Business, Economy and Consumer Affairs

Peter M. Graham / flickr.com/photos/pmgrah/106202984

To be counted in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Ag Census, first-time participants have to sign up by June 30. This year, small farms are receiving extra attention.

Farmers who earn more than $1,000 in revenue a year are required to complete the census, which takes place every five years. First-timers have to sign up by the end of this month to be counted.

Indiana’s ports system hopes a new contractor will help bring more bulk cargo than ever into Burns Harbor on Lake Michigan.

Metro Ports is a stevedoring company. It helps manage how cargo gets off- and on-loaded and distributed at 27 ports in 10 states, including huge facilities at Long Beach, California and Seattle-Tacoma, Washington.

Burns Harbor will be the company’s first Great Lakes operation when it takes over the bulk cargo terminal next month.

Indiana corn growers hope a deal on sugar trade between the U.S. and Mexico will protect their stake in the high-fructose corn syrup industry.

Mexico could slap new tariffs on imports of the syrup if the deal isn’t finalized, and the effects of that tariff could trickle down to farmers.

About a third of all high-fructose corn syrup produced in the U.S. goes to Mexico, and it includes a lot of Hoosier corn. As much as 5-10 percent of Indiana’s corn crop goes to factories that produce the syrup, such as Tate & Lyle in Lafayette.

The $130 billion merger between Dow and DuPont received conditional federal approval Thursday.

The companies still have to address areas where the Department of Justice says they’ll have too big a market share, but those aren’t the areas that have Indiana farmers worried.

In approving the merger, the DOJ says Dow and DuPont have to relinquish control of a few assets – a chemical plant in Texas for Dow, and two of DuPont’s insecticide and herbicide brands.

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Peter Balonon-Rosen/IPBS

This week, Side Effects Public Media released a report detailing how the president of an Indiana nonprofit is also lobbying for a drug company, Alkermes. The story, produced in collaboration with WFYI and NPR, has some political leaders in Indiana calling for stricter disclosure rules for lobbyists trying to influence policy. 

 

Thursday marked the beginning of the end for 18 Marsh stores that weren’t bought out at a bankruptcy auction earlier this week.

Forty-four Marsh locations in Indiana and Ohio stayed open as the company started going through bankruptcy last month, but only 26 found a buyer at auction Monday.

The remaining 18 – in the Indianapolis area, Lafayette, Muncie, Kokomo, Carmel, Logansport, Connersville and Noblesville – have now started selling off their inventories.

The 18 Marsh grocery stores that don’t have a buyer will start selling off their inventories Thursday, according to a company spokesperson.

And a CVS spokesperson says his company has “settled” a dispute with the two Ohio grocery chains that want to buy Marsh’s 26 other remaining stores.

This clears the way for the combined $24 million deal with a Kroger subsidiary and another Ohio chain, Fresh Encounter, to go forward.

Two Ohio-based firms offered to buy more than half of the remaining Marsh grocery stores at Monday’s bankruptcy auction.

The deal hinges on the outcome of a dispute between Indiana-based Marsh and CVS Pharmacies.

At the auction in Delaware, Kroger subsidiary Topvalco offered $16 million for 11 Marsh stores in Indianapolis, Zionsville, Muncie, Bloomington, Brownsburg, Fishers and Greenwood.

That’s according to bankruptcy court documents filed Tuesday.

EDITOR’S NOTE, JUNE 14: This developing story has been updated. Read more here.

What’s left of the Marsh grocery chain went to auction Monday morning – but there’s no word yet on how the bidding went.

Attorneys in the Delaware law office where the auction was set to take place did not immediately return requests for comment. They represent Indiana-based Marsh in its bankruptcy proceedings.

An Indiana logistics council wants to better connect military veterans with advanced manufacturing jobs.

Conexus Indiana will partner with five big Indiana firms to run a new vet-focused jobs site that could eventually expand to other industries.

Subaru of Indiana Automotive, in Lafayette, is among those working with Conexus on the program, called INVets. Human resources manager Brad Rohrer says Subaru recruited veterans at Kentucky’s Fort Campbell during its last big hiring push.

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