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In Brief… – for Jul. 1, 2010

Out of time:

Wet conditions limited planting by Western Canadian farmers this spring to only 82 per cent of the original planned acreage, the Canadian Wheat Board said June 21. The final crop insurance deadlines passed on June 20.

Farmers are expected to plant their smallest acreage of wheat, durum and barley in decades and leave up to one-fifth of Western Canada’s farmland fallow after record rains this spring, the Wheat Board said earlier this month.

Protests continue:

The ongoing campaign to save Canada’s prison farms has moved west, where the NFU are protesting an auction scheduled for June 23 to liquidate the dairy herd from Riverbend Institution located near Prince Albert. “The government is defying the wishes of the vast majority of Canadians by going ahead with the sale of the Riverbend herd,” Dianne Dowling, NFU Local 316 president said. “When asked, Canadians have overwhelmingly spoken in support of maintaining and revitalizing the farms which provide effective training and rehabilitation.” – NFU release Smaller herd more

productive: The smallest June 1 U. S. hog herd in three years may be mildly supportive to hog prices. USDA on June 25 reported the U. S. hog herd, as of June 1, was 64.400 million head, down 3.6 per cent from a year earlier and the lowest since June 2007. It also reported the breeding herd at 5.78 million, down three per cent from a year ago, and the market hog supply at 58.6 million head, down 3.7 per cent.

However, there was record-large pigs per litter of 9.81 in the report, which could weigh on prices.

Protein premiums:

A global wheat market that’s “somewhat challenged” in protein supplies led to hikes for higher-protein spring wheats in the CWB’s June 2010-11 PRO.

No. 1 Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS) at 14.5 per cent protein was nudged up by $6 per tonne from May PRO levels. However, the board warned Western Canada’s excess rainfall shows “the dilemma of the particular versus the general” and noted “there is no panic over the global wheat supply.” Global wheat market fundamentals remain bearish. – Staff

Durum, barley PROs unchanged: New-crop durum, malting barley and feed barley PROs didn’t budge this month from May levels. “At this juncture, the durum supply-and-demand balance does not support a broad-based rally,” the CWB said of its durum outlook.

As for new crop feed barley, “the global barley marketplace remains characterized by abundance and a correspondingly unattractive price.” While North American malting barley supplies may be limited, that is offset by large EU stocks and expectations for an abundant new crop in the EU. – CWB Release

Nicoll calendar a success:

Sales of 2010 calendar featuring the photographs of the late Glen Nicoll raised $6,690 for Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada. Nicoll, an Interlake rancher, journalist and photographer lost his battle with brain cancer in June 2009. The memorial calendar fundraising project was coordinated by volunteers with support from the Nicoll family, Farm Business Communications and the Manitoba Forage Council. The first calendar project in 2009 raised $6,700 for the charitable foundation. – Staff

U. S. to limit antibiotics:

The U. S. Food and Drug Administration said June 28 it is moving to the limit the use of antibiotics in livestock production. However, it said it will work to implement new limits in a way that will not disrupt animal industry. The agency said using medically important antibiotics to increase livestock production is “not a judicious use.” New rules will target antibiotics that were approved prior to 2003, are used to increase livestock production, are sold over the counter, and are given continuously to entire herds or flocks.

Check your contract:

Growers who signed contracts when they purchased canola seed for the 2010 growing season may qualify for compensation if they weren’t able to seed or lost their crop, the Canola Council of Canada says. Seed companies and crop insurance programs will compensate growers for acres taken out of production or acres reseeded. Deadlines to make a claim are very soon and vary by company. Growers who are in a claim position should contact their seed retailer or the seed company’s claim call centre immediately. – CCC Release

Doha deadlines dropped:

World leaders confronted the issue of missing their own deadlines for completing the nine-year-old Doha trade negotiations June 26 by agreeing to set no more deadlines.

Leaders from the Group of Eight rich nations renewed a pledge to finish the WTO’s Doha round, but for now they want to push forward on bilateral and regional trade talks.

Last year, a G8 summit in Italy and a Pittsburgh meeting of the Group of 20 both committed to a 2010 end date that now looks impossible to meet.

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