U.S. soybean harvest expected to beat forecast

URBANA — Soybean prices have declined the last two months, and prices could go either way in coming months, University of Illinois agricultural economist Darrel Good said.

Soybean prices reached a peak on Sept. 4, when November futures traded for $17.89 a bushel, Good said in a UI press release. The price has since declined to the $15-a-bushel range.

Exports of soybeans are strong, but Good said the market expects the U.S. soybean harvest to be larger than the October forecast.

The market also seems to anticipate a bigger South American soybean harvest in 2013, he added.

Both of those factors point toward lower prices. But Good said bigger crops aren't assured, given weather uncertainties on both continents.

"With current unsettled weather conditions and large crops needed in both South America and the U.S. in 2013, the soybean market may be understating production risk," Good said. "If so, modestly higher prices for the 2013 crop would be expected."

Grain, rail businesses boost Andersons quarterly income

MAUMEE, Ohio — The Andersons Inc. reported a big rise in third-quarter net income, thanks to strong performances by its grain and rail businesses.

Net income attributable to the company was $16.9 million for the quarter that ended Sept. 30, compared with $10.9 million for the same quarter a year earlier.

That resulted in diluted earnings of 90 cents per share, compared with 59 cents per share a year earlier.

CEO Mike Anderson said the company's rail group has had record results every quarter this year due to "skillful management" of railcars.

The grain group also had good results, but some income was accelerated due to the early harvest, he said.

Posting lower results than a year ago were the company's ethanol, plant nutrient, retail and turf-and-specialty groups.

Programs offered for drought-affected farmers

SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Finance Authority is offering low-cost lending programs to help farmers cope with drought-related losses — and waiving application fees for the programs until Jan. 31, 2013.

The programs include:

— The Agricultural Restructuring Debt Guarantee Program, which allows farm operators to consolidate existing debt and spread payments over a longer period.

— The Working Capital Guarantee Program, which allows principal farm operators to enhance their credit eligibility for input costs related to planting and raising crops.

— The Agricultural Loan Participation Program, which helps local banks lending to Illinois farmers by buying part of the borrower's bank loan and allowing the borrower to get reduced interest rates.

For information about the agriculture lending programs, visit il-fa.com and follow the drought-relief link or call the Mount Vernon office at 618-244-2424.

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