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Recent News

  • CoBank Announces Redemption of $500 million in Subordinated Notes

    Posted 6/19/2017

    CoBank today announced that is has redeemed $500 million of subordinated notes originally issued in 2007 with a 10-year call date.

    “Recent changes to capital regulations provide less favorable capital treatment for subordinated debt instruments. Coupled with the bank’s strong capital ratios and capacity, and as part of our long-term capital strategy, it is prudent for the bank to redeem these notes now,” said CoBank Chief Financial Officer David P. Burlage. “We will continue to evaluate a range of capital market strategies in order to ensure our capacity to serve customers and optimize the cost and effectiveness of our capital.”

    On April 17, 2017, the bank announced the intention to redeem the notes after receiving approval from its regulator, the Farm Credit Administration, on April 13, 2017. The notes have been redeemed at par, together with accrued and unpaid interest to, but excluding, the redemption date (less any applicable tax withholding as require by law). The redemption and paying agent for the redemption is The Bank of New York Mellon Trust Company, N.A.

  • US Pork Industry Expanding in Response to Rising Global Demand and Strong Profitability

    Posted 6/15/2017

    Strong profitability and rising global demand create a strong incentive for U.S. pork processors to expand capacity. The impending increase in demand for hog supplies will create favorable terms for producers, while intensified competition among processors could lead to a short-term compression in packer margins, according to a new report from CoBank.

    "U.S. pork packing capacity will increase eight to ten percent by mid-2019, when five processing facility construction projects are complete and fully operational," said Trevor Amen, an economist with CoBank who specializes in animal protein. "Hog production is expected to increase two to four percent in both 2017 and 2018 to meet the demand for more supplies, with the bulk of the increased production coming from small to mid-size pork producers in the Midwest."

    Three new state-of-the-art pork processing facilities with the capacity to process more than 10,000 hogs per day are currently under construction. Two of the facilities are being built in Iowa and one in Michigan. Two smaller plants with daily capacities of less than 5,000 head are being renovated in Missouri and Minnesota.

  • Surging Demand for Organic Produce Widens US Supply Gap

    Posted 6/8/2017

    Produce processors and retailers are finding it increasingly difficult to secure sufficient supplies of organic produce, as domestic demand continues to rise at a pace that exceeds production, according to a new report from CoBank. The dollar value of U.S. organic produce sales doubled from 2011 to 2015 and annual sales now amount to $5.5 billion. Currently, 15 percent of all U.S. produce sales are organic. While organic acres have nearly doubled over the last decade, that pace of supply-side growth has been sluggish relative to demand.

    “Sales of organic fruit, vegetables and nuts have increased dramatically in recent years and this growth trend will continue,” said Christine Lensing, CoBank senior economist, specialty crops. “More than half of U.S. households are now purchasing some organic produce. But for a variety of reasons, production has not been keeping pace with demand and the supply gap is widening.”

  • Bloomberg: U.S. Agriculture 'Vulnerable' Amid Trade Risks Farm Lender Says

    Posted 5/9/2017

    By Shruti Date Singh

    U.S. agriculture is in a worse position than it was just a few years ago to withstand the effects of losing access to a big export market, according to one farm lender, who cited the risks from rising trade tensions.

    “We are already in a vulnerable position,” Tom Halverson, chief executive officer of Greenwood Village, Colorado-based CoBank ACB, said in an interview. “We hope, trust and believe that we will not intentionally or inadvertently step into a dispute that damages our access to those markets.”

    President Donald Trump has taken the U.S. out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and talked of withdrawing from or renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement. His claims that Mexico is gaining an unfair advantage from Nafta has prompted the country to make overtures to Brazil and Argentina about securing farm supplies as an alternative to U.S. imports.

  • CoBank Reports 2017 First Quarter Financial Results

    Posted 5/4/2017

    CoBank today announced financial results for the first quarter of 2017. Net income for the quarter rose 8 percent to $262.8 million, primarily driven by higher net interest income and noninterest income, partially offset by a higher provision for loan losses and increased operating expenses. Net interest income for the quarter increased 6 percent to $356.1 million, from $336.9 million in the same period last year, primarily due to higher average loan volume.

  • Consumer Demand Drives Organic Milk Industry Expansion

    Posted 4/11/2017

    Despite the current excess supply environment, rising demand points to a bright future for the U.S. organic milk industry, leading a record number of dairies to transition to organic milk production according to a new report from CoBank. Organic milk generates the highest sales of any certified organic commodity, and steady demand growth will lift organic fluid milk market share and further stimulate product innovation.

    “The substantial gap between organic and conventional on-farm milk prices, combined with more price stability, is driving the transition,” says Ben Laine, CoBank senior dairy economist. “We are seeing increasing herd sizes for many existing organic dairies looking to take advantage of size efficiencies and price premiums.” Read more...

  • CoBank Announces Launch Of 2017 Sharing Success Program

    Posted 3/23/2017

    CoBank, a cooperative bank serving agribusinesses, rural infrastructure providers and Farm Credit associations throughout the United States, today announced the renewal of its Sharing Success program for 2017. The $3 million fund is a cornerstone of CoBank’s corporate citizenship efforts, matching donations by the bank’s cooperative and other eligible customers to nonprofit organizations in their communities.

  • CoBank Announces $150,000 Matching Fund to Support Wildfire Relief Efforts in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas

    Posted 3/16/2017

    CoBank today announced it is launching a $150,000 charitable fund to support wildfire relief efforts throughout the states of Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

    Recent fires have impacted farming and ranching communities in all three states, burning hundreds of thousands of acres, destroying property and killing livestock. In Kansas, an estimated 700,000 acres have burned throughout more than 20 counties in the state’s southwest and central regions. In Oklahoma, the Forestry Service has estimated that approximately 400,000 acres have burned and a state of emergency has been declared in 22 counties. An estimated 325,000 acres have burned throughout the Texas panhandle.

    “These wildfires have had a devastating impact,” said Tom Halverson, CoBank’s president and chief executive officer. "CoBank is committed to working hand-in-hand with our customers, other Farm Credit organizations and local relief agencies to support farmers, ranchers and other victims of these fires in impacted communities.” Read more...

  • Citigroup's Timothy Curran Appointed As CoBank Chief Risk Officer

    Posted 3/15/2017

    CoBank today announced that Citigroup's Timothy Curran has been named as the bank's new Chief Risk Officer.

    Curran, 51, currently serves as Head of Risk Management for Citi's Treasury & Trade Solutions business, which provides cash management and trade finance services to multinational corporations, financial institutions and public sector organizations around the world.  Curran previously served as Managing Director / Head of Risk Management for Citi Holdings, which was established in the wake of the 2008-2009 financial crisis to dispose of Citi's distressed and non-core assets. Before that he served in a variety of other executive positons with the company, including senior credit officer for Citi's power, energy, chemicals, mining and metals loan portfolio and as senior market risk officer for commodity trading. Prior to joining Citi in 2003, Curran worked in risk management and other roles for FleetBoston Financial Corp., BankBoston, Cargill and a number of other firms. A graduate of Boston College, Curran is a former U.S. Army Reserve captain and a veteran of the 1991 Gulf War. He also holds a Chartered Financial Analyst designation. Read more...

  • CoBank Reports Full Year Financial Results for 2016

    Posted 2/23/2017

    CoBank today announced financial results for the full year and fourth quarter of 2016.

    Net income for the year rose 1 percent to $945.7 million, reflecting increased net interest income offset by a greater provision for loan losses as well as higher Farm Credit insurance fund premiums and other operating expenses. Net interest income increased by 7 percent to $1.4 billion, as a result of higher loan volume and increased earnings from balance sheet positioning, partially offset by lower spreads in the bank's loan and investment portfolios. CoBank's average loan volume increased 10 percent in 2016, to $91.6 billion, driven by higher levels of borrowing from affiliated Farm Credit associations, grain cooperatives, food and agribusiness companies, rural electric cooperatives and communications service providers.

    For the fourth quarter of 2016, net income was $227.3 million compared to $236.3 million in the same period of 2015. Earnings declined primarily due to a $15 million provision for loan losses taken during the fourth quarter of 2016, which more than offset the positive impacts of higher net interest income. Net interest income for the quarter increased 3 percent to $345.0 million as a result of higher average loan volume. Average loan volume increased 7 percent during the period, to $93.2 billion. Read more...

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