USDA not purchasing sugar
The USDA Commodity Credit Corporation recently announced that it does not expect to purchase and sell sugar under the Feedstock Flexibility Program in fiscal year 2017. Federal law allows sugar processors to obtain loans from USDA with maturities of up to nine months when the sugarcane or sugarbeet harvest begins. Upon loan maturity, the sugar processor may repay the loan in full or forfeit the collateral (sugar) to USDA if prices are too low. The Feedstock Flexibility Program was reauthorized by Congress in the 2014 Farm Bill as a tool to support prices and avoid sugar forfeitures when excess sugar is in the marketplace. USDA’s Dec. 9 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report projects that domestic FY 2017 ending sugar stocks are unlikely to lead to forfeitures. USDA will closely monitor domestic sugar stocks, consumption, imports and other sugar market variables on an ongoing basis, and will continue to administer the sugar program as transparently as possible. The next quarterly estimate regarding the Feedstock Flexibility Program will occur prior to April 1.
Wilbur-Ellis’ Agribusiness acquires Johansen Farms
Wilbur-Ellis’ Agribusiness recently acquired Johansen Farms LLC, a full-service agribusiness retailer and custom application provider in Three Rivers. Mike and Karen Johansen opened Johansen Farms for business in 2003. Along with their sons, Jegar and Tanner, they offered custom fertility programs, intensive soil sampling, branded products, custom fertilizer blends and application services to their regional customers. All Johansen Farms employees and assets will remain with the business as it becomes part of Wilbur-Ellis’ Agribusiness. The full-service agribusiness retailer is at 51609 U.S. 131 N., Three Rivers.
Bratschi named VP with GreenStone's commercial lending unit
Travis Bratschi has been named a vice president with GreenStone Farm Credit Services' commercial lending unit. In his new role, he will specialize in assisting large fruit and vegetable producers, including food processors, with their lending and financial service needs. Bratschi began his career with GreenStone's Traverse City branch in 2008 as a crop insurance specialist, and later transitioned to the position of financial services officer. In this role, he focused on ensuring agricultural customers' lending needs were met by offering financial solutions, such as real estate, equipment and operating loans and lease financing. He and his wife, Erin, farm high-density apples and tart cherries in Williamsburg.