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China lifts ban on Canadian beef

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WINNIPEG, Manitoba, May 1 (Reuters) - China has lifted its ban on Canadian beef, which it imposed in February after Canada's first discovery of mad cow disease since 2011, news website iPolitics said on Friday. The website cited Canadian Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz saying that shipments had resumed. A spokesman for Ritz could not be immediately reached.

Iowa governor declares state of emergency due to bird flu outbreak

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CHICAGO, May 1 (Reuters) - Iowa Governor Terry Branstad declared a state of emergency on Friday due to a rapidly expanding avian flu outbreak, soon after state agriculture officials announced four new poultry farms had initially tested positive for the virus. "While the avian influenza outbreak does not pose a risk to humans, we are taking the matter very seriously and believe declaring a state of emergency is the best way to make all resources available," Branstad said in a statement issued by the governor's office.

Most crops slightly down, wheat up

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The week ended in the same directionless wandering that characterized most of this week’s “action.” Most crops were slightly down, while wheat contracts were slightly higher. Not much happened, and that’s the sign of a market where there’s not much reason for prices to move. “It was sort of a go-nowhere day,” said Jon Driedger of FarmLink Marketing. “It tends to be the excuse on Fridays if there’s no excuse to go the other way.” The most exciting factor of the week was currency moves, with keen attention paid to whether the recovery of foreign currencies versus the U.S. dollar would continue. Relative strength in currencies like the Canadian dollar has had an…
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Profit-taking snaps CME hogs’ six-day win streak

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CHICAGO, May 1 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange lean hogs settled lower on Friday, pressured by profit-taking before the weekend that snuffed their six-session rally, traders said. May closed 0.950 cents per lb lower at 76.000 cents, and June was down 0.175 cent at 81.250 cents. Some prospective buyers were leery of deferred contracts' premiums to the CME's hog index for April 29 at 68.16 cents despite strong cash and wholesale pork values. CME lean hogs' premiums were causing concern, but sharply rising cash prices may cause the index to catch up to May futures by next Wednesday, said independent livestock futures trader Dan Norcini. Tighter supplies boosted Thursday'…
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Hog farmers more likely to carry drug-resistant bacteria – U.S. study

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CHICAGO (Reuters) — Hog farmers are six times more likely than the general population to carry an infectious bacteria that can cause skin and respiratory problems and resists treatment from multiple drugs, according to a new U.S. research study. The study, published this week in the online journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, is the largest-ever examination of infections of Staphylococcus aureus, or staph, in a group of livestock workers. It comes amid rising concern that widespread antibiotic use in meat production could create risks to human health. Staph is a leading cause of skin and soft tissue infections in humans. Most infections are not life threatening, but the bacteria…
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Corn, soy fall 1 percent on U.S. plantings, fund selling

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CHICAGO, May 1 (Reuters) - U.S. grains shed about 1 percent on Friday as investors sold off positions on the first day of May amid bearish headwinds of rapid pace of spring plantings and a strong dollar that could limit export prospects. Chicago Board of Trade corn futures fell to the lowest levels since October while soybeans declined from a three-week high reached in the previous session. Wheat prices were hovering near a roughly five-year low notched on Tuesday. "The spreads don't indicate much bullishness," said Craig VanDyke, analyst at brokerage Top Third Ag Marketing in Chicago. "We have the first of the month and big money is short - they have control of this right now." The…
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Bird flu outbreak could set U.S. record with ‘probable’ cases in Iowa

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CHICAGO (Reuters) — The highly pathogenic H5 avian flu has turned up in initial tests at five more farms in Iowa, including a commercial egg operation housing up to 5.5 million birds, Iowa's agriculture department said on Thursday. If the virus is confirmed at the farms in additional tests under way at a U.S. Department of Agriculture laboratory, the total number of American cases could surpass 20 million birds and result in the biggest death toll in a bird flu outbreak in U.S. history. Avian flu at the egg farm in Buena Vista County, where workers saw an unexpected jump in bird deaths before the flock was tested, could be the largest single farm operation to be hit in the current…
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Bunge resumes canola processing after fire in Hamilton; soy line down

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(Reuters) — Oilseed processor Bunge Ltd. restarted canola processing at its Hamilton, Ontario, plant late on Thursday after a fire, spokeswoman Deb Seidel said on Friday. She said the plant will resume soybean processing after the investigation into the fire is complete and water is cleaned up. There were no injuries, she said. The Hamilton Spectator newspaper reported the fire started inside a soybean dryer, causing $20,000 in damage. The plant is one of five Bunge oilseed crushing plants in Canada. The fire is the second in six months at a major Canadian oilseed plant. In October, an explosion and fire temporarily stopped production at Louis Dreyfus Corp.'s Yorkton,…
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Mankota woman dies in farm accident

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At the family's request, police are not releasing the name of a 57-year-old woman from Mankota, Sask., who died after she became trapped in a grain car. An RCMP media release said the woman was working on her farm southwest of Mankota. Ponteix and Gravelbourg RCMP, Ponteix EMS as well as Mankota and Ponteix Fire Rescue responded during the morning of April 29. The woman was removed from the car and taken to Mankota for transport by STARS Air Ambulance, however she died prior to the airlift.

PED update

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Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia remain free of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus and Manitoba has contained spread from its five sites. A generally warm, dry spring, combined with producers’ attention to biosecurity, is responsible for that good news on the hog disease front, said Alberta Agriculture veterinary epidemiologist Dr. Julia Keenliside. In an April 30 conference call organized by Alberta Pork, Keenliside said testing for the virus continues at truck washes, abattoirs and assembly yards and there were no positives found in April. Across Canada, PED did spread in Ontario and Quebec. One new case was reported in Perth County on April 15 and two others were…
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