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Briefs continued – for Oct. 1, 2009

No deal: Canadian fertilizer maker Agrium Inc. has again extended its hostile offer for U. S. rival CF Industries Holdings Inc., which again said it wasn’t interested.

The offer of $40 in cash plus one Agrium share for each CF share was set to expire Sept. 22, but is now set to expire on Oct. 22. Agrium had also pushed back the deadline in August. Agrium said 11.2 million shares have been tendered – up from the 10.5 million it had reported in August. CF said it was committed to its own plan for a hostile takeover of rival Terra Industries. Neglect: A Neepawa-area farmer was fined $12,500 and banned from owning animals for five years after pleading guilty to charges under the Animal Care Act in Winnipeg courts last week. Donald Cicholski, 62, was charged after police and MAFRI officials found 12 dead cattle and another 10 suffering from neglect in the spring of 2007, according to press reports. Cicholski blamed his ailing health and financial problems for his failure to provide feed to his cattle. Animals were also seized from his property in 2004 but no charges were laid. More wheat: The International Grains Council raised its estimate for world wheat production in 2009-10 to 666 million tonnes, up from a previous forecast of 662 million, Sept. 24. The crop remains, however, below the record 687 million tonnes produced in 2008-09. “Better-than-expected yields lift crop estimates for the EU, Russia, Ukraine, Uruguay and Algeria,” the IGC said.

The IGC cut its forecast for world maize output in 2009-10 to 785 million tonnes, down from a previous projection of 787 million and the prior season’s 790 million. – Reuters Haystack fatality: A 57-year-old man died last week after he become trapped beneath a hay bale when a stack gave way on his farmyard. Manitou RCMP were called to a farm south of La Riviere late afternoon Sept. 24 after family members discovered the accident. It is believed the victim had been trapped since the previous evening. No names have been released. The investigation is ongoing.

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