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Briefs continued…

Interlake shows holes in safety nets: Farm safety net programs such as the federal/provincial AgriStability plan have proven ineffective against multi-year “back-to-back disasters” as seen in Manitoba’s Interlake this summer, according to Keystone Agricultural Producers. Some farmers in the already-waterlogged region were hit with another major storm Aug. 24 that reportedly dropped up to another four cm of rain, and many “haven’t been able to use some of the long-term programs that were designed because of continued excess moisture problems,” KAP president Ian Wishart said last week. Hail claims rise: A slow year for hail claims in Manitoba became a near-average year after storms Aug. 13 and 14, according to the Canadian Crop Hail Association, an insurers’ group. Claims in the province now total about 1,750 so far this season after hail fell on areas from Brandon and Boissevain east through to Niverville. Areas near La Salle and Brandon saw 100 per cent crop loss in the heart of storms that dropped “baseball-sized” hail. Claims remain below average in Alberta while Saskatchewan enjoys “the lightest year for hail… that anyone can remember,” the association said Friday. Monsanto reorganizes top brass: Winnipeg-based Monsanto Canada has named Ryan Baldwin as the president of its seed and trait division, and Cory McArthur as president of its Roundup division. Baldwin was most recently Monsanto’s sales director for Western Canada; McArthur was marketing director for canola and crop protection. Lisa Safarian, until now president of Monsanto Canada, is back at Monsanto’s St. Louis head office as international product management and seeds and traits business lead for Latin America (North) and Canada. The moves are part of a global restructuring announced in June.

Park reservations jump:

Despite persistent cooler weather, Manitoba’s provincial parks are reporting an 8.6 per cent uptick in reservations so far this summer compared to the same time period last year. The parks reservation system counted 58,111 reservations. Conservation Minister Stan Struthers also noted the number of occupied campsites in provincial parks is up 2.6 per cent over the same period last year. “Our goal was to increase attendance by waiving park entry fees and I believe that action has had a positive effect” on numbers, he said Friday.

WTO to hear beef dispute:

The World Trade Organization has officially agreed to Canada’s July 20 request to set up a dispute settlement panel over South Korea’s ban on Canadian beef. The panel is expected to rule within the next nine months as to whether the ban, which dates back to Canada’s first domestic case of BSE in 2003, is consistent with South Korea’s WTO obligations. Canada in May had taken South Korea to WTO consultations to try and avoid this next step, but those talks “did not lead to a resolution of the issue,” according to a release from Ottawa Monday.

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