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Agricultural News: US and Brazil Are Finally Working Together to Promote Ethanol; Mitt Romney's Monsanto Connection


Plus, Potash Corp. boosts dividend.


This column highlights the most interesting and useful agriculture news from around the Web.

AG Professional
Link: US and Brazil: At Last, Friends on Ethanol

"After years at each other's throats, Brazil and the United States are working together to promote the use of ethanol (QENU12.NYM) in a collaboration that could revolutionize global markets and the makeup of the biofuel itself.

"Brazil and the United States are addressing obstacles that have prevented ethanol from becoming a globally traded commodity like oil.

"US plane maker Boeing Co (BA) and Brazilian counterpart Embraer (ERJ) announced plans last October to build a research center for developing biofuels for aviation."

Chicago Tribune
Link: Potash Corp Boosts Dividend 50 pct
"Potash Corp of Saskatchewan (POT) the world's biggest fertilizer maker, said it was raising its quarterly dividend by 50% as its mine expansion costs taper off.

"Potash Corp officials have hinted for months that they might boost the dividend as projects to increase the capacity or efficiency of mines in the Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan and New Brunswick near completion.

"Potash Corp's quarterly dividend will rise to $.21 per share from $.14, payable Nov. 5. The increase is the third in the past two years."

Mother Jones
Link: How Mitt Romney Helped Monsanto Take Over the World
"Today, Monsanto (MON) looms over the global ag landscape like a colossus. It is the globe's largest seed purveyor-and its dominant vendor of genetically modified traits.

"How did Monsanto pivot from teetering, scandal-ridden chemical giant to mighty high-tech (though still quite controversial) agribiz firm? As the veteran investigative reporter (and Mother Jones contributor) Wayne Barrett shows in a new Nation article, a young consultant called Mitt Romney helped push the firm on its highly lucrative new path.

"In other words, Romney and Bain played crucial roles in shaping Monsanto's strategy of selling off big chunks of its legacy chemical businesses and reinventing itself as ag-biotech firm."

Journal Star
Link: New Crop Report Still Reflecting Drought
"The corn harvest is 36% complete, according to Monday's crop report from the Illinois Department of Agriculture. That's well ahead of last year and the five-year average but yields are expected to be down substantially.

"Last week, the US Department of Agriculture lowered its estimate on the nation's corn production to 122.8 bushels per acre. That's the lowest it's been since 1995.

"The USDA has reported that 52% of the nation's corn crop is in poor or very poor condition but the soybean (SX12.CBT) crop, while scorched by the drought conditions, has benefited from August rains."
Link: Farm Bill Inaction Risky, Vislack Says
"The House could pass a farm bill in 24 hours if its leadership wanted to, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack told members of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture in Des Moines, Iowa, Friday.

"Vilsack praised a bipartisan effort to petition the House leadership to hold a vote on the farm bill and said he will work until September 30 to get a bill passed.
"'This isn't a time to play Russian roulette with the rural economy,' he told later during a press conference."

Beef Magazine
Link: New Holland Becomes Official Agricultural Equipment of Nascar
"In a joint announcement today at the NASCAR Fuel for Business Council meeting in Chicago, New Holland (FI.MI) became the Official Agricultural Equipment of NASCAR. New Holland, the latest NASCAR Official Partner, has served the needs of farmers and ranchers across North America for more than 110 years, and its equipment plays a critical role in the production of ethanol."

Twitter: @brokawbrokaw
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