Agriculture's Big Picture
AgWeb Editor Greg Vincent takes a big-picture look at agriculture and current events.
Monsanto Stock Drops; Iowa Ethanol Plant Closes
May 28, 2010
They took the junk shot.
BP has taken a chance on shooting junk (rubber balls, according to Bloomberg) into the well that is spewing oil into the Gulf. So far, so good, but AP reports that the BP head cheese says it will be 48 hours
before they know if it works or not.
Immigration reform in the heartland. Immigration reform may have a completely different meaning to people in Postville, Iowa. The town is home to one of the world’s largest kosher beef plants and it was the subject of a massive ICE raid that turned the town upside down. Now the town is trying to rebuild and Kevin Tibbles of NBC News offers his perspective on how a small town is dealing with these issues.
The invasion of the grasshoppers. Entomologists say 2010 may be the perfect year for a massive grasshopper infestation in the Northern Plains this summer. KTVQ, a television station in Montana, says the state is readying for a biblical battle this summer.
Chinese drought update. China was in the market for more U.S. corn yesterday and if things don’t change soon, they could be again. The country is facing a massive drought and Adrienne Mong of NBC News says the situation is growing dire.
Fort Dodge corn plant closes. Tate & Lyle has closed a Fort Dodge, Iowa, corn processing plant. Ethanol capacity at the plant was 100 million gallons annually, in addition to processing other corn products.
Weaker euro equals more exports. As it is with a weaker dollar for U.S. exports, the same holds true in Europe as the euro continues its freefall of the past few weeks. At least one European analyst says this has ended the crisis, according to Bloomberg. And now Bloomberg TV is reporting this morning that there are indications currency traders are beginning to buy euros since they are cheap.
Monsanto stock drops. Monsanto stock touched a three-year low yesterday as its earnings continue to drop. Earnings are down as pressure from foreign-manufactured generic glyphosate floods the U.S. market. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup that Monsanto manufactures.
We want their oil. They need food. The realities in the Persian Gulf are just about summed up that easily as the area is on the verge of a massive food crisis. According to reports from United Press International, governments in the Middle East are buying up land throughout Africa in order to secure land for future food production.
Small farmers lack slaughter facilities. USDA has released a report that says meeting local food market demand may be difficult for many small farmers. There are just too few slaughter facilities available to these farmers, the department says.