 35 cents a bushel.

In the corn market, early season harvesting in the South continues to move by barge and rail to the Midwest in an attempt to replenish tight pipeline supplies. As a result, basis levels have moved sharply lower in the past few weeks with little if any premium being offered by buyers for old-crop delivery as compared to new-crop delivery.  Ethanol plants were a big mover to the downside losing 38 cents a bushel on average as a group, while some Eastern Cornbelt plants were lower by a $1 a bushel. On the river terminals, followed in sympathy but were only down by 28 cents a bushel, as they have been out of the market for some time and their basis had not kept pace with the lofty prices paid by end users.

For soybeans, it was much the same story as Eastern Cornbelt markets were hardest hit, largely taking out the premium they had been offering for the later half of the marketing year. Bean plants were off 40 cents a bushel on average as compared to river terminals which saw only a more modest 20 cent erosion.

Spot basis should continue to fall, but we would expect it to be short lived as full swing harvest in the Midwest is a ways away. With basis levels taking and nearly on par with new-crop delivery, the economic incentive for farmers to harvest wet corn early will likely be muted, and could lead to a mini recovery in the first part of October. 

September 11, 2013 | Views on the News | | Views: 198

Grain Companies Get Down to Business

Organizations continue to invest in the future

September is here and it’s posed to be a big month. What the media is calling a “flash drought” is creeping through the Corn Belt and looks to make the coming harvest more difficult than anyone would like. The farm bill may get put on the back burner now that congress is back in session due to Syria, but we may finally have an answer to whether Smithfield gets sold later in the month. This week is all about company business as agriculture companies try to find new ways to increase revenue.

The top stories for the week of Sept. 2 are…

  1. Cargill Building $29 Million Feed Mill in Hedrick, IA
  2. United Cooperative Subsidiary will Merge with Hillsboro Farmers Cooperative
  3. Smithfield Foods Investor to Propose Rival Merger
  4. CHS Partners with Wyoming Frac-Sand Company
  5. Cargill Invests $48 Million in New Automation System

 

Cargill Building $29 Million Feed Mill in Hedrick, IA

Cargill broke ground on a new facility in Hedrick, IA, that will be able to produce 350,000 tons of hog  feed once fully operational. It is located near important transportation systems and is expected to be able to better supply Cargill operations in Iowa, Missouri and Illinois. The company cites growing demand and a more streamlined supply line for its buyers as motivation for expansion. The plant is expected to be complete near the end of 2014.

United Cooperative Subsidiary will Merge with Hillsboro Farmers Cooperative

Members of Hillsboro Farmers Cooperative approved a merger with a United Cooperative owned subsidiary through a mail-in vote in late August. This merger continues a United Cooperative effort to continue to expand throughout Wisconsin, and will be the fourth merger the company has taken part in since 2011. The merger will be finalized Oct. 1.

Smithfield Foods Investor to Propose Rival Merger

The Smithfield merger with Shuanghui International has faced a lot of opposition and will more than likely continue to do so until its shareholders vote on the deal Sept. 24. But Starboard Value LP, who owns 5.7% of Smithfield, has already announced that they will vote no. In an open letter to other shareholders, Starboard Value LP claims that they’ve received interest from a group of companies that would like to make a bid to collectively own Smithfield. This new offer could potentially be higher than the one offered by Shuanghui International, and Starboard Value claims that it would offer a better value to shareholders. The issue is time. Starboard Value says it will need more time to put the proposal together. If unable to put a new proposal together, Starboard will change is vote to yes before Nov. 29, the last day the deal can be finalized.  

 CHS Partners with Wyoming Frac-Sand Company

Wildcat Minerals LLC has partnered with CHS to build frac-sand unloading facilities alongside its grain elevators.  For now, the frac-sand facilities will be built next to a relatively small number of elevators near the Bakken oil formation, which covers portions of Montana and North Dakota and spreads into Canada.  The two companies are looking into expanding the deal to other locations including Colorado and Oklahoma. CHS’s extensive shipping network, combined with only being truly busy during harvest season, makes them attractive to frac-sand operations.

Cargill Invests $48 Million in New Automation System

Cargill continues to invest in improvements across its network. The company will invest $48 million in its Dodge City, KS, beef packing facility. The improvements will replace systems that have been in place since the plant opened and improve the plant’s capacity by 130,000 boxes. The upgrade will start at the end of this year and is expected to be finished by spring 2015.

The digital edition of August/September is now online! Check it out here. 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. 

September 10, 2013 | Grain Hedge Insights | | Views: 166

Corn Basis Drops Sharply

Corn basis dropped 15 cents as new crop supplies become more available in northern states

This week we saw corn drop 15 cents between Tuesday, September 3rd and Thursday, September 5th. Basis was pulled lower by the southern harvest and grain movement up river. Soybeans picked up a penny during that same time period in a lull before harvest pressure begins to weigh on the market.

Corn dropped on average 15 cents this week as the market finished rolling out of September and into the December contract. On average Ethanol provided little support in the cash market tumbling 15 ½ cents this week as well. Harvested southern corn is impacting the cash market significantly and pressuring basis lower. In the week of August 24th to 31st more corn floated up river on barges (53,900 tons) at lock 27 than corn headed downriver (23,572 tons) helping to supply inland grain demand. The effects of harvest should continue to pressure corn basis throughout the U.S as we move deeper into September.

Soybean basis improved by a penny this week between September 3rd and the 5th. The market was mostly mixed with Soybean plants dropping basis by an average of 5 cents, while the average basis at river terminals increased by 1 ½ cents.

September 03, 2013 | Views on the News | | Views: 212

Worries and Plans for the Future

Companies make plans as they wait for the harvest

The last few weeks of August brought a lot of announcements of new investments in infrastructure.. Showing that, at least for now, the agriculture market doesn’t seem to be slowing down, on the national stage. As Labor Day passes and harvest season inches closer, the agriculture community seems to be holding their breath, waiting to see how the harvest turns out. Even though there is some concern over drought emerging in the Corn Belt and the risk of frost, most seem optimistic about it.

Top news stories for the week of Aug. 26 are…

  1. Third Man Charged With Burning Grain Truck
  2. CHS Inc. and Dakota Plains Cooperative Consider Consolidation
  3. South Dakota Grain Elevators Worried Over DM&E Railroad Sale
  4. Pilgrim's Pride Building $15 Million Feed Mill in Alabama
  5. Washington State Grain Inspectors Will Stop Inspections for United Grain Corp.

 

Third Man Charged With Burning Grain Truck

Three men apparently stole a 1975 Ford grain truck from a private residence in Lincoln County, MO, right outside of St Louis. They simply drove the truck through a wall of the building it was housed in.. Though it is unclear who, one of the men drove the truck off the road and subsequently set it on fire. Mitchell Houston and Adam Bote had previously been arrested and admitted to the burglarizing and stealing, but both blamed the other for setting the truck ablaze. Zachary Hill was arrested about a week after the other two men. All three are charged with burglary, two-counts of tampering with a motor vehicle and property damage. Hill and Bote are also charged with knowingly burning. The bail is set for $75,000 for Hill and Bote, and $100,000 for Houston.


CHS Inc. and Dakota Plains Cooperative Consider Consolidation

CHS Inc. and Dakota Plains Cooperative have taken the first steps towards a merger by seeking their respective boards of directors to approve it. This merger will help CHS inc. meet its goal of enhancing its agronomy assets in east and central North Dakota. Those plans also include the possibility of building three new fertilizer plants in the Dakota Plains Cooperative trade area in order to take advantage of a fertilizer manufacturing plant in Spiritwood, ND. 


South Dakota Grain Elevators Worried Over DM&E Railroad Sale

The Canadian Pacific is close to selling the western part of Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern Railroad. They have reported four to five interested parties and are reportedly close to making a deal. South Dakota grain elevators fear the possibility that the rail will be sold to a short-line railroad. If sold to a short-line, who would have to make a deal with The Canadian Pacific for access to an international network, it could mean that there would only be one way out. This could mean an increase in rates for the elevators that use the railroad. 

 

Pilgrim's Pride Building $15 Million Feed Mill in Alabama

Pilgrim’s Pride is investing a total of $25 million in its Alabama operations. The plan includes building a $15 million feed mill in Pinckard, AL, and $10 million in upgrades to its poultry processing facility in Enterprise, AL. The news came shortly after Pilgrim’s Pride announced it would be closing its facility in Batesville, AR. The mill will begin construction in September and the upgrades will be made over the next six months.


Washington State Grain Inspectors Will Stop Inspections for United Grain Corp.

Washington State Grain Inspectors no longer feel safe crossing the International Longshore and Warehouse Union’s picket line at the Port of Vancouver, WA. Reports of threats from the picketers, including an instance where a picketer opened an inspector’s car door in order to scream at them, has caused inspectors to threaten to stop inspections unless the two parties reach a solution by the first week of September, or more steps are taken to ensure their safety. The Pacific Northwest Grain Handlers Association says that grain flow is unlikely to stop because they believe that federal inspectors will be forced, by law, to take over the inspections. The Port of Vancouver claims that they have enough security in place to protect all parties involved. The lockout has been in place since February and though both parties claim that they have tried to resume talks, both say that the other group has been unresponsive. 

That’s it for this week. 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. 

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Strong Corn and Soybeans Sales

Strong Corn and Soybeans Sales

September 18, 2014 | Grain Hedge Insights | Cody Bills

U.S. grain futures slipped lower over night with corn trading down 2 cents, soybeans off 2 cents, and Chicago wheat down 5 cents.This morning’s export sales report showed strong sales for U.S. corn and soybeans while wheat missed expectations. Soybean sales were reported at 1.466 mill...

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