Top 10 Ag News Stories 2015- #7 Farm Programs Evolved

By DTN Staff

No. 7 Farm Bill Programs ARC and PLC Evolved Throughout 2015

By Chris Clayton

DTN Ag Policy Editor

Lower prices for corn and soybeans meant farm-program payments would be more critical for farmers in 2015 just as they were wading through the intricacies of new farm programs.

With net farm income falling 38% from 2014, the first round of roughly $3.9 billion in payments from Agricultural Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs provided necessary cash flow in the fall to about 800,000 farm operations.

Farmers throughout most of Missouri saw historically high corn yields, so only a couple of counties triggered any kind of ARC payment. The same held true for most of Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee, as well as southern...

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Top 10 Ag News Stories 2010- #8 Consolidation Runs Rampant

No. 8: Ag Consolidation Continues; Mergers Dominate 2015 News

By Pamela Smith

DTN/Progressive Farmer Crops Technology Editor

It has been a year for the mega-deal. A record $4 trillion in global mergers and acquisitions dominated the business wires in 2015 as companies sought to fight sluggish economic growth, fend off activist hedge funds, take advantage of the strong dollar and find ways to squeeze more out of mature markets. By comparison, mergers and acquisitions across all industries hit $3.5 trillion in 2014.

Monsanto kicked off the agriculture sector courtships when the St. Louis biotech and seed giant proposed to buy Swiss rival Syngenta. Monsanto abandoned the pursuit in August after Syngenta rejected a pot that had been sweetened to $46 billion in cash and...

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Top 10 Ag News Stories 2015- #9 Big Data Learns to Walk

By Greg Horstmeier

DTN Editor-in-Chief

Discussions around "Big Data" -- and farmers beginning to use the tools known as "data science" to make business and production decisions -- took real steps forward in 2015. While there was much reporting on small pieces of this story during the year -- new companies launched, new partnerships created -- the sum of all those steps marked the beginning of the coming of age of Big Data as an industry.

One sign of that dawning was the progress of companies such as Granular, Farmers Network, Winfield, Climate Corporation, FarmLink and a host of others signing up paying customers (beyond beta testers) and the beginnings of success stories from some of those growers.

Another sign, arguably, of data science...

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