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Farm and Food File Results

Seed giant flexes its muscles

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

In late March, Monsanto Co. sent a “Dear Valued Customer” letter to most U.S. corn and soybean farmers. The reason, wrote Jim Zimmer, Monsanto’s vice president of U.S. branded business, was “to discuss… some current marketplace dynamics that will directly affect you in terms of increased prices for Monsanto’s line of Roundup herbicides for 2008.” […]

It’s reasonable: Our money, our rules

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The news from Geneva July 29 that the World Trade Organization’s Doha Round of global trade talks had “collapsed” hardly came as news to anyone other than WTO leader Pascal Lamy and U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab. Both had assumed their negotiating strategy — a concession by Europe here, the slow sell-out of U.S. farmers […]

The best of times, the worst of times

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The American economy is downright Dickensian. If you’re in investment banking, airlines, real estate or automobile anything, it’s the worst of times. If you’re in commodities — oil, copper, potash, gold, corn, soybeans — it’s the best of times.

Tinkering with CRP could be costly

Monday, July 21, 2008

When Farm Journal’s late staff economist John Marten explained the-then new Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) in the mid-1980s, he did so with a clever memory tool. “CRP isn’t complicated,” Marten once told a large crowd (which included me) back then, “if you remember the ‘Four Ws’: West, Wheat, Wet and Windy.” CRP will be called […]

Who wins in world trade deals?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Can anyone explain why the biggest haters of the “nanny state” are also the biggest supporters of the biggest nanny the world has ever created?

JBS beef buy is bad for everyone

Thursday, July 10, 2008

If JBS Swift’s buyout of National Beef, Smithfield’s beef slaughter operations and Smithfield’s massive Five Rivers Cattle Feeding LLC, the nation’s largest cattle feedlot with one-time capacity of 811,000 head, the three remaining firms will have over 80 percent market share of U.S. steer/heifer slaughter.

Dirty laundry is out in the open now

Thursday, July 3, 2008

With the summer’s big holiday just ahead and the midpoint of the year just behind, it’s time to empty the office bucket of spleen, venom, anger and an occasional kiss readers vented, hurled, sent and tossed my way. First, some corrections. “As a farmer and a Spanish teacher, I felt compelled to correct the spelling […]

Flooding fallout is anyone’s guess

Thursday, June 26, 2008

While Midwestern farmers and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have precise measurements on how much rain fell where in the deluge that socked 2008 planting, it will be months before anyone anywhere will know the final damage to property, production and prices. Early guesses — a few official, many unofficial — however, are floating in. […]

Bare cupboard needs a great crop

Thursday, June 12, 2008

There’s no profit in arguing with government numbers, a veteran commodity trader once moaned to me. “You might be right come two months,” he explained, “but the market might kill you in two weeks.” That advice came to mind when plowing into the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s June 2 Crop Progress Report. Despite the wettest, […]

DFA not celebrating much this June

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Mega-dairy co-op, Dairy Farmers of America, is the focus of several investigations.


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