agriculture

Deere Reports Quarterly Earnings of $1.07 Per Share

Deere & Co. (DE) reported earnings of $1.07 per share for the quarter ended Oct. 31, compared with a loss of 53 cents per share a year ago. The earnings for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009 included charges worth 76 cents per share related to the impairment of goodwill and voluntary employee separation, the world's largest maker of farm equipment said in a statement.

Rising Corn Prices Will Soon Mean Fatter Meat Prices

The price of corn has shot up 8% during the week of Oct. 11 alone, bringing the total rise to close to 50% in the last three months. As farmers cull herds to save feed costs, meat supplies will shrink -- and the price of hamburger and pork chops will be rising.

Cotton Prices Jump to Record High

Cotton prices jumped to a record high on Friday on strong Chinese demand and the prospect of reduced supply. In New York, ICE December cotton futures touched 119.80 cents a pound, the highest price since 1995, The Financial Times reported.

'Unprecedented' Bat Die-Off Could Devastate Farming

A fungus is threatening to kill off most of North America's bat population, and that's a really big deal. Bats eat bugs -- vast quantities of bugs that would otherwise eat our crops -- and they pollinate plants, too. If researchers can't save them, U.S. agriculture will suffer a major blow.

Meat Prices Highest Since 1980s - and Still Rising

The burger or bacon you put on your plate is likely at its most expensive since the 1980s, and it%u2019s only going to get pricier. The surging price of corn futures - which allow farmers to lock in the price of the grain for an extended period - means few farmers are expanding their herds, Bloomberg News reported. Meat prices have risen 14% this year, driving up U.S. retail costs, and the rally is not over yet. The surging price of corn futures - which allow farmers to lock in the price of the grain for an extended period - means few farmers are expanding their herds, Bloomberg News reported. Meat prices have risen 14% this year, and the rally is not over yet.

Local Food Movement Gives Small Farms a Big Boost

The locavore, or local food, movement is gaining momentum, driven in part by recent food scares. Across the country, small, local farms are tapping into a growing market by selling meat and produce to health-conscious consumers and choosy restaurant chefs.

Corn Industry Wants to Make Corn Syrup Sound a Little Sweeter

The corn refining industry is seeking to make one of the most common ingredients in American food sound a little more palatable to health-conscious consumers and food companies. The Corn Refiners Associations filed a petition on Tuesday with the Food and Drug Administration to change the name of high fructose corn syrup to "corn sugar", The Wall Street Journal reported.

World Population Growth: Time to Invest in Agriculture

As the Russian wheat shortage sends food prices soaring, investors should note that such stories are going to become only more common as the developing world expands. For this and other reasons, the agriculture sector is worth considering.

Meat Market: Cattlemen Debate Federal Antitrust Measure

Hoping to stop more small ranches from failing, the Obama administration has proposed a new antitrust rule. But ranchers are divided about whether it will help or hurt them. At a workshop Friday, some argued the rule could end up reducing their earnings.

Chinese Companies May Bid for Potash

Chinese companies may bid for Potash Corp, (POT) as the country%u2019s growing food needs make access to fertilizer increasingly urgent. Companies including Sinofert, Chalco and ChemChina are all potential bidders for the Canadian company, Reuters reported without naming its sources.

Agricultural Bank of China Sets World Record for IPO

The Agricultural Bank of China raised a world record $22.1 billion in its July IPO after exercising an overallotment option. China%u2019s main rural lender sold an extra 3.34 billion shares at the IPO price of 2.68 yuan (39 cents) per share through the overallotment option on its Shanghai offering, The Associated Press reported.

'Fructose-Slurping' Cancer Could Sour the Soda Business

Soda and processed-food makers insist that all sugars are the same. Yet with studies linking high fructose corn syrup to obesity, diabetes and, most recently, pancreatic cancer, big brands are quietly backing away from using the corn-based sweetener.

Basil crops attacked by fungus

Consumers who enjoy the taste of fresh basil in their cooking might find it more challenging to buy -- particularly if they prefer the organic...

Pork Industry Sends Cease and Desist Letter Over Unicorn Meat

The National Pork Board sent a cease and desist letter to a web site that's marketing unicorn meat as 'the new white meat' - a slogan similar to the industry's own. The NPB has made it clear it has some legal prowess, but does it have a sense of humor?

This Pennsylvania Incubator Aims to Hatch Farmers

America's vanishing farmland isn't a new problem. But one county in Eastern Pennsylvania hopes to bring the farmers back. It launched a program that teaches prospective farmers how to set up a farm, grow their own crops and keep the business afloat.

The Slow Money Movement Takes Root

Taking a page from the playbook of the slow food movement -- which argues that fast food will ruin your health, local culture, and the environment -- the Slow Money Alliance suggests that "fast money" is doing the same thing.

Are U.S. Beef Prices Being Manipulated?

A news report says the government is preparing to launch an investigation into whether the nation's largest meat packing companies have been manipulating and driving down cattle prices. But industry insiders are skeptical.

Here's the Beef: Why U.S. Cattle Prices Are Rising

Meat eaters, brace yourselves for higher prices in the months to come. After a long economic slide, U.S. beef prices are rising again, as demand both at home and abroad increases -- and American consumers must now compete with Asian customers for popular beef short ribs.

Sweet Move: New York City Legalizes Beekeeping

For years, beekeepers in the Big Apple have operated as outlaws, their non-aggressive honeybees classified as prohibited "wild animals" under the same ordinance that forbids people from keeping condors or grizzly bears as pets. But on Tuesday, the city health board voted to give pollinators a chance.

Tropicana: Squeezing Juicier Profits From Florida's Freeze

Although the OJ industry has said the January cold wave didn't do as much harm as everyone feared, Tropicana is shrinking some OJ packages and raising prices on others. What are the odds it'll reverse those moves when the next crop comes at typical levels?

Fertilizer Face-off: CF Industries Outbids Yara for Terra

It's a fertilizer soap opera: In January, CF Industries gave up its attempt to pull a hostile takeover on rival Terra Industries. Then Norwegian giant Yara jumped in with a friendly high bid for Terra. Now CF has returned, and it's raising the stakes with an even higher offer.

Fertilizer Leader Yara Plunks Down $4.1 Billion for Terra

Dealmaking in the fertilizer business can get surprisingly complex. In January, CF Industries dropped its hostile attempt to acquire Terra Industries. That left CF vulnerable to a hostile bid from Agrium. But it also gave market leader Yara International a chance to strike its own deal with Terra.

Chicken Prices May Jump Due to Blizzards

Snowstorms that hit the Eastern Seaboard this week could mean shortages and higher prices for chicken. At least a dozen poultry houses suffered collapsed roofs due to the heavy snow, and further damage and losses were expected.

Famed Investor Jim Rogers Says Food Shortages Coming

A severe food shortage is on its way, according to famed investor Jim Rogers. Food inventories are the lowest in decades and "[m]any farmers cannot get loans to buy fertilizer now, even though we have big shortages developing," he said.