December 11, 2015

DowDuPont Merger of Equals

Dow and DuPont today announced the two companies would combine in a merger of equals.

DowDuPont, the merged business, will then be split into three independent publicly traded companies; agriculture, material science, and speciality products. The company's leadership, Andrew Liveris from Dow and Ed Breen from DuPont, say the projected market value of the merger is $30 billion dollars, with about a billion dollars worth of growth synergies achieved by the merger itself. Market capitalization of the new DowDuPont is $130 billion dollars.

Most current shareholders will each own approximately 50 percent of the combined company.



Listen to the closing comments from Ed Breen and Andrew Liveris from the Friday December 11, 2015 Dow Dupont merger announcement.

Link to the full DowDuPont Merger Presentation


December 09, 2015

Food Safety Training for School Lunch Program

The Illinois State Board of Education has awarded four and half million dollars to University of Illinois Extension. The money will be used to help with the state’s school lunch program. The Board will use Extension to provide foodservice training and education to about 4000 school lunchrooms. Family & Consumer Sciences educators will create and deliver training on child nutrition standards and the cafeteria environment. The $4.5 million, three year effort starts in January with a monthly webinar series. A web training portal will follow in March. Schools interested in training can also contact Extension for onsite customized sessions and technical assistance says University of Illinois’ Jennifer McCaffrey.


December 08, 2015

Ethanol Production & 2016 Corn Consumption Prospects

Commodity traders are generally thinking last week’s EPA RFS rule making will cause more bushels of corn to be turned into ethanol next year. Todd Gleason reports University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Darrel Good is more doubtful.


December 07, 2015

4 Step Weed Control Plan for Corn or Soybeans

Since the 1960’s farmers have been using herbicides to control weeds. Frankly, herbicide formulations haven’t changed that much and the weeds have managed to find ways to adapt. Todd Gleason has this four step plan from the Univesity of Illinois to control them in corn or soybeans.


December 03, 2015

EPA’s RFS Decision will push Biodiesel Usage

The United States Environmental Protection Agency is beginning to comply with the letter of the law as it pertains to biofuels. Todd Gleason reports this could be a boon for biodiesel made from soybeans.

EPA this week announced it would force oil companies to find more ways to use renewable fuels. This is something the oil industry has resisted saying it was too difficult to use much more than the ten percent ethanol blend already found in gasoline. This is called the blend wall and is actually less than the total number of gallons of renewable fuels congress mandated be used in 2016 when it originally wrote the law.

Since not all cars can burn greater than 10 percent ethanol in gasoline, and the amount of gasoline used in the United States is less than the renewable fuels mandate required by law, there is a renewable fuels gap left…something like a billion and half gallons. EPA hasn’t moved to force oil companies, yet, to find a new ways to fill that whole gap, but it closed it up big time and that’ll leave companies scrambling says University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Scott Irwin.

Quote Summary - And so, the really interesting question is what will fill the gap. Will it be higher ethanol blends, E15 or E85 or biodiesel.

There’s an easy answer to this question says Irwin.

Quote Summary - At least for the next couple of years, biodiesel. Soybean oil prices since the low last August are up 25% and soybean prices are up just 3%. And meal has tanked over that same time period. One way or another it is beneficial to ag. Either I’m wrong and you get more ethanol in the form of E85 or you get more biodiesel with soybean oil and other animal fats.

The market is and has been for sometime forecasting the next winner in the biofuels industry and it appears at this point to be biodiesel made mostly from the soybean.


December 02, 2015

An Early Jump on Computing ARC-CO Payments

Farmers and their bankers can get a jump on just how much income to expect from the ARC County program next fall. Todd Gleason has more on how NASS county yields can be used to anticipate the payments.



Farm income is down dramatically. It means farmers will be going to bankers for production loans this winter. Those loans will be used to plant next season’s crops. The bankers will be looking for every clue they can to help them make solid lending decisions. One source of income they’ll want to calculate comes from the farm programs. However, the ARC County payments won’t be figured until the fall.

It is possible to estimate these payments by substituting NASS county yields for the FSA computed yields says University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Gary Schnitkey, "So, there are likely to be 2015 ARC County payments, but this will depend upon county yield levels. FSA calculates those yields, but not until the autumn of 2016. However, we can use NASS yields to come up with a pretty good estimate of the FSA county yields. NASS will release its yields in February of this year. This will give us a pretty good feel for the 2015 ARC County payments because we’ll have a pretty good ideas of what the FSA county yields will look like."
 

NASS county yields do vary from the FSA numbers, but not by much. NASS calculates yields by dividing production by harvested acres. These are both numbers the agency collects via a statistical estimate. FSA uses a different calculation. FSA adds to acres the RMA failed acres. Therefore, FSA yields will most always be less than NASS yields. NASS county yields, then, will provide a conservative estimate of the ARC County payment.


December 01, 2015

Scott Irwin US EPA Nov 30 RFS Reaction

Monday the United States Environmental Protection Agency put forward the rules mandating how much of each type of renewable energy can be used in the nation’s liquid fuel supply. Just a few minutes after the announcement Todd Gleason spoke with University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Scott Irwin about the new numbers.

Scott Irwin believes the U.S. EPA in this rule making is moving swiftly towards the congressional mandated volumes for ethanol and other renewable fuels.


November 16, 2015

Commodity Groups Support TPP

Six commodity groups and the administrator of the USDA FAS took the stage in Kansas City last week in support of the Trans Pacific Partnership. Use the the three stripes in the upper left hand corner of the video above to choose a statement to watch. 


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