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  • Cuba presents opportunities, challenges for U.S. ag
    Paul Johnson, executive director of the Illinois Cuba Working Group, admits to some fondness for Cuban products. Johnson has a long history of working for and in Cuba. 
  • Crop supplies weigh on bearish environment
    It hasn’t happened in 55 years, and the incident sets the table for commodity markets for the next several months. “It’s the first time since 1960 the world has produced record large corn and soybean crops all within the same crop year,” said Dan Basse, AgResource Co. president. 
  • 21 states set new corn marks
    Records were shattered for Illinois and Indiana corn and soybean growers in 2014. Illinois corn yields averaged 200 bushels per acre, surpassing the previous high mark of 179 set in 2008, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported in its annual crop production summary released Jan. 12. 
  • Corn balance sheet tightened; soybeans unchanged
    Over time conventional wisdom has been that big crops get bigger leading to larger supplies on the balance sheet. Despite a record crop, the U.S. Department of Agriculture ratcheted down corn marketing year-end stocks to 1.877 billion bushels, 121 million less than last month’s projection. 
  • Quarterly stocks report reflects record production
    Bumper corn and soybean crops bloated the supply chain for the first quarter of the marketing year. As of Dec. 1, 2014, on-farm and off-farm storage of corn was up 7 percent, and inventories of soybeans and wheat were up 17 percent and 3 percent, respectively, from 12 months prior. 
  • Indiana, Illinois wheat acres decline
    The winter wheat seeded area is down 5 percent from last year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported on Jan. 12. Seeded area is estimated at 40.452 million acres for the 2015 crop compared to 42.399 million in 2014 and 43.23 million in 2013. 
  • Agency OKs GMO potato
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved commercial planting of a potato that is genetically modified to resist bruising and to produce less of a chemical that has caused cancer in animals. 
  • New twist on ethanol — zein
    The sight of construction equipment perhaps sparks chatter among those who pass the ethanol plant in Galva. The activity proves worth conversation. 
  • New era for grain prices?
    The low level of prices on increased supplies has prompted some observers to declare that the “new era” in grain prices that began in 2006 has come to an end. 
  • Cuba trade prospects please Illinois farm groups
    Illinois farm groups are looking to Cuba as a growing market for corn, soybeans, pork and other products the state produces, and they see the state’s access to rail and river transportation as an advantage to trade with the Caribbean island nation of 11 million consumers. 



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