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Saturday, December 19, 2015

End to Export Tariffs Breathes Life into Argentina's Agriculture

End to Export Tariffs Breathes Life into Argentina's Agriculture: Argentina used to be the world’s granary.�Up until World War I, Argentina’s per capita income was higher than the United States’. Its grains and meat exports made up 7 percent of world trade, and its GDP represented half of Latin America.

However, increasing government regulations and taxes in the 20th and early 21st centuries killed the South American nation’s most famous industry.

Now that recently elected President Mauricio Macri revealed on December 15 that he would abolish tariffs on all agricultural exports except for soybeans, which will continue to be taxed at 30 percent, hope is growing among farmers again.

Sewage sludge dumping raising a stink in Palm Beach County - Sun Sentinel

Sewage sludge dumping raising a stink in Palm Beach County - Sun Sentinel: Palm Beach County fields once green with sod have turned into a sludge-covered disposal site that reeks like the inside of an over-loaded portable toilet.

Truckloads of leftover sewage sludge from Broward County are getting spread on western Palm Beach County farmland — turning a portion of the Everglades Agricultural Area into a destination for treated human waste.

US eases real-estate tax on foreign investors | BusinessMirror

US eases real-estate tax on foreign investors | BusinessMirror: Contained in the $1.1-trillion spending measure that was passed to avoid a government shutdown is a provision that treats foreign pension funds the same as their US counterparts for real-estate investments. The provision waives the tax imposed on such investors under the 1980 Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax� Act, known as Firpta.

Five Picasso murals are part of castle for sale in the south of France - LA Times

Five Picasso murals are part of castle for sale in the south of France - LA Times

Spite Houses: 12 Homes Created With Anger and Angst

Spite Houses: 12 Homes Created With Anger and Angst: What’s not to love about a building called a “spite house?” In an essay in the New York Times, writer Kate Bolick discusses her dream of owning the Plum Island Pink House, a forlorn, decaying structure in Newbury, Massachusetts set in the middle of a salt marsh. The romantic, reclusive home stands alone for a reason; built by a recently divorced husband for his ex-wife as a condition of their separation, it’s an exact duplicate of their shared home, just uncomfortably moored in the middle of remote wetlands and constructed without any running fresh water. The square loner is part of a small but ignoble tradition of spite houses, buildings created for malice instead of comfort meant to irritate or enrage neighbors, or occasionally piss off anyone unfortunate enough to be dwelling inside. Normally built to block a neighbor’s light or access, they can be found as early at the 18th century. Here are some examples of homes or apartment that were built, or painted, out of anger.

New Era Begins, Thanks to Fed and Argentina | Agweb.com

New Era Begins, Thanks to Fed and Argentina | Agweb.com: “The bottom line is that we ended an era and started a new one,” said Jerry Gulke, president of the Gulke Group in Chicago, speaking on Farm Journal Radio with Pam Fretwell. “We’ve ended 10 years of zero interest rates, and we’re starting whatever it is … that rodeo is over.”

It means a very different economic environment going forward.

Oil plays the role of Grinch the year

Oil plays the role of Grinch the year: Traders may be robbed of their Santa rally this year.

After weeks of volatility, the stock market's 2015 performance may come down to the price of oil in the final days of the year.

U.S. oil futures for January fell 2.5 percent in the past week, and the wild swings in both directions took a toll on the stock market. The Dow lost 0.8 percent for the week to 17,218, while the S&P 500 lost 0.3 percent to 2005. The Dow fell more than 2 percent on Friday, the second-highest volume day of the year due to derivatives expirations.

Excessive fall in commodity prices alarming: Parag Thakkar, HDFC Securities - The Economic Times

Excessive fall in commodity prices alarming: Parag Thakkar, HDFC Securities - The Economic Times: ET Now: The government has said in the mid-year economic review that fiscal consolidation roadmap for 2017 might need a review. Will it be an overhang for the market?
Parag Thakkar: Yes, it might be a concern for near-term but it is also a judgement. But I am not seriously concerned by it. My major worry is the falling global commodity prices. Despite infusion of a lot of money, monetary easing and the US Federal Reserve taking a dovish stance, the commodities are not recovering at all.

Poor agriculture output ruins Modi govt's 8.1-8.5% growth dream - The Economic Times

Poor agriculture output ruins Modi govt's 8.1-8.5% growth dream - The Economic Times: The government today lowered its economic growth forecast for 2015-16 to 7-7.5 per cent from 8.1-8.5 per cent, but said budget deficit target will be met as higher tax revenues offset a shortfall in PSU stake sale.

Agriculture giant tightening its belt, cutting jobs | Local News - KCCI Home

Agriculture giant tightening its belt, cutting jobs | Local News - KCCI Home: With farm income declining, DuPont Pioneer in Johnston is tightening its belt. The company announced a $700 million restructuring plan but declined to comment on camera.

“The process will impact 10 percent of the global workforce,” a spokesperson told KCCI. “We are not releasing job numbers per department.”

Pioneer employs about 3,400 Iowans, mostly in the Des Moines metro.

An outlook on land values

An outlook on land values: An ag economist says overall – land values are on the decline even though there have been some surprisingly high land sales recently.

Chris Hurt with Purdue University says if farmers are positioned well – farmland is a really good long-term investment.� “You’re going to have people that still have a strong financial position and are willing to say now is the time that piece of land is available, it fits into our operation, and we want that for the long run,” he says.� “Not just for the next two or three years.”

He tells Brownfield another reason some farmland sales haven’t declined significantly is because the market hasn’t clearly signaled where it is headed.

But, Hurt says a 2015 Purdue survey indicated the farmland market is heading in a negative direction.

Don’t wait for cows to come home; corn is king here - AgriNews

Don’t wait for cows to come home; corn is king here - AgriNews: Wabash County farmers go against the grain when it comes to what they farm.

Take John Haase, for example — he produces grain only from his Mount Carmel farm. In fact, in his current roles as board member for the county Farm Bureau, Wabash Valley Farm Service and Wabash County Farm Service Agency, he can only think of two livestock farms in the county.

“It’s definitely unusual,” Haase said. “I’d say that out of our farmers, about 95 percent of them have grain only to 5 percent, if not less, have livestock.”

The 2012 U.S. Census of Agriculture notes this wide range in how the farmland is used, as well as by product sales values. The farmland use shows 88.7 percent is cropland and 11.3 percent is used for other purposes. The sales values totaled $41.45 million (95 percent) for crops, while livestock sales were $2.04 million (5 percent).

Ethiopia industrialisation drive met by violent protests over land - Yahoo News

Ethiopia industrialisation drive met by violent protests over land - Yahoo News: A government plan to allocate farmland near Ethiopia's capital for new investment has sparked a month of protests and some of the worst civil unrest for a decade, in a poor nation rapidly aiming to industrialise its agrarian economy.