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Dec 4, 2011 2:43 PM by Matt Stafford

Shock waves from MF Global collapse felt on farms

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Many farmers and ranchers are waiting to learn how much money they've lost in the collapse of commodities trading firm MF Global Inc.

The firm is being investigated over what federal regulators say is an estimated $1.2 billion that may be missing from customer accounts. Many farmers use the futures markets to lock in prices and reduce their risks, so they can plan ahead knowing what their costs will be.

Mike Mouw, co-owner of Mouw's Feed and Grain Inc. in the southwestern Minnesota town of Leota, estimates he's out about $250,000.

The number of people harmed and the extent of their losses isn't clear. Officials have said those affected should get back at least two-thirds of their money. But there's no word on when any of that might be returned.

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