Briefs continued – for Dec. 3, 2009

Expanded role: Garth Hodges, with Bayer CropScience’s BioScience business based in Calgary, has been appointed global manager, wheat and oilseeds.

Hodges’ new role within the global portfolio development signals a new focus for the company in the development of innovative solutions from seed to harvest for broad acre crops including wheat. Overall, it heralds a stronger integration between Bayer CropScience’s leading portfolios of crop protection solutions in wheat plus research and development work in wheat genetics.

– Bayer CropScience release Correction: A photo published on page 9 in the Nov. 19 issue of the Manitoba Co-operator incorrectly identifies the owners of a horse and buggy parked near Gladstone as Amish. In fact, these recent settlers to the area are Old Order Mennonites.

Wheat, barley PROs raised:

The Canadian Wheat Board raised its forecasted returns Nov. 26 for wheat and feed barley, but left unchanged durum and malt barley from the new-crop 2009-10 (Aug.-July) marketing year in its latest pool return outlook (PRO). The board said overall market fundamentals are weak, despite some strengthening over the past month. It noted U. S. wheat futures were pushed higher by speculative money. PRO wheat values were raised between $1 and $10 per tonne from the October PRO. The Pool A feed barley outlook was raised $7 per tonne. ICE suspends, fines ex-Refco trader: ICE Futures Canada has ordered a 10-year suspension and $20,000 fine for trader Wayne Palmer, who worked for Refco (later Man Financial Canada) in Winnipeg from 2004 until he was fired in 2006. ICE says Palmer and an unnamed “Trader ‘E’” had engaged in pre-execution communications, disclosed confidential client information, engaging in prearranged trading and traded on non-public material information between March 2005 and February 2006 – all trading violations which removed transparency and “generally caused harm to the market and to market participants.” Positive outlook: Monsanto Co.’s shares are set to rise in the longterm although it currently faces obstacles including tough competition from China in the herbicide business, Barron’s said.

Analysts expect Monsanto’s profit to fall 25 per cent in 2010, but the report said it would likely recover in 2011 onward, with the help of strong growth in the company’s seeds business. It quoted Morgan Stanley analyst Vincent Andrews as saying Monsanto’s core business is worth $88 a share and its pipeline of new products another $17, pegging the shares at $105.

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