ConAgra exits ag

“Field-to-food” apparently is finished at ConAgra. The food company giant has finalized its deal to sell off its fresh beef and pork plants, and the rest of its farm-related companies are headed out the door as well, according to a recent AP article.

“The dirt-to-dish concept was out there; I dropped that,” says ConAgra CEO Bruce Rhode. “I've tried to drop the teachings of the past that I don't think are going to push us to the future.”

ConAgra is the nation's second largest retail food supplier and the largest food service manufacturer. It had $27 billion in sales last year.

U.S. built

John Deere's new 7020 series tractors with the Infinitely Variable Transmission (IVT) are manufactured at the Deere plant in Waterloo, IA. Models in the expanded utility tractor line, 6015 series, are built in Mannheim, Germany.

Seed treatment purchase

Becker Underwood, manufacturer of the soybean inoculant HiStick2, purchased two companies to expand its growing seed treatment business. The Ames, IA-based company purchased Urbana Laboratories of St. Joseph, MO, and Seedbiotics located in Caldwell, ID. Urbana Laboratories produces nitrogen-fixing rhizobium inoculants for legume crops. Seedbiotics mainly produces seed coatings for alfalfa, clover and grasses as well as row-crop and specialty crops through its polymer business.

Seed price deals

Pioneer's PreSeason Rewards program ends November 30. The program lets growers purchase their 2003 Pioneer seed at 2002 prices. Growers using this program may then lock in a low interest rate for additional seed purchases later in the season and finance their purchases of DuPont-approved crop protection products at favorable interest rates.