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