Large Aussie wheat crop may be difficult to sell

KANSAS CITY (Reuters) – DuPont’s agricultural unit has formed an alliance in sub-Saharan Africa to collaborate on development of higher yielding corn varieties that need less fertilizer. DuPont’s Pioneer Hi-Bred unit will contribute gene technology in work led by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center and funded with $19.5 million in grants from the […] Read more

Canola not in fuel protocol

SYDNEY, Australia (Reuters) – Australia’s 2009-10 wheat harvest rose 3.4 percent from a year earlier, making it the best harvest in four years in the world’s fourth largest exporter of the grain and adding to already ample global stocks. The government’s commodity forecaster on Feb. 16 estimated the harvest at 21.656 million tonnes, down from […] Read more

Monsanto predicts more corn, soybeans

OSLO, Norway (Reuters) – Norway’s Yara has agreed to buy Terra Industries for $4.1 billion US to create the world’s biggest mineral fertilizer producer, as rivals look to join forces to gain size and reach. Norway’s biggest-ever foreign takeover announcement came a month after U.S. CF Industries Holdings withdrew its year-long hostile bid for Terra. […] Read more

Livestock tracking program tweaked

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Reuters) – The U.S. government will re-draft its moribund livestock-tracking program, which has been attacked as a violation of privacy, so that it covers only animals that cross state lines. Agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack said the revamped system would be run by the states, with the U.S. Department of Agriculture bearing much of […] Read more

Countries vie for markets

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Canadians are feeling better about their economic future, while Americans are still in the dumps. An international report on consumer optimism found almost 40 percent of Canadians are ready to start spending again, Brett Stuart of Cattlefax told the recent National Cattlemen’s Beef Association convention in San Antonio. “Canada was on […] Read more

Agriculture may be target in U.S. cost cutting

In 2003, I wrote a column about how the ballooning U.S. deficit and debt could force legislators to rein in spending, and agriculture could be a target. Canadian farmers knew this from the budget slashing of the mid-1990s that killed the Crow transportation subsidy. In 2003, the Congressional Budget Office forecast that the U.S. federal […] Read more

Russia, U.S. chicken talks fail

WASHINGTON, MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian chicken importers have begun seeking alternative suppliers, including Thailand, after talks with U.S. experts ended without a commitment to reopen the United States’ biggest export market. Russia, which spent $800 million US on American poultry in 2008, has banned imports from its largest supplier because of concerns about the common […] Read more

Russia hopes for American poultry compromise

MOSCOW, Russia (Reuters) – Russia’s poultry meat sector hopes talks later this week will find a compromise over Moscow’s new food safety rules that threaten to halt the current large imports of U.S. chicken because it is treated with chlorine. Otherwise Russians will have to arrange to find other sources of supply. “Alternatives may be […] Read more

Canadian flax scare rubs off on mustard exports to EU

A European grain trader says Canada’s reputation among grain buyers and consumers in Europe has taken a big hit. Christian Eberle, chief executive officer of Granosa Ag of Switzerland, said the appearance of genetically modified product in flaxseed exports last year has created a frenzy among European consumer and environmental groups and a backlash against […] Read more

World in brief – for Jan. 21, 2010

U.S. Congress eyes farm aid cuts SEATTLE (Reuters) – A Texas Democrat who used to be a leader of fiscal conservatives in the U.S. House of Representatives has said that Congress members keen to cut federal spending will look at farm supports. “All of us in agriculture recognize the fiscal challenge to come,” Charles Stenholm, […] Read more