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Recent News

  • Meatless Meat Unlikely to Have Significant Impact on Protein Market in the Near-Term

    Posted 12/6/2017

    Protein products derived from plant sources, insects and cultured meats will be among the top food trends to watch in the coming years. The effect of these efforts on livestock and poultry demand is not expected to be significant in the foreseeable future, according to a new report from CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange Division.

    Cultured meat developers are in a race to match price and quality to traditional meat offerings. Products currently in development are prohibitively expensive and years away from widespread commercial viability.

    “The future success of alternative meat lies squarely with rising global demand for protein rather than a battle for the existing market share of animal protein food products,” said Trevor Amen, an economist with CoBank. “The road to commercial viability and consumer acceptance of cultured meat is long and this type of product is unlikely to have a marked effect on traditional animal protein demand through at least the next decade.”

  • Grain Elevators Weigh Opportunities for Improved Margins

    Posted 11/29/2017

    The coming year is likely to offer opportunities for grain elevators to secure positive margins, according to a new report from CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange Division. Significant carry, a weak harvest basis and low transportation rates point to improved margins for 2018. Additionally, a wet fall in the Eastern Corn Belt and Northern Plains will likely improve drying revenue in those areas.

    “A large carryover and another huge crop have created an attractive carry in futures markets, particularly for wheat,” said Will Secor, an economist with CoBank. “Current market conditions will provide elevators with better returns year-over-year if they are able to purchase the grain.”

    U.S. ending stocks for corn and soybeans in 2018 are currently estimated to be the largest since 1987/88 and 2006/07 respectively, but stocks-to-use ratios remain manageable. However, the supply situation for wheat remains more burdensome, with large stocks expected to continue to weigh on the market in the coming year.

  • CoBank to Renew No Barriers Program for Rural Veterans

    Posted 11/8/2017

    CoBank today announced that it is renewing its "No Barriers" program for rural veterans with disabilities in 2018.

    The bank is once again inviting customers to nominate disabled veterans from rural communities to take part in the program, which is offered through a partnership between CoBank and the nonprofit organization No Barriers USA. Participating veterans go on wilderness expeditions in Colorado that challenge them physically and mentally and help them overcome the obstacles they face in their daily lives. CoBank will cover the full cost of participation for up to 50 veterans, including travel expenses, and No Barriers Warriors will oversee the expeditions. 

    "In celebration of Veterans Day, CoBank is delighted to announce the extension of this program and proud to continue partnering with our customers for the benefit of rural veterans," said Tom Halverson, president and chief executive officer at CoBank. "America's rural communities are home to millions of men and women who have sacrificed for their country through military service, many of whom are facing some sort of disability. The No Barriers program provides these veterans with an opportunity to challenge their own limitations - both real and perceived - and to create a network of support that can last a lifetime."

  • Cautious Optimism for Next Three Years in Grains, Ethanol Market

    Posted 11/8/2017

    Rising incomes worldwide will underpin global demand and create opportunities for U.S. exports in grains, oilseeds and ethanol according to a new report from CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange Division. Meanwhile, global commodity surpluses, trade agreement renegotiations, and relative strength of key currencies will set the scope of growth over the next three years.

    “In the absence of major weather disruptions, global grain surpluses are expected to persist over the next three years. Acreage expansions and improvements to yields in competing export hubs will be headwinds for U.S. exports,” said Tanner Ehmke, manager of CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange Division. “The bright spot will be the continual growth in demand. As the global middle class grows, so will the opportunities for U.S. exports.”

    Overall, U.S. grains, oilseeds and ethanol will face mounting competition in export markets, but there are specific considerations for each commodity.

  • CoBank Reports Third Quarter Financial Results

    Posted 11/6/2017

    CoBank today announced financial results for the third quarter and first nine months of 2017.

    Net income for the third quarter was $211.6 million, compared to $231.7 million for the same period last year. The 9 percent decrease resulted primarily from balance sheet positioning activities by the bank, including an increase of $22.8 million in losses on early extinguishments of debt net of prepayment income. For the first nine months of the year, net income increased 2 percent to $734.2 million, primarily due to higher net interest income as well as lower provisions for loan losses and income taxes.

    Net interest income for the quarter rose by 1 percent to $338.5 million, primarily driven by higher average loan volume offset by slightly lower margins in the bank's loan portfolio. For the first nine months of the year, net interest income increased 2 percent to $1,041.8 million. In addition to lower margins, a decrease in fair value accretion income related to CoBank's 2012 merger with U.S. AgBank also negatively impacted net interest income in both the quarter and year-to-date periods.

  • Faye Tate Named CoBanks Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion

    Posted 10/20/2017

    CoBank announced that Faye Tate has been appointed as the bank’s vice president of diversity and inclusion.

    Tate is well-known in the field of diversity and inclusion, having a proven track record in successfully developing and implementing strategic diversity and inclusion plans for multiple organizations. Tate most recently served as the director for global diversity and inclusion with CH2M, a global Fortune 500 company based in Denver. Before she joined CH2M in 2001, she spent six years at Kaiser Hill Company, where she managed diversity and inclusion, and began her career with Colorado National Bank in 1983.

    Tate has received many honors for her work to include being named one of the 25 Most Powerful Women in Denver by the Colorado Women’s Chamber and a Woman of Distinction by the Girls Scouts of America (Colorado). She is a graduate of Leadership Denver and has received the Distinguished Warrior Award from The Urban League of Metropolitan Denver, the Ally Award from One Colorado and The Paul R. Hunter Award from the Colorado Human Rights Campaign.

  • Consolidation of Rural Water Systems Prompts Industry Dialogue

    Posted 10/19/2017

    As an increasing number of rural water utilities wrestle with regulatory compliance issues and costly infrastructure needs, debate surrounding the relative benefits and risks of consolidating services with neighboring communities is intensifying.

    Advocates of rural water utility consolidation, also referred to as regionalization, point to the advantages of shared resources and economies of scale. Opponents are quick to raise concerns about the loss of autonomy and control that can result from consolidating water utilities and reference cautionary tales from costly or strained partnerships.

    A new report from CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange Division examines the key issues and considerations surrounding consolidation of rural water systems. The report includes insights and perspectives from several industry leaders, which will likely prove helpful to any rural utility contemplating a similar partnership.

  • US Packing Capacity Well Prepared for Expanding Beef Production

    Posted 9/26/2017

    As the U.S. beef cattle herd expands over the next two years, beef production is projected to keep pace and increase another three to five percent in 2018 and 2019, according to a new report from CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange Division. Strong profitability and years of excellent pasture conditions provided the strong footing that has spurred the expansion.

    “The beef herd expansion we’ve seen from 2014 to 2017 has been the most aggressive three-year start to any expansion on record,” said Trevor Amen, animal protein economist at CoBank. “Recent slaughter numbers and the cattle on feed mix indicate the expansion rate is slowing, but barring any significant export market disruptions or weather events, expansion will continue through the end of the decade.”

  • Electric Cooperatives Stepping in to Fill the Rural Broadband Gap

    Posted 9/21/2017

    Broadband telecommunications and internet access have become essential infrastructure for any community’s future prosperity. However, today, people living in rural communities are four times more likely to lack access to broadband than those in urban communities.

    While many remain without access to broadband today, rural electric cooperatives, some of which were formed nearly 80 years ago to bring electricity to rural America, are increasingly making the move into broadband to fill the supply gap.

    A comprehensive 57-page report from CoBank outlines keys to success and lessons learned from six co-ops bringing broadband to their rural customers.  Also, industry experts provide their insights, which will likely prove helpful to other co-ops considering the move.

  • CoBank Announces 2017 Board Election Results

    Posted 9/21/2017

    CoBank today announced results of stockholder elections for the bank’s 2018 Board of Directors.

    A total of five board seats were on the ballot.

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