In Brief… – for Aug. 11, 2011

Correction:The following four winter wheats – CDC Kestrel, CDC Clair, CDC Harrier, CDC Raptor and CDC Falcon will be transferred from the Canada Western Red Winter wheat class to the Canada Western General Purpose class Aug. 1, 2013. Incorrect information appeared in last week’s edition. CDC Falcon will remain in the CWRW class past 2013 if there isn’t a suitable replacement for it. Time is now:The Grain Growers of Canada wants a firm commitment from the minister responsible, Hon. Denis Lebel, that the implementation of the rail service review will be one of his highest priorities this fall and winter.

“We were very pleased with the government’s rail service announcement last spring and think this file is on the right track,” said Stephen Vandervalk, president of the Grain Growers of Canada in a release. “However, we also think it is time for a public statement so that all players in the industry are ready to engage in a timely manner.” –Staff Solution series:Consulting firm Farmers Edge has partnered with the Manitoba Pork Council for a new print and television advertising campaign promoting the pork industry’s dedication to environmental stewardship. “Recent publicity around nutrient concerns in Lake Winnipeg and the looming provincial election make this the perfect time to share with the public just how dedicated the agriculture sector is to being responsible stewards of the land,” said Farmers Edge president Wade Barnes. To watch video series visit: http://manitobapork.com/environmental_ performance. Science partnership:Canada and China officially committed to strengthen agricultural science and innovation (S&I) partnerships at a ceremony at the University of Manitoba Aug. 8.

This event marked the formalization of six academic exchange arrangements between Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and universities in the People’s Republic of China. The objectives are to facilitate the exchange of personnel and students, the planning of joint meetings and workshops, and the development of collaborative research initiatives. –Staff Below trend values:U.S. corn and soybean yields are likely to fall below trend values in 2011 because of hot weather, although the degree of the shortfall will depend on the weather in August, two University of Illinois researchers said August 4. Agricultural economists Scott Irwin and Darrel Good said August temperatures are expected to be above the 1975 to 2010 average with average precipitation. “Under those conditions, a U.S. average corn yield in the 150-to 154-bushel range and a U.S. average soybean yield in the 41-to 43-bushel range might be expected,” the note said. –Reuters

U.S. drought worsens:

Drought worsened in the U.S. Midwest during the last week as record-high temperatures stressed the developing corn and soybean crops, while cotton and pastures eroded amid a historic drought in the southern Plains. Nearly 38 per cent of the Midwest was “abnormally dry” as of Aug. 2, the climatologists said in a weekly report, the most since December 2008. Temperatures in the past week hit record highs from the Plains to the East Coast, in some cases rising above 100 F (38 C) for the first time in more than 20 years. –Reuters Meltdown continues:U.S. grain markets are being held ransom by the global economic meltdown and even the most experienced analyst has not offered an estimate as to where the price skid may end.

Chicago Board of Trade corn futures early last week soared the daily 30-cents-per-bushel limit gain on a bullish fundamental forecast for low corn yields due to July’s heat wave that hurt the crop.

The limit gains lasted one day. The market then unraveled as the stock market plunged, leaving investors gasping, yet corn ended the week firm. –Reuters Drought relief:U.S. farmers and ranchers hurt by the severe drought that has parched much of the country could be eligible for emergency relief from the government, the U.S. Agriculture Department said Aug. 8. The USDA said it is making changes to its Conservation Reserve plan – a program that pays producers an annual rent for taking fragile land out of production – would allow emergency grazing on the land through Oct. 31, 2011 rather than the normal cut-off date of September 30, the end of the government’s fiscal year. –

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