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Canola rises on bullish StatsCan report, wheat up on Ukraine crisis

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Screen Shot 2014-04-24 at 2.53.19 PMCanola rose Thursday on the Statistics Canada report that showed farmers expect to seed a surprisingly small canola acreage and on technical factors. StatsCan’s farmer survey showed canola planting intentions at 19.801 million acres, versus trade expectations for 21.1 million acres. It would be the third largest area ever, following the record of 22…
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Seven trades and apprenticeship programs funded at SIAST

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Students and apprentices enrolled in the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology's agricultural machinery technician program will benefit from improved access to new industrial equipment and computer diagnostic technology. Funding worth $1.4 million from Western Economic Diversification Canada will help address the high demand for skilled workers in Western Canada as well as the increasing requirement from employers to introduce leading edge technologies. The money will go to seven training programs at SIAST's four campuses. It will buy a new tractor, two fork lifts, engines, hoists, computer diagnostic equipment, welders, digital meters, sanders, and other…
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CME feeder cattle hit new high as corn prices slip

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@font-face { font-family: "Geneva"; }@font-face { font-family: "Cambria"; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 14pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; }span.btnaddtolb { }div.Section1 { page: Section1; } By Theopolis Waters CHICAGO, April 24 (Reuters) - Back-month Chicago Mercantile Exchange feeder cattle futures on Thursday set new contract highs, sparked by weak corn prices that could help ease input costs for feedlots, traders said. Feeder cattle futures drew more support from buying in the neighboring CME live cattle pit. May feeders gained more ground after breaking through the 20-day and 10-day moving averages of 179.058 cents and…
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Bird flu on California farm prompts HK, others to bar poultry imports

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April 24 (Reuters) - An avian-borne virus outbreak on a California quail farm has fueled fears that the disease known as bird flu could spread, prompting investigators to continue their probe and five key export markets to bar imports of poultry from the state. A state diagnostic laboratory confirmed on April 18 that a quail flock in Stanislaus County, California, tested positive for low-pathogenic avian influenza virus. It was later confirmed by a federal laboratory. The virus, which commonly occurs in wild birds, is not considered a human health concern. Yet news of the virus - particularly in a state that is home to two leading container ports heavily used for agricultural…
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Beef regains top spot in U.S. meat export earnings – COLUMN

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(Gavin Maguire is a Reuters market analyst. The opinions expressed are his own.) By Gavin Maguire CHICAGO, April 24 (Reuters) - Beef became the most valuable U.S. meat export for the first time in a decade in 2013, with the $6 billion in trade receipts up more than 12 percent from the year before and greater than those for pork and poultry. Actual shipped quantities of beef were only 3.6 percent higher on the year, so the chief driver of the rise in receipts was higher overall beef prices, which hit record highs on the back of tight cattle supplies and pricey feed costs. Still, the fact that sales tonnage increased despite higher beef values bodes well for the cattle industry.…
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Calculator helps farmers assess ecological footprint

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The phrase “ecological footprint” was all the rage a few years ago as people attempted to reduce their impact on the earth’s air, water and land. With that concept in mind, a consortium of grower associations and industry groups has developed a software tool to help Canadian farmers measure and minimize their footprint. The group doesn’t have a name, but its online tool is available for interested growers. “The calculator itself is called the Canadian On-Farm Sustainability Calculator,” said Denis Tremorin, Pulse Canada’s director of sustainability. Pulse Canada, the Canadian Canola Growers Association, Ducks Unlimited, Prairie Oat Growers, General Mills and Crop…
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North Sask. River faces ice jam threat

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Saskatchewan's Water Security Agency warned Thursday of the potential for ice jams to develop on the North Saskatchewan River. The ice cover on the river is breaking up and jams are a particular concern between the Petrofka Bridge on Highway 12 near Blaine Lake and Prince Albert to the east. Ice jams are unpredictable and can create serious flooding, the agency said in an advisory. People in the region should monitor the river and take precautions if an ice jam develops. "Under no circumstances should the public try to venture onto the ice in the vicinity of an ice jam," the advisory added. "This is an extreme hazard." Officials expect the risk to continue until the ice has…
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Drainage complaint leads to conviction in Sask.

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A formal complaint made in 2007 has led to a conviction under Saskatchewan's Water Security Act and a fine of $11,200. Gerald Faye of Lestock was convicted in Wynyard Provincial Court for failing to comply with an order to build and maintain ditch blocks. His company, GJMK Farms, was also fined. The total fine includes a 40 percent victim surcharge. The WSA ordered Faye to construct 14 ditch blocks after the formal complaint was first made. Subsequent investigations by WSA and environment ministry conservation officers found he had failed to comply. All drainage works require proper approvals from the WSA. Unauthorized drainage has become a big problem in Saskatchewan,…
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Wheat surges on dry weather concerns, Ukraine tension

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CHICAGO, April 24 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures jumped more than 2 percent on Thursday on concerns about dry conditions in the U.S. Plains winter wheat belt and some key production areas of western Europe as well as worries about tensions in eastern Ukraine. Soybeans were narrowly mixed amid uncertainty over demand from top importer China. Employees of a trading unit of Marubeni Corp in China have been detained over allegations of tax evasion on soybean imports. Corn futures firmed, adding to a sharp rally this week as the market awaited further clues about planting progress, with some spillover support from surging wheat. Expected rain in the U.S. Plains fueled a drop in wheat…
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Canadian farmers to plant less canola than expected

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WINNIPEG, Manitoba, April 24 (Reuters) - Canadian farmers intend to curb canola plantings this spring, Statistics Canada said on Thursday, surprising traders who expected a bigger area. Statscan said farmers would also taper back wheat sowings as expected, after a backlog in railway shipments left ample supplies of most crops from last year's harvest. Statscan, using a late March farmer survey, estimated farmers would plant 24.766 million acres of all-wheat, down 4.8 percent from last year, but exceeding the average trade expectation of 24.4 million acres. Canola plantings looked set to reach 19.801 million acres, easing 0.7 percent from last year, but falling well below the…
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