EU warms up

Monsanto recently received a favorable scientific opinion from the European Food Safety Authority on Roundup Ready corn. Monsanto reports that this decision is a key step in reactivating the European regulatory process. Now the hybrid will go to the European Commission and Member States for final approval.

Loan volume up

Farm Credit Services of America recently reported an 8% increase in loan volume for the first nine months of 2003 compared to the same period a year ago. Located in Omaha, NE, the ag lender reported the increase was $538 million. The company's capital increased to $1.3 billion on September 30, 2003, compared to $1.2 billion a year earlier.

Part-time farming significant

The “sundowner” farmer is here to stay, according to a report from The Context Network. Context President Tray Thomas reports that small farmers may well be a permanent fixture in the ag industry. The company found that 54% of small farmers surveyed rely on off-farm employment for their household's livelihood. This creates a “lifestyle effect” because farm decisions are not always economically based.

“The study shows that the small farm market is significant,” Thomas says. “Small farms, defined by the USDA as operations with less than $250,000 in sales, still account for 48% of the corn and soybean acreage in the Corn Belt.”

Salvage bargains

The SalvageSale Web site, www.salvagesale.com, features “end-of-life” construction and farming equipment. SalvageSale conducts daily auctions online to a worldwide network of buyers and sellers. Farmers may purchase salvaged equipment from the site. However, they must work through leasing/lending and insurance companies to dispose of equipment.