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Briefs Continued – for Oct. 29, 2009

Drive away hunger:

Farm Credit Canada’s (FCC) Drive Away Hunger program finished the last leg of its annual five-week journey on Oct. 16, with 1,627,617 pounds of food raised for food banks nationwide. Six tractor tours took place in Alberta, New Brunswick, Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan and Regina (where FCC’s corporate office is located) from October 13 to 16. In addition, FCC collected food and cash donations in every field office across Canada from September 14 to October 16. Manitobans donated 125,372 pounds of food. Border net tightens on U. S. horses: An outbreak of equine piroplasmosis in Texas has the Canadian Food Inspection Agency asking the U. S. Department of Agriculture not to issue export certificates for horses originating from the state. Horses coming from other states will now need supplementary USDA certification, including a declaration that animals being shipped haven’t been in Texas in the previous 21 days. Canadian border staff will also ask if equines are coming from Texas, have been there in the past 21 days or “transited” Texas on their way to Canada, and may refer horses for inspection. Durum, feed barley slip in PROs: Wheat and feed barley values are unchanged in the Canadian Wheat Board’s latest 2009-10 pool return outlook (PRO), while durum and malting barley values dropped. The CWB on Oct. 22 posted values $8 per tonne lower for milling-quality durum compared to September levels and designated barley values were cut by $4 per tonne (see page 10). Durum market fundamentals are “weaker than they have been for many years,” the CWB said, while malting barley prices were pressured lower by large stocks, ample global production and a strong loonie. KAP, MAFRI plan safety seminars: Keystone Agricultural Producers and the provincial Agriculture Department will host Farm Safety and Health Seminars on Nov. 4 at Dauphin and Nov. 10 at the Pembina Thresherman’s Museum “to hear the reality about disabling farm injuries and how they can affect us as individuals and our businesses,” KAP vice-president Rob Brunel said in an Oct. 22 commentary. Farmers and others interested in registering can contact provincial farm safety co-ordinator Glen Blahey at 1-800-282-8069 (ext. 2315) or by e-mail at [email protected] mb.ca.New priorities: The European Union’s executive arm will propose next month a radical overhaul of the bloc’s budget that would shift spending away from agriculture towards innovation, climate and energy. From 2013, when the EU’s current long-term spending plan ends, there should be “a major refocusing of EU spending priorities, with more emphasis on growth and jobs, climate and energy security … and less emphasis on agriculture,” a draft says. The proposal will set the scene for some two years of tough negotiations among the bloc’s 27 governments.

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