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Sask. RMs deliver wish list to province

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The Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities already had its financial wish list in front of the province before last week's revelation that the government will run a deficit this year and next. But premier Brad Wall, speaking to urban municipalities, also said the province is committed to the revenue sharing formula of one percentage point of provincial sales tax revenue for all municipalities. Because that amount is based on data from two years prior, as reported in public accounts, municipalities will see at least $6 million more than the $265 million they got this fiscal year. Rural municipalities got about $75 million of that. SARM president Ray Orb said that is good…
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Fallen equities market topples CME live cattle futures

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CHICAGO, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle contracts closed lower on Friday, weighed by cash price caution and heavy U.S. stock market losses, traders said. The day's firm U.S. dollar and the plunge in equities tied to disappointing jobs data pulled most commodity prices lower, they said. Altin Kalo, an analyst with Steiner Consulting Group, attributed some of the CME live cattle selling to "a waiting game" for market-ready, or cash, cattle to change hands later on Friday. Packers in Texas and Kansas bid $138 per cwt for cash cattle, which was in line with last week's sales, said feedlot sources. They said sellers asked up to $142. The morning's soft beef…
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Changes ease cash advance access

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Amendments to federal regulations made a year ago are now in effect, giving more producers access to cash advances and simplifying the application process. Federal agriculture minister Lawrence MacAulay said the program is more flexible. The changes in place under the Agricultural Marketing Programs Act for the 2016 program year make specific classes of breeding cattle, hogs, sheep and goats intended for market eligible for advances. Producers can use more types of security, such as private insurance, to obtain advances, a streamlined process reduces paperwork for returning clients and there is easier access for companies with multiple shareholders. "These changes to the Advance…
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Canadian egg farmers humane hen housing switch to take 20 years

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WINNIPEG (Reuters) — Canada's egg farmers plan to replace conventional hen cages with more humane conditions over the next 20 years, amid growing pressure from consumers, restaurants and food companies. The plan, announced Feb. 5 by Egg Farmers of Canada, an industry group that manages nearly all of the country's egg supply, comes as McDonald's Corp. and others set targets for only buying eggs that come from cage-free hens. "This isn't something we've done because of companies making announcements," said Roger Pelissero, an Ontario egg farmer. "We always have in our mind what is best for our hens." Ninety percent of Canada's eggs come from hens in wire cages commonly known as…
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Ethanol pioneer ADM’s struggle reflects deepening industry woes

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NEW YORK/CHICAGO, Feb 3 (Reuters) - When Archer Daniels Midland opened two of the country's largest ethanol plants in Nebraska and Iowa six years ago, the biofuels market was on the cusp of a boom with prices and profits on the rise. Now, the plants are more of a headache for the Chicago-based company, considered an industry pioneer, amid crushed margins and weak prices as the financial success of its almost 40-year- old business fades. In the industry's first major capitulation to depressed market conditions, ADM's chief executive, Juan Luciano, on Tuesday said he would consider options, including a sale, for those two plants as well as another in Peoria, Illinois. The three…
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Manitoba growers to vote on resolution on funding, says MWGBA

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Wheat and barley growers in Manitoba will be asked to support a resolution next week that gives the Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association the authority to collect producer levies that provide financial support to the Western Grains Research Foundation, the Canadian International Grains Institute and the Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre. Those three organizations currently receive funding through the Western Canadian Deduction but that deduction is due to expire on July 31, 2017. If supported, the resolution would give the MWGBA's board of directors the authority to complete the transition of WCD and ensure uninterrupted funding from Manitoba growers to CIGI, the WGRF…
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Ottawa boosts investment in dairy research

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Federal agriculture minister Lawrence MacAulay announced Feb. 4 that Ottawa is investing an additional $1.75 million in Canada's dairy research cluster. The investment is aimed at boosting milk production and improving the industry's knowledge about the health effects of dairy fat. The research is also expected to enable Dairy Farmers of Canada to take better advantage of Agriculture Canada research. The new investment, furnished under the Growing Forward 2 agricultural framework, brings total investment under the dairy research cluster to $13.75 million. The dairy research cluster was launched in 2013 and brings together scientific expertise in key areas such as sustainable…
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CME live cattle futures finish mostly weak; hogs higher

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CHICAGO, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Most Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle contracts closed weak on Thursday, after investors sold deferred months and bought February in anticipation of at least steady cash prices by Friday, traders said. Packers in Kansas and Texas on Thursday bid $138 per cwt for market-ready, or cash, cattle, which matched last week's sales, said feedlot sources. They said cattle owners are holding out for at least $140. Some processors are hesitant to spend more for supplies while coping with unprofitable margins, said traders and analysts. Thursday's average beef packer margin was a negative $19.60 per head, down from a negative $15.05 for Wednesday and a…
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Group declares ‘pasta war’ as dumped noodles enter Canada

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WINNIPEG — An industry group says a pasta war is heating up as a predatory trade practice hurts Canada's domestic market, affecting both pasta processors and durum producers. Millions of kilograms of subsidized Turkish pasta are allegedly being sold at a discount into the Canadian market, which unfairly competes with domestic processors and producers, according to the Canadian Pasta Manufacturers Association. "Our concern is if it continues — this momentum — over time it'll be a very serious problem," said Don Jarvis, the association's executive director. More than five million kilograms of uncooked pasta were imported into Canada from Turkey between January and November,…
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Weak Canadian dollar boosts Saputo’s adjusted profit

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(Reuters) — Saputo Inc. has reported higher than expected adjusted earnings, helped by weakness in the Canadian dollar. Adjusted net income rose 13.5 percent to $175.4 million, or 44 cents a share, for the company's fiscal third quarter. Revenue during the quarter, which ended Dec. 31, rose 2.8 percent to $2.9 billion. Analysts were expecting Saputo to earn 39 cents per share on revenue of $2.9 billion, according to Thomson Reuters. The fluctuation of the Canadian dollar boosted revenues by $261 million during the quarter, Saputo said. The company, whose brands include Dairyland milk and Armstrong cheese, is one of Canada's largest dairy producers. As well, it is among the…
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