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News from Around the Farm World - Feb. 13, 2013
Worker dies at ADM plant in Decatur

DECATUR, Ill. (AP) — Authorities in central Illinois are investigating after a 31-year-old worker died in an apparent accident at the Archer Daniels Midland Co. corn processing plant in Decatur.
The Herald & Review reported the Macon County coroner identified the worker as Michael Cordray of Decatur. The Bodine Services employee was in the process of cleaning the interior of a tank at the time of the accident. In a statement, ADM spokeswoman Jackie Anderson said the man fell while working in a confined space at the plant.

Coroner Michael Day said Cordray was pronounced dead the evening of Feb. 6 at the ADM facility. An autopsy is planned.

Feds award funds from farm used in meat scheme
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — The sale of a farm linked to a stolen meat scheme will benefit the Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office.
Federal authorities awarded more than $742,000 to the office Friday, the proceeds of a forfeiture action brought in connection with a scheme in 2006 and 2007 to steal meat from interstate trucking shipments and resell it.

Four Dubuque-area residents were convicted and sentenced to prison for their role in stealing the meat from a storage facility in East Dubuque and reselling it. Prosecutors said the rural Dubuque farm was owned by a trucker and used to unload and store stolen cases of meat, which were resold to residents and businesses for cheap.

The owners of the farm had agreed to forfeit their interest in the property as part of a plea agreement.

Iowa county OKs hog operation despite local opposition

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — Black Hawk County supervisors have approved a proposed 4,400-head hog confinement operation, saying state law gives them no choice despite the opposition of neighbors.

The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reported Adam Anderson’s permit application was approved Feb. 5. The two-building operation would be built in Barclay Township along North Nesbit Road, about two miles south of Dunkerton and three miles east of Dewar.
Supervisor Tom Little said he cast the lone vote against the application because local residents had complained about odor and health problems. He said he’s frustrated that state law allows local input but no local control over the issue.

The state Department of Natural Resources will now make a final decision. Construction could begin in the spring.

About 1,000 pigs die in eastern Iowa blaze

COLUMBUS JUNCTION, Iowa (AP) — Authorities said about 1,000 pigs died in a fire at an eastern Iowa hog containment operation. The fire was reported about 1 p.m. Feb. 1 at Mipa Hog Farms, which sits about 10 miles west of Columbus Junction.

There were no reports of human injuries. The operation includes eight connected buildings spread over 20 acres. By the time firefighters arrived, two farrowing houses were fully engulfed.
Officials said 500-600 of the pigs killed were sows. The rest were piglets. The fire cause is being investigated.

MF Global trustee says clients may be made whole

NEW YORK, N.Y. (AP) — Former brokerage customers of MF Global could fully recover cash that was frozen when the trading firm collapsed, according to the bankruptcy trustee handling the case.
The projection is based on the latest analysis of recoverable assets available in MF Global’s bankruptcy, versus pending claims, the trustee, former FBI Director Louis Freeh, said in a court filing Feb. 2. The report outlines a potential range of recovery for brokerage customers, depending on various scenarios, from a shortfall of $6 million to a surplus of $120 million.

Those figures are based on calculations that recoverable assets range from about $6.857 billion-$6.983 billion, versus claims of $6.863 billion. If there’s a surplus, customers whose money was frozen when MF Global collapsed in October 2011 could get a full recovery of their losses.

Freeh’s filing came after an agreement was reached in December that could speed up payment to customers of MF Global. That agreement resolved competing claims filed against MF Global’s main brokerage unit and the company’s United Kingdom operations.

Much of the money that went missing belonged to farmers, ranchers and other business owners who used MF Global to reduce their risks from fluctuating prices of commodities like corn and wheat.