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Business Briefs - April 10, 2013
USDA invites applications for renewable energy projects
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the USDA is seeking applications to provide assistance to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

Funding is available from USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). REAP, authorized by the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008, is designed to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce energy costs and consumption and to help meet the nation’s critical energy needs. USDA is accepting the following applications:

•Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement grant applications and combination grant and guaranteed loan applications, until April 30
•Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement guaranteed loan only applications, until July 15
•Renewable energy system feasibility study grant applications, through April 30

More information on how to apply for funding is available at www.federal 2013-07275/notice-of-funding-avail ability-for-the-rural-energy-for-america- program

Indiana corn dog maker to close plant in May
MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) — A company that has made corn dogs and pork fritters in eastern Indiana since 1961 is closing its doors, ending 87 jobs.
The Star Press reported the company founded more than 50 years ago as Al Pete Meats issued a notice to the state the plant in Muncie was closing permanently May 18. Memphis, Tenn.-based Monogram Comfort Foods bought the plant in 2008 and announced plans for an expansion in 2009.

Monogram said it would offer employees positions at other plants, including one in Bristol, Ind. Muncie Mayor Dennis Tyler said Thursday he hopes something could be done to reverse the decision and save jobs.

CME announces transition of K.C. wheat to Chicago
CHICAGO, Ill. — CME Group announced it will transition open outcry trading of Kansas City Board of Trade (KCBT) hard red winter (HRW) wheat futures and options to its Chicago trading floor (CBOT) beginning July 1, pending Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) review.

This transition will accelerate efficiencies and trading opportunities for customers trading both the HRW wheat and CBOT soft red winter (SRW) wheat varieties. KCBT wheat futures and options will continue to trade on CME Globex and be listed by and subject to the rules of KCBT.

The last day of open outcry trading on the KCBT floor will be June 28. CME will operate an electronic trading center in the former KCBT floor space until the end of September, providing a place for Kansas City-based traders to execute trades on CME Globex.
In addition, beginning April 15, subject to CFTC approval, customers will benefit from the integration of KCBT clearing services into CME Clearing, which will provide cross-margining and other capital efficiencies for market participants.

Danville opening first legal distillery later this year

DANVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A central Kentucky city is expecting its first legal distillery to begin operating later this year.

The Advocate-Messenger reported Wilderness Trace Distillery plans to open on Sept. 1. It will be a division of Ferm Solutions, which is a Danville-based research and engineer fermenting company.
“We carefully selected a name that would bring a sense of tradition and connection to Danville,” CEO Shane Baker said. He said the small operation will be a craft distillery, and will focus more on quality than quantity.

He said plans include distilling vodka, bourbon and rye whiskey in a sweet mash process that is expensive and time consuming. He said the company’s Wilderness Trace Bourbon and Kentucky Blue Vodka will be among the purest in the industry.

Monsanto reports strong second quarter earnings

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) — Monsanto reported better-than-expected earnings for the second quarter on strong sales of biotech corn seeds, particularly in Brazil.

The company raised its full-year earnings guidance to between $4.40-$4.50 per share, up from $4.30-$4.40 per share. The company is expecting a record year sales of corn seed, which increased 17 percent in the quarter.

Sales of the company’s herbicides, including the weed killer Roundup, increased 37 percent to $1.13 billion.