The Buzz

A sure sign of spring: baseball season is here.

Anyone who knows me very well knows that I'm a huge Kansas City Royals fan. From my youngest years when the team was a consistent winner, to the exultation of the World Series of 1985 and even now, as lovable losers, I've always loved listening to the Royals on Radio…

  • Opening Day (which was last week, with the Royals winning its first two games at Detroit), is a sure sign that spring is on the way. How many farmers, I wonder, listen to the Royals on the radio when planting corn, milo or soybeans this spring?...
  • What does baseball have to do with agriculture, you ask? Besides the radio broadcasts, which keep farmers company in tractors, combines and trucks throughout the listening area, baseball is "going green," with some ballpark products made from agricultural materials…
  • The Pittsburg Pirates and Oakland Athletics, for example, are serving biodegradable, cornstarch-based cups of frosty adult beverages at the ballpark this year. The Pirates, in-fact, are also providing "flex-fuel" cars to team scouts; it also is printing game programs with soy-ink…
  • MachineryLink, Inc., which got its start in Kansas by Cunningham farmer David Govert in 1996, has closed a transaction for $18.4 million in equity funding to support continued growth. The company will operate more than 260 combines in the U.S. and Canada in 2008 and just added more than 70 John Deere and CaseIH combines to its fleet…
  • MachineryLink gives farmers an opportunity to lease late model, well-maintained combines and tractors, rather than take on payments on such high-dollar equipment. The company services and makes repairs on the equipment, freeing up farmers to, well, farm…
  • "This is an exciting time to participate in such an important change in agriculture, and MachineryLink represents a compelling and unique value to growers. Producers will increasingly need business partners like MachineryLink to better manage productivity investments in their operations and hedge risk. This company is poised for tremendous growth," says Oakleigh Thorne, one of the new investors…
  • Concerns about untraditional investment in the commodity futures markets have prompted numerous agricultural interest groups to appeal to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission for review…
  • Woodston farmer Jerry McReynolds, second vice president of the National Association of Wheat Growers, in fact, will testify to the CFTC later this month that outside investors in commodities have created tremendous exposure to margin calls, which in turn could cause failure of local elevators and inflate volatility…
  • NAWG participated in a Commodity Markets Council forum on futures markets issues last week…
  • "We believe that failure to apply appropriate limits to certain classes of speculative investors have interfered with the markets' function as risk management tools for grain producers and other hedgers," McReynolds and Bing Von Bergen, domestic and trade policy committee chair from Moccasin, Mont., said in prepared statements last week…
  • NAWG's comments to the Commodity Markets Council forum are available at:
    www.wheatworld.org/pdf/Commodity%20Futures%20Testimony.pdf
TAGS: USDA
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