Marcel Smits New Cargill Chief Financial Officer

In a press release yesterday via its home website, Cargill revealed that former Sara Lee execuive, Marcel Smits, is its new chief financial officer, effective as of April 15th.

USDA Prospective Plantings Report

Less than an hour past the 11:00 a.m. CST release of two of the largest USDA reports, we are seeing the three main grains taking big hits. The following is the USDA summary for prospective plantings:

Corn growers intend to plant 97.3 million acres of corn for all purposes in 2013, up slightly from last year and 6 percent higher than in 2011. If realized, this will represent the highest planted acreage in the United States since 1936 when an estimated 102 million acres were planted.

Smithfield to Break Off Operations?

Smithfield Foods, Inc, the nation's largest hog producer and processor is looking into the possibility of breaking off operations, according to a report by Reuters news service.

Monsanto and Pioneer Enter Licensing Agreement

For those who have been watching the Roundup Ready soybean patent lawsuit issues progress, you may remember last summer when a federal court ruled agriculture giant DuPont and its Pioneer subsidiary infringed on a Monsanto patent, consequently awarding Monsanto $1 billion in damage.

$1.7 billion reported in sales (AMPI)

In a press release March 25th, Associated Milk Producers Inc. (AMPI) revealed it delivered sales of $1.7 billion and earnings of $9.3 million in 2012, announced leaders of the milk marketing cooperative owned by 2,900 Upper Midwest dairy farmers. Some 350 voting delegates and guests are reviewing the company’s progress during their annual business meeting that concludes tomorrow at the DoubleTree Hotel in Bloomington, Minn.

MFU Thanks Farmers

Minnesota Farmers Union would like to thank farmers and ranchers for their hard work and dedication in honor of Minnesota Agriculture Week, March 17-23, which was proclaimed by Governor Mark Dayton. The designation is an effort to raise awareness of the positive and important contributions agriculture makes to Minnesota’s economy and its people.

“Farming and ranching is a vital part of Minnesota’s economy,” says Minnesota Farmers Union President Doug Peterson, “Farmers and ranchers are the original green energy. I am proud to stand for farmers in return for all they do for us.”

General Mills Third Quarter in the Green

General Mills Inc.'s (GIS) fiscal third-quarter earnings rose 1.8% as the maker of Cheerios cereal sold more products in its base business, as measured by weight, for the first time in two years, a sign the packaged-food industry is continuing its steady, but, slow improvement.

Excluding acquisitions like Brazilian food company Yoki Alimentos SA, General Mills sales rose 2%, including a one-percentage-point contribution from higher sales volume, a closely watched metric that had been down each quarter since the third quarter of 2011.

New Regulations for Mille Lacs In Place Soon

Regulations that will limit the harvest of walleye and potentially increase the harvest of northern pike and smallmouth bass will be implemented on Mille Lacs Lake this spring as part of a multi-year effort to rebuild the lake’s legendary walleye population, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

When the walleye season opens May 11, anglers will be able to keep walleye only between 18- and 20-inches or longer than 28 inches. All others must be immediately released. The possession limit is two, with only one longer than 28 inches.

America's Farmers Grow Communities Program Winners

Farmers are making an impact through the Monsanto Fund's America's Farmers Grow Communities. From local FFA chapters and 4-H clubs to fire departments, community centers and schools, over 1,200 rural communities and their deserving organizations are reaping the benefits of the $2,500 awards.To further support counties that have been declared disaster areas by the USDA due to drought, winning farmers in these counties can choose where to direct an additional $2,500 donation based on community needs that surfaced because of the drought.

Urban Residents Reveal Thoughts on Agriculture

The Minnesota Soybean in conjunction with the R.E.A.L story kicked off their first TV campaign earlier this year, working to build high message awareness and drive traffic to This campaign focuses on urban residents, with an audience of the Twin Cities metro area, working to unveil the urban public thoughts in regards to agriculture and the business of farming.

This campaign is running on a variety of stations so keep an eye out, but you can also view the TV spot here as well.

P.S. Does a tv star look familiar? You might recognize Worthington's very own Bill Gordon!

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