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Lodging continues to be a problem in Alberta

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Flattened grain fields are not mysterious crop circles but symptoms of lodging when too much rain knocks over vulnerable barley and wheat. Crop specialist Neil Whatley of Alberta Agriculture said lodging has been more widespread in cereal crops for the last four years in parts of central and northern Alberta, where lush growth causes weak-stemmed plants to fall over. There has been less rain this year, but incidences of lodging continue in central Alberta and into some northern regions. "Some areas have had about average rainfall and they have had some lodging, too," Whatley said. Cereals are most susceptible, but peas can also fall over. Canola is less vulnerable because of its…
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Tyson to sell Mexico, Brazil poultry businesses to JBS

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(Reuters) — Tyson Foods Inc., the biggest U.S. meat processor, said on Monday it would sell its Mexican and Brazilian poultry businesses to bigger global rival JBS SA's Pilgrim's Pride for $575 million. Tyson also reported a 4.4 percent increase in third-quarter profit and forecast sales for the fiscal year ending September 2015 above Wall Street analysts' estimate. Shares in Tyson jumped 3.1 percent in early trading. Proceeds from the sale of Tyson's Mexico and Brazil poultry operations will be used to help pay down debt associated with its $7.7 billion acquisition of Hillshire Brands Co., which is expected to close before Sept. 27. The Mexico and Brazil poultry operations being…
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U.S. group overhauls China business in meat safety scandal

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SHANGHAI (Reuters) — A leading U.S. meat supplier said on Monday that a Chinese unit at the centre of a food safety scandal had issues that were "absolutely inconsistent" with the group's high standards. "This is my company and events like these have a personal toll ... they simply don't represent the values I stand for or those of my company," Sheldon Lavin, the millionaire chairman, CEO and owner of Illinois-based OSI Group LLC told a news conference in Shanghai. OSI said it was suspending operations at Shanghai Husi Food and would review all its China plants in a bid to limit further damage after losing two major customers. KFC and Pizza Hut parent Yum Brands Inc. last week…
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Russian wheat crop outlook bright

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MOSCOW (Reuters) — Russian export prices for wheat fell for the third week in a row due to a strong crop outlook, analysts said on Monday. Russia, one of the world's key wheat exporters via the Black Sea, is likely to harvest 57.5 million tonnes of wheat in 2014, IKAR, a leading agriculture consultancy, said in a note. "The forecast was upgraded (from a previously expected 56.3 million tonnes) thanks to higher yields in several regions," Dmitry Rylko, the head of IKAR, added. Russian prices for new wheat crop with 12.5 percent protein content were down $2 to US $242 per tonne at the end of last week, IKAR said. The quote was on a free-on-board (FOB) basis in the Black Sea…
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CWB Crop Tour 2014

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CWB's 2014 Crop Tour gets underway today. Join WP reporters Ed White (@EdWhitemarkets), Robert Arnason (@ArnasonRobert), Barb Glen (@BarbGlen) , and Brian Cross (@Brian_D_Cross) as they tweet along the various legs of the tour using the #croptour14 hashtag. We'll also be updating this page with the stories and videos they file along the way.

China needs to import more food to ease water, energy shortages, says official

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BEIJING (Reuters) — China should boost imports of food so it can dedicate more of its scarce water supplies to energy production, especially in arid but coal-rich regions, a senior environmental official said on Monday. Mu Guangfeng, the head of the environment impact assessment office at the Ministry of Environmental Protection, told a conference China should open up further to overseas food supplies and put stricter limits on the consumption of water for agriculture in areas like Xinjiang. He said China, the world's top manufacturing nation, sends thousands of ships to overseas ports and many of them return empty. Filling them with grain would be an ideal solution. "We cannot…
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CME live cattle hit new high with cash, beef prices

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By Theopolis Waters CHICAGO, July 25 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures hit an all-time high on Friday, fueled by record returns for slaughter-ready or cash cattle and beef at wholesale, traders said. This week, cash cattle in Texas and Kansas mostly sold at a record high of $162 per hundredweight, up $7 from last week, feed lot sources said. Cash cattle in Nebraska fetched mainly $164, $8 to $9 higher than a week ago, they said. Friday afternoon's wholesale price for choice beef rose $1.82 per cwt from Thursday to a record $257.38. Select beef rose $1.49 to a new top of $254.33, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said. "Packers still needed cattle for…
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Canola edges higher, awaits forecast from CWB crop tour

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Canola futures rallied toward the end of trade Friday and closed slightly higher, but over the week they were down slightly. November canola closed at $442.50 per tonne, up $1.80 per tonne on the day. November was down 80 cents per tonne on the week, but the close was more than $13 higher than on Tuesday when it set a life of contract low of $429.10. By staying above $440 per tonne, the contract is staying above the psychologically important level of $10 per bushel. Some crop watchers think the average canola yield could be lower than average this year. After thunder storms Thursday dumped rain in various places in Western Canada and caused some hail and property damage,…
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Winter wheat survival hard to determine in Manitoba

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Given the harsh winter, incessant spring rains and other variables, it's impossible to know how many acres of winter wheat will be harvested this year on the Prairies, says Jake Davidson, executive director of Winter Cereals Canada. Manitoba Agricultural Services Corp., the provincial crop insurer, estimated Manitoba farmers insured 385,225 acres of winter wheat this year. That's down significantly from 615,000 acres last year. Davidson said a sizable percentage of this year's acreage did not survive, but any estimate is a guesstimate. "There's winter wheat reseeded, there's winter wheat flooded out … and (some) is duck food," he said from his home office near Minnedosa, Man.…
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India threatens to derail WTO deal, prompts angry U.S. rebuke

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NEW DELHI/GENEVA (Reuters) — India threatened on Friday to block a worldwide reform of custom rules, which some estimates say could add $1 trillion to the global economy and create 21 million jobs, prompting a U.S. warning that its demands could kill global trade reform efforts. Diplomats from the 160 World Trade Organization member countries meeting in Geneva had been meant to rubber stamp a deal on "trade facilitation" that was agreed at talks in Bali last December in the WTO's first ever global trade agreement. But India, in an 11th-hour intervention, demanded a halt to the trade facilitation timetable until the end of the year and said a permanent WTO deal on food stockpiling…
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