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Packers put plants on plates

Meat packers can sense the shifting tide and are rebranding themselves as protein companies

Some major North American meat producers are clearing room on their plates for plant-based substitutes. They’re hedging their bets as consumer tastes shift and high-tech startups seek to create meat alternatives that taste like the real thing. The trend was highlighted on Monday when Tyson Foods, the biggest U.S. chicken processor, took a five per […] Read more

Wet North America harvest adds pressure for farmers

Cropland is soaking wet as harvest time winds down

Manitoba farmers aren’t alone when it comes to grappling with a rainy harvest. North America’s wettest harvest in about five years is hiking farmers’ costs as they dry crops to avoid spoilage and forcing them to take price discounts that are pinching incomes already under stress. One-fifth of the United States and Canadian Crop Belts […] Read more

Election 2015: Conservatives vulnerable in western heartland

New electoral districts combined with an NDP breakthrough in Alberta have lessened their grip on the West

The Canadian Prairies, long a Conservative Party stronghold that has helped the party rule the country for nearly a decade, no longer looks to be an impenetrable fortress heading into an Oct. 19 election that could be decided by a few seats. New electoral district boundaries, a left-wing breakthrough in Alberta, and retirements of popular […] Read more

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Cargill to close Man. grain elevators in 2015

Reuters – Cargill Ltd. said on Thursday that it will close its Swan River, Manitoba grain facility, which includes two elevators, as of May 31, 2015. The facility would require costly upgrades if it remained open, Jeff Wildeman, regional manager of Cargill AgHorizons said in a statement. Cargill’s crop inputs facility in Swan River will remain open. The decision comes as Cargill […] Read more

Big yields, imports ease supply concerns for U.S. canola crushers

Big canola yields in the northern Plains have eased earlier supply concerns for U.S. processors, who also look to tap a bin-busting harvest in Western Canada. U.S. farmers planted 1.3 million acres of canola in 2013, but unfavourable weather prevented them planting the crop on 426,711 acres, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Services […] Read more

Maple Leaf Foods loss, sales disappoint

Canadian food processor Maple Leaf Foods reported a disappointing quarterly loss on July 31, hurt by weak returns on raising pigs. North American hog farmers have been hard pressed to survive losses in the past year, due to at-times soaring costs of corn and wheat tied to last year’s U.S. drought, and weak pig prices. […] Read more

Canada wins China canola access, sees Russia meat barriers

Canada has not ruled out WTO action against Russia for banning meat 
from Canadian plants over ractopamine

China has softened its three-year-old import restrictions on Canadian canola, while Russia is set to erect barriers to some of Canada’s biggest meat-packing plants, Canadian Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said April 16. China approved one additional oilseed-crushing plant, the 600,000-tonne CNOOC-Biolux plant in Nantong, Jiangsu province, to accept shipments of Canadian canola seed, a crop […] Read more

Flooding potential threatens fertilizer movement

Fertilizer makers may be hard pressed this spring to move their yield-boosting products to western Canadian farmers during a shortened planting season, as the potential for major flooding grows. Cold weather has delayed the melt of heavy snowpack in the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, raising the risk that floods in late April and […] Read more