In Brief… – for Apr. 7, 2011

Japan to import 5.11 mln tonnes wheat:Japan plans to buy 5.11 million tonnes of foreign milling wheat in the year to March 2012 to supplement locally grown grain, the Ministry of Agriculture said last week. Japan, the world’s fourth-biggest wheat importer, buys wheat to supplement locally grown grain and keeps a tight grip on bulk imports from the world’s top three exporters – the United States, Australia and Canada – to stabilize prices. Wheat is the second-most-important grain after rice for Japan’s 127 million people, but the country grows about 15 per cent of its needs. Goldman Sachs sees $8.60 corn:Goldman Sachs said last Friday it raised its three-month price forecast for CBOT corn futures to $8.60 per bushel from $6.20 previously, citing bullish data in last week’s quarterly stocks report. In a research note, the firm also said it raised its six-month corn price forecast to $7.80 from $6, and its 12-month forecast to $7 from $5.80. Corn futures surged last Friday after USDA reported U.S. March 1 corn stocks at 6.523 billion bushels, below the range of trade estimates. CFIA tightens Japan controls:The Canadian Food Inspection Agency said last Friday that it will require documentation proving the safety of all food and animal feed products from areas affected by Japan’s ongoing nuclear crisis before it will allow them into Canada. The CFIA has also begun testing radiation levels of Japanese products. Earlier, the CFIA said it required documents verifying the safety of milk, fruit and vegetables from four Japanese prefectures. Just in case:The Office of the Fire Commissioner has added helicopter aerial rescue to its emergency response capabilities and will have a trained and certified crew on standby 24 hours a day throughout the spring flood, the province has announced. In addition to a team of specially trained rescue technicians and paramedics, a heavy-lift helicopter has been retained for the exclusive use of the Office of the Fire Commissioner this spring. “We want to be ready just in case,” Premier Greg Selinger said in a release.

– Staff Buses still running:The

Manitoba government has extended its service maintenance agreement with Greyhound Canada, maintaining existing bus service in Manitoba for another year, Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Steve Ashton has announced.

Manitoba will provide Greyhound with up to $3.9 million to continue the service until March 31, 2012. In September 2009, Greyhound Canada announced it would cease passenger services in Manitoba if it did not get government support. – Staff

Mentoring new farmers:

Wannabe farmers are invited to spell out their farming dreams in a 500-word essay and enter the New Farmer Challenge contest sponsored by Manitoba Farm Mentorship. The winner gets a a paid summer internship on a local mentor farm as well as financial assistance for farmer training and other perks.

Contest deadline is April 29. Entries must be submitted by email to [email protected] For more information go to: http://organicfoodcouncil.org. – Staff New deal:The CWB and CP have signed an agreement to improve rail service for grain. The agreement will see both parties work together to identify key performance indicators for placement and movement of the grain fleet. Meeting these performance indicators will enhance productivity and increase supply-chain capacity for the movement of Canadian export wheat and barley. Over the remainder of the crop year, the focus will be on joint initiatives such as bulk scheduling, improved order sequencing, and consistent reliable service from country to port. – CWB Bulletin Mapping the bison genome:A team of scientists has formally begun sequencing the entire bison genome. Researchers selected a mature bull that is part of the Yellowstone Park Quarantine herd and collected blood, hair and tissue samples after it was anesthetized with a dart gun.

Scientists believe mapping of the bison genome will provide the industry with a new set of tools along with a better understanding of how bison differ from cattle, such as why bison don’t respond to vaccines regularly used in cattle.

– Staff It’s official:The Canadian Warmblood Horse Breeders Association (CWHBA) has received approval of amended legal authorities which recognize the Warmblood horse as a distinct breed in Canada. This certification is key to ensuring that Canadian Warmblood breeders will be able to build on Canada’s reputation as a supplier of high-quality performance horses.

The Warmblood is further defined as a distinct breed under the Animal Pedigree Act.

– Staff

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