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Argentine farm exports soar in first quarter

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BUENOS AIRES, May 3 (Reuters) - Argentine farm exports rocketed 68 percent higher in the first quarter versus the same 2015 period thanks to new policies that prompted growers to sell stockpiles built up under the previous administration, the government said on Tuesday. The surge in shipments from the South American grains powerhouse will likely weigh on global food prices, which are near a seven-year low and expected to fall farther due to slowing growth in the global economy. In the first three months of the year, Argentina exported 19.97 million tonnes of farm products versus 11.91 million in the first quarter of 2015, the government said in a statement. Free-markets proponent…
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Northern Kansas wheat yields above average after April showers -tour

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OSBORNE, Kansas, May 3 (Reuters) - Winter wheat yields in northern Kansas are likely to be better than average as recent rains have boosted crop prospects following excessively dry weather earlier in the year, crop scouts on an annual crop tour said on Tuesday. However, the rains, which broke April records in some areas of the country's top winter wheat state, have also raised the threat of some yield-sapping diseases such as the stripe rust that was detected in some fields surveyed by crop scouts. More than 80 crop scouts are traveling from Manhattan to Colby, Kansas, on the first day of the Wheat Quality Council's annual three-day tour. The tour is scheduled to release a final…
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Mink farmers offer reward

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Canadian mink farmers say they are sick of animal rights activists breaking into barns and releasing animals, so they're offering a $100,000 reward to catch invaders. In late April, a group of people entered a mink farm in southern Ontario and opened cages containing about 500 animals, mostly nursing female mink. The act may cause the death of 2,000 newborn kits, which are completely dependent on their mothers for food and warmth, said Kirk Rankin, former president of the Canada Mink Breeders Association "Several Ontario farms were attacked like this last summer," said Rankin, including his mink ranch in Ontario. "These criminals don't think that people have a right to use animals,…
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Canola futures rally on weak loonie but US crops fall

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Good crop prospects in the United States, profit taking and a stronger U.S. dollar were the major features in Tuesday’s lower Chicago crop market futures. But canola climbed a little, supported by the falling Canadian dollar. Chicago old crop wheat and corn were down more than three percent. Oilseeds fared better, with soybean down only about one percent and soybean oil down less than one percent. Downgrades to Argentina’s soy crop because of heavy rain at harvest helped limit the losses in the soy complex. Old and new crop canola rallied slightly with support from the falling loonie. Prairie farmers will make quick seeding progress this week in hotter than normal…
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CME live cattle futures up 3rd straight session

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CHICAGO, May 3 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures on Tuesday marked three days of gains, supported by their discounts to last week's prices for market-ready, or cash, cattle, traders said. June live cattle closed 0.575 cent per lb higher at 116.375 cents, and August ended up 0.625 cent at 114.350 cents. Cash cattle in the U.S. Plains last week brought $124 per cwt. Investors are expecting similar prices later this week given tighter but still profitable packer margins and considerably fewer animals for sale than last week. Traders also look for beef cutout values to stabilize after falling four days in a row to levels that might generate retail buying…
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Canola and other crop markets pause; US posts strong planting progress

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The market has taken a bit of a breather from the recent impressive two-month crop rally and market watchers are wondering where it could go from here. However, the first trading day of May gave little indication, with crop futures barely changed. Only soybeans and soybean meal moved much. Soybean meal strength helped soybeans futures rise, but weakness in soybean oil values hurt canola, which closed mixed with old crop down but new crop up slightly. Officials in Argentina continue to assess the soybean crop damage from torrential rain at harvest. Today the country’s weather agency estimated that 15 percent was wiped out, lowering the crop by nine million tonne. Last week, the…
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Pork producers object to truck wash regulations

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About 70,000 pigs are trucked into the United States every week. Western Canadian pork producers want to be sure no porcine epidemic diarrhea virus travels back to this country via trucks on the backhaul. They object to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's decision to enforce previous swine transport truck washing regulations as of today as temporary emergency protocols expire. According to federal Health of Animals regulations, trucks must now be washed on the American side of the border before they return to Canada. It sounds like a good idea, except that U.S. truck washes may not result in eradication of the virus. PED is endemic in the U.S., where it has killed millions of…
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CME live cattle futures extends gains

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CHICAGO, May 2 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle contracts on Monday landed in positive territory for a second straight session, driven by more short-covering and futures' discounts to last week's cash prices, traders said. June live cattle closed 0.875 cent per lb higher at 115.800 cents, and August ended up 1.300 cents at  113.725 cents. Last week packers paid mostly $124 per cwt for market-ready, or cash, cattle. That was down $3 from the week before, but  undervalued compared to current futures prices. Bullish investors look for wholesale beef prices to bottom out soon, which may motivate packers to raise bids for cash  cattle later this week, a trader…
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Liberals agree to dairy compensation

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Dairy Farmers of Canada say they are relieved the Liberal government will compensate them for losses when more European products are allowed to enter Canada under a free trade deal. The government had not agreed to honour an Oct. 5 commitment by the previous Conservative government to mitigate for losses under both the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with Europe and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, causing industry-wide concern. Agriculture minister Lawrence MacAulay and international trade minister Chrystia Freeland issued a statement May 2 saying they would meet with the industry within 30 days to find out how it wants to be compensated for CETA alone. It is expected to…
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As Asia’s rice crop shrivels, food security fears resurface

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SINGAPORE, May 2 (Reuters) - Nearly a decade after a spike in global food prices sent shockwaves around the world, Asia's top rice producers are suffering from a blistering drought that threatens to cut output and boost prices of a staple for half the world's population. World rice production is expected to decline for the first time this year since 2010, as failing rains linked to an El Nino weather pattern cut crop yields in Asia's rice bowl. A heat wave is sweeping top rice exporter India, while the No.2 supplier Thailand is facing a second year of drought. Swathes of farmland in Vietnam, the third-biggest supplier, are also parched as irrigation fed by the Mekong river runs…
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