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Ukraine 2014 early spring grain sowing 92 percent complete

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KIEV (Reuters) — Ukraine's farmers have sown 6.37 million acres of early spring grain as of April 16, 92 percent of the expected sowing area, the agriculture ministry said on Wednesday. The ministry gave no comparable figure for sowing this time last year as the campaign began two weeks earlier than in 2013. Some analysts said last month that up to 20 percent of Ukrainian arable land might not be sown this year, mainly because of an absence of financing in connection with the country's economic and political difficulties. The ministry has said the area under early spring grain, mostly spring wheat and barley, was intended to reach 6.8 million acres this year and total spring…
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U.S. 2014 pork production seen down two percent due to pig virus: USDA

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(Reuters) — U.S. pork production is likely to decline about two percent this year due to the spread of porcine epidemic diarrhea, or PED, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in its monthly livestock outlook report. Live hog prices were expected to increase as a result of the pig virus, the report said. As of March 1 the U.S. hog herd was at 57.048 million head, 3.7 percent lower than a year ago with losses largely attributed to PED, USDA said. PED was first confirmed in the United States in May 2013. The pig virus has since spread to hog farms 30 U.S. states and industry analysts estimate six million to seven million pigs have died in the U.S. due to the virus. The pig…
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Wheat up three percent on Ukraine; canola climbs

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Strong U.S. domestic soybean crush and worries about Ukraine drove crop markets higher Tuesday. Canola enjoyed the rise, climbing about 1.5 percent in old and new crop months. The canola basis has also improved. ICE Futures Canada says the best basis has narrowed to $22.92 under the May contract. Last week it was at about $32 under May. Wheat futures climbed by two to 3.4 percent, mostly on growing tension in Ukraine where the government is attempting to dislodge pro Moscow separatists who have taken over several government buildings in eastern Ukraine cities. Although the conflict has not disrupted Black Sea exports so far, the risk of problems grows. Freezing weather in the…
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CME live cattle lower on cash uncertainty; hogs weaker

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By Theopolis Waters CHICAGO, April 15 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle turned lower, pressured by profit-taking and uncertainty regarding this week's cash market, traders said. Bullish participants see packers paying steady to higher money for cattle to be delivered during the first full slaughter week after the Easter holiday. They also cited possible beef cutout stability. Market bears point to poor packer margins and the seasonal bump in cattle numbers as reasons for potential cash price pressure. Last week, cash cattle in Texas and Kansas moved at $147 per hundredweight (cwt), and at mostly $150 in Nebraska, feedlot sources said. Tuesday morning's…
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French parliament bans cultivation of GM corn

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PARIS (Reuters) — France's lower house of parliament adopted a law on Tuesday prohibiting the cultivation of any variety of genetically modified corn, saying it posed a risk to the environment. France adopted a decree last month to halt the planting of Monsanto's insect-resistant MON810 corn, the only GM crop allowed for cultivation in the European Union. The law also applies to any strain adopted at EU level in future, including another GM variety, Pioneer 1507 developed jointly by DuPont and Dow Chemical, which could be approved by the EU executive later this year after 19 out of 28 member states failed to gather enough votes to block it. The law adopted by the French National…
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Sask. announces this year’s road projects

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Eighty road, bridge and culvert projects will be undertaken in 64 Saskatchewan rural municipalities, officials said today. Spending under the Municipal Roads for the Economy Program totals $25.5 million and was announced in the March budget. This year's highlights include 19 heavy haul-high volume road construction projects worth $9.7 million, 24 Clearing the Path road construction projects totalling $7.3 million and 37 bridge and culvert projects worth $7.7 million. The MREP program covers up to half the cost of road projects and between 30 and 90 percent of bridges and culverts. The Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities administers the program on behalf of the…
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Cargill expects flour merger with ConAgra to be finalized in six to eight weeks

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WINNIPEG (Reuters) — Agribusiness company Cargill Inc. expects its flour mill merger with ConAgra Foods Inc. to be resolved positively in six to eight weeks, Executive Chairman Greg Page said on Tuesday. The combined entity, to be called Ardent Mills, would join ConAgra with Horizon Milling LLC — a joint operation between Cargill and U.S. farm co-operative CHS Inc. The proposed deal was announced in March 2013 and was initially expected to be finalized late last year. The U.S. Justice Department's antitrust division was investigating the merger that would result in Ardent Mills controlling about a third of U.S. flour mill capacity. Page, speaking on the sidelines of the…
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Glyphosate resistant kochia confirmed in Manitoba

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Manitoba Agriculture has confirmed what weed scientists and farmers long suspected: glyphosate resistant kochia is present in Manitoba. The province said this morning that a weed survey, conducted last fall, found two cases of glyphosate resistant kochia in the Red River Valley. The survey team, which included Manitoba Agriculture, Agriculture Canada and the University of Manitoba, collected kochia plants from 283 sites. Plants from two of the sites were glyphosate resistant. “Finding GR kochia was not unexpected as previous surveys in Alberta and Saskatchewan, North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota have all identified GR kochia,” Manitoba Agriculture said in a…
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Hard freeze in southern U.S. Plains nips at wheat crop

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CHICAGO (Reuters) — Temperatures dropped well below freezing in the southern U.S. Plains wheat belt early Tuesday and likely hurt some fields already stressed by drought, but the relative immaturity of the crop prevented more widespread damage, meteorologists said. "Most of the injury will be to the more advanced crops in irrigated fields of the southwest, but permanent production cuts are not very likely, at least not from this single bout of cold in the central Plains," agricultural meteorologist Drew Lerner of World Weather Inc. wrote in a note to clients. Another forecaster, the Commodity Weather Group, projected production losses across the southern belt at one percent. "Our…
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Most climate models show El Nino’s return within months, UN says

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GENEVA, April 15 (Reuters) - A majority of weather forecasting models indicate that an El Nino weather phenomenon may develop around the middle of the year, but it is too early to assess its likely strength, the U.N. World Meteorological Organization said on Tuesday. El Nino, characterised by unusually warm surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, has a significant impact on climate in many parts of the world and a warming influence on global temperatures, the WMO said. "Model forecasts indicate a fairly large potential for an El Niño, most likely by the end of the second quarter of 2014," the WMO said. The WMO statement follows predictions by…
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