By MARY CLARE JALONICK, Associated Press
The House has passed an extension of farm law until the end of January as lawmakers try to finish work on a new five-year farm bill.
Both the Senate and the House have passed farm bills this year, but they differ on how much to cut the nation's food stamp program and how to restructure farm subsidies.
The House passed the extension amid fears that the expiration of dairy subsidies at the end of the year will cause milk prices to rise. But Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has assured Congress that will not happen before the end of January.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said the Senate will not pass an extension because it is unnecessary. Some senators argue an extension could reduce pressure to pass a farm bill.
Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Sugar futures fell to the lowest since August on signs of ample global supplies. Cotton, coffee, cocoa and orange juice gained.
Thailand, the world’s second-largest sugar exporter, said that output more than doubled to 301,795 metric tons in the first 16 days of the season that started Nov. 25 from about a year earlier. Output in Brazil, the top producer and shipper, has climbed 0.7% in its season, according to Unica, a Sao Paulo- based industry group.
"There’s still plenty of sugar around, and prices will continue under pressure," Jack Scoville, a vice president at Price Futures Group in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. "There’s no fundamental reason to buy."
Raw sugar for March delivery declined 1.3 percent to settle at 16.3 cents a pound at 2 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. Earlier, the price touched 16.29 cents, the lowest for a most- active contract since Aug. 23.
Cotton futures for March delivery rose 0.7 percent to 83.06 cents a pound. Earlier, the price reached 83.13 cents, the highest since Oct. 21.
Arabica-coffee futures for March delivery climbed 1.5 percent to $1.113 a pound. Earlier, the price reached $1.12, the highest since Dec. 4.
Cocoa futures for March delivery advanced 1.2 percent to $2,787 a ton.
Orange-juice futures for January delivery jumped 1.5 percent to $1.4625 a pound. Earlier, the commodity reached $1.463, the highest since July 31.
--With assistance from Supunnabul Suwannakij in Bangkok. Editors: Patrick McKiernan, Thomas Galatola
To contact the reporter on this story: Marvin G. Perez in New York at email@example.com
While Kinze Manufacturing, Inc. doesn’t have a timeline for bringing its electric multi-hybrid concept planter to market, positive feedback from 2014 testing could make it a big focus.
"This would get very high up on our priority list to get it out there," says Rhett Schildroth, senior product manager.
Announced this week, the concept planter developed in late 2013 grew out of conversations with Beck’s Hybrids. Two years ago, the seed company wanted a way to plant two hybrids on the go and converted a Kinze planter to get the job done. After running into challenges, the company approached Kinze, which modified a 3600 twin-row planter to seed two hybrids.
In 2013, boosts in corn yields on ground planted with the multi-hybrid twin-row planter proved "outstanding," Schildroth notes. Test plots are located primarily in central Illinois.
"Beck’s Hybrids is seeing yield numbers for 2013 that are going easily up to that 10 bu. per acre figure," Schildroth explains. Kinze worked with Ag Leader to integrate the technology necessary for multi-hybrid planting on the twin-row machine.
Yet planting two hybrids with a twin-row design also presents challenges. When switching from one hybrid to another, the rows are offset by about 7 ½", Schildroth says. After turning at the headlands and beginning a new pass, tracks are twice that amount, leaving rows that are 15" closer or farther apart than other rows. That makes it hard to spray and harvest.
"We did some things with GPS to correct for that, but you still get wiggles in your field," Schildroth notes.
Kinze engineers addressed those challenges using the electric drive available on the 4900 Series planter. Each row unit now includes two seed meters, meaning two hybrids are planted seamlessly in a single row. Additionally, the transmission has been fine-tuned so skips and doubles don’t occur.
The 30" 16-row concept planter can only plant two hybrids at this time, Schildroth said, though he can envision a day when more than two might be required in a field—and planted using the Kinze machine. At this time, though, the biggest yield gain happens when switching from one hybrid to two.
Each hybrid is stored in a separate bulk tank. The number of tubes running from the bulk tanks to the meters has been doubled, requiring roughly double the amount of air flow, Schildroth says. At the row unit, the two meters are connected to a single seed tube that places seed in the furrow.
Kinze plans to announce its technology partner for the electric concept hybrid at a later date, Schildroth says. He notes that in order to program the planter, producers must put together a prescription map that not only identifies desired seed rates but also which hybrid should be used for which field zone.
A variety of seed companies have expressed interest in the technology. Schildroth declined to say whether Kinze is partnering with specific seed companies on the project.
By DAVID PITT, Associated Press
Federal authorities in Iowa have charged a Florida man working for a Chinese company with conspiracy to steal patented corn seed trade secrets from two leading U.S. seed developers.
U.S. Attorney Nicholas A. Klinefeldt announced Thursday that Mo Hailong, also known as Robert Mo, is in custody.
He is alleged to have taken corn from fields in Iowa and Illinois with five other men working for a subsidiary of Chinese-based DBN Group. Authorities are searching for the others.
Klinefeldt says the theft of a parent seed could cost a U.S. company many years of research time and up to $40 million.
The FBI began investigating when DuPont Pioneer and Monsanto reported suspicious activity in cornfields.
An attorney is not yet listed for Hailong.
Monsanto released this statement regarding the investigation:
"Monsanto takes this development seriously and is cooperating with the U.S. Attorney’s office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation on this matter as requested. Monsanto continues to believe that innovations in the agriculture sector represent an important part of supporting the demands of our planet. The company remains committed to protecting, stewarding and broadly licensing such innovations to deliver direct benefits to farmer customers throughout the world. As this is an ongoing investigation, Monsanto cannot comment further at this time."