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Ranchers Can Access To CRP Lands

The U. S. Agriculture Department says it will extend emergency use of Conservation Reserve land for North Dakota livestock producers facing losses from recent flooding.

USDA said the emergency use of reserve land would be extended from April 30 to May 15.

Conservation Reserve land is usually off-limits to livestock, but the department said extending the emergency use of land enrolled in the program allows about 20 livestock producers in 31 counties to keep protecting livestock by moving animals from flooded fields to dry land enrolled in the CRP.

Overall, some 33.7 million acres are enrolled in the Conservation Reserve, created in 1985, which pays landowners an annual rent to idle fragile land for 10 years or more. The 2008 farm law set a 32-million-acre ceiling for the reserve through 2012.

USDA also said on Thursday it would grant North Dakota livestock producers $750,000 to help provide for livestock feed and instituting other measures to help ranchers in the Red River Basin.

Tainted Meat Recall Hurts Maple Leaf Profits

Maple Leaf Foods reported a quarterly profit on April 30 but the effects of last summer’s costly recall of tainted meat continue to hurt the company’s performance.

The Toronto-based company said it planned to implement measures to improve margins, including cutting internal costs and reducing promotions.

“I’m very disappointed, the margins have not improved,” said Robert Gibson, an analyst at Octagon Capital. “It looks like they are spending too much on advertising to build the brands.”

Last summer, contaminated deli meats from a Maple Leaf food-processing plant in Toronto were linked to at least 22 deaths. After an extensive investigation, the company said it believed two slicers at the plant had been harbouring listeria bacteria.

Earlier this year it reached a tentative $25 million ($20.8 million) settlement in a series of class-action lawsuits related to the listeriosis outbreak.

Maple Leaf said it earned $2.9 million, or two cents a share, for the first quarter, ended March 31, compared with a loss of $10,000, or nil per share, for the same period a year earlier.



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