Posts

Showing posts from December, 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 10, 2015 Dow Dupont merger announcement.

Link to the full DowDuPont Merger Presentation

U of I Extension 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.

CRP 30th Anniversary Sign-up in Progress

This is the 30th anniversary of the CRP. It’s a federal program that assists agricultural producers with the cost of restoring, enhancing and protecting certain grasses, shrubs and trees to improve water quality, prevent soil erosion and reduce loss of wildlife habitat.As of September 2015, 24.2 million acres were enrolled in CRP. CRP also is protecting more than 170,000 stream miles with riparian forest and grass buffers. That’s enough to go around the world 7 times.The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture calls CRP one of the most successful conservation programs in the nation’s history saying it has helped farmers, ranchers, conservationists, hunters, fishermen and other outdoor enthusiasts to set aside lands that otherwise might be put into production agriculture.USDA, for its part, suggests when commodity prices are low, enrolling sensitive, low-quality and marginal lands in CRP can be especially attractive to farmers and ranchers, as it softens the economic hardship for landowners at t…

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.Let’s start by building a corn for ethanol baseline to see why. The EIA, the U.S. Energy Information Administration, says U.S. production of fuel ethanol in 2014 totaled 14 billion 313 million gallons. That was about a billion gallons more than in 2013, and nearly 400 million gallons more than the record setting year of 2011. So, 14.313 billion gallons of ethanol were produced in 2014. During the first nine months of this year, writes Darrel Good on the Farm Doc Daily website, EIA shows production 3.6 percent larger than during the same 9 months last year. It appears October and November were on that same track, and while December looks to be off a bit, it should leave the yearly consumption at a whooping and record setting 14.745 billion gallons says…

4 Step Weed Control Plan for Corn or Soybeans

Image
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. Some weeds have become resistant to the herbicides farmers use to control them. Others have lengthened their germination period, emerging later in the season, avoiding early spring control methods. University of Illinois Extension Weed Scientist Aaron Hager has a four step plan farmers can use to maintain a competitive edge in corn or soybeans. It starts by planting into a weed free seedbed.Quote Summary - It is easy to achieve a weed free seedbed by either replant tillage, burndown herbicide or a combination of those two. Given the challenges of weather and of resistant populations it is advisable not to plant into existing weed populations or any green vegetation without adequate control ahead of time. St…

EPA's RFS Decision will push Biodiesel Usage

Image
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…

An Early Jump on Computing ARC-CO Payments

Image
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 pre…

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.