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In Brief… – for May. 19, 2011

All wheels covered:CAA

Manitoba members can now seek roadside assistance 24 hours a day, seven days a week when their bike chain breaks or a tire tube pops. Bike Assist is a new benefit that allows CAA members to use any of their four annually allotted service calls to receive roadside assistance if their bike breaks down.

“Whether you’re an avid cyclist who commutes to work to save money on gas, or a casual biker who runs into trouble on the trail, CAA now has all of your wheels covered,” Mike Mager, president and CEO of CAA Manitoba. – Staff

New competition:Australian

wheat exports are set to face stiffer competition as Pakistan, which resumed exports after three years, pours grain from its new crop into the market and offers competitive prices to millers in Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Overseas shipments by Australia – the grain’s fourth-largest exporter – have already suffered from the country’s strengthening currency, while a return of Black Sea cargoes, after last year’s drought, promises to worsen the situation. Black Sea wheat will hit markets in September. Choice words:The National Farmers Union (NFU) is calling for Conservative MP Candice Hoeppner to correct recent comments she made about the CWB’s single desk. On May 4, Hoeppner told CBC, “I can tell you, in my riding, a lot of farmers, all they’re asking for is the choice. They don’t want to end the monopoly.” “This statement could only be made by someone who clearly does not understand how the CWB works. The fact is, you can’t have both,” said NFU Region Five Co-ordinate Ian Robson. – NFU release Done deal:Fertilizer maker and farm products retailer Agrium Inc. has completed the sale of the majority of the commodity management businesses of Australia’s AWB to Cargill Inc. for $677 million.

Agrium last year acquired AWB for A$1.24 billion with an eye on the company’s prized Landmark farm retail outlets. In December, Agrium said it would sell AWB’s commodity management arm to Cargill, the U.S. agribusiness and trading giant. Agrium said its receipts include the repayment of $363 million of working capital funding Agrium has provided to the business.

Correcting past wrongs:

The South African government will reopen a claims process that compensates black families who were removed from their land under white rule nearly a century ago. The program has compensated people or families, usually with a cash sum, who were forcibly driven from their land under the 1913 Natives’ Land Act, which set aside the vast majority of arable land for whites.

Most of the 80,000 claims have been settled but a government spokesman said new ones would now be considered, including for people whose ancestors were uprooted before 1913. Into the pit for this

Snowhite:Farmers who still have Canada Prairie Spring White varieties Snowhite 475 and 476 in their bins must deliver them by July 31 if they want to eligible for the top two grades. After that, they will only be eligible for feed grades. The varieties were deregistered April 28.

However, to help producers who may still have these varieties in storage, the Canadian Grain Commission decided to extend the period of eligibility until the end of the current crop year. – CGC release

If there’s a postal strike:

Regular delivery of theCo-operator may be affected by a labour disruption by members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, who will be in a position to strike May 24. However, the full issue will continue to be available on our website in a digital edition. If you would like notification of when a digital edition is available, visit the signup box at www.agcanada.com and provide us with your email address. As soon as each week’s issue is available, we will send you an email with a link to the digital edition. – Staff

Increase requested:

The CWB has sent a recommendation to the federal government for additional increases to the 2010-11 initial payments for wheat. If approved by government, this recommendation would further increase the payment for the base grade of wheat (1 CWRS 12.5) by approximately $27 per tonne, with a range of increases for other grades. Timing of payments cannot be confirmed until government approval is received, according to a process set out by the CWB Act. – Staff

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