A 23 per cent increase in fourth-quarter grain and fertilizer revenue helped Canadian National Railway (CN) offset higher operating and tax expenses.CN’soverall Q4 profit was $573 million on $2.2 billion in revenue, down 31 per cent from the year-earlier period. Full-year 2008 profit was down 12 per cent at $1.9 billion on $8.5 billion in revenue.CN’sQ4 and full-year grain handle dropped 12 and four per cent respectively, but Q4 and full-year grain freight revenues were up nine and five per cent at $381 million and $1.38 billion respectively. Chemical firms team up on dicamba: BASF and Monsanto have a new joint-licensing agreement to speed up development of next-generation dicamba herbicides for use in herbicide-tolerant crops. The two companies said improved dicamba (Group 4) products would complement work on seed varieties tolerant both to glyphosate, such as Monsanto’s Roundup, and to dicamba, such as BASF’s Banvel II. Monsanto said it’s working to develop dicamba-tolerant soybean and cotton varieties to combine with its Roundup Ready crops, thus giving growers “multiple tools for weed control.” Ottawa tightens paperwork for U. S. horses: Horses coming to Canada from the U. S. must not have been on premises where the bacteria that cause contagious equine metritis (CEM) have been found, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency warns. Imported horses must also show no signs of CEM at inspection. The U. S. Department of Agriculture has so far found nine stallions in four states carrying the venereal disease, plus 374 other exposed stallions and mares. Canada also plans new rules for imports of semen and embryos after semen from infected U. S. stallions was shipped this spring to Alberta and Ontario. Ethanol feed initiative: The federal government is investing $6 million in the Feed Opportunities from the BioFuels Industries (FOBI) research network that will work to develop and harness new market opportunities in the ethanol and livestock sectors. The FOBI network will focus on creating higher quality livestock feed from ethanol waste, also known as distillers grains. The research will explore the integration of livestock production and wheat-based ethanol production, and focus on creating new products and new markets for Canadian farmers. Export development: The federal government is investing $944,000 to help the Agri-Food Export Group Quebec-Canada implement its International Market Development Strategy, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and National Revenue Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn announced. The funding will help Canadian food processors participate in international fairs and host the Salon international de l’alimentation (SIAL) de Montréal and the Canadian Agri-Food Export Gala. The third annual Canadian Agri-Food Export Gala will be held on April 1, 2009.
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