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In Brief… – for Oct. 1, 2009

Winter wheat shunned:

Wet fields and weak prices amid already ample world wheat supplies could spell fewer U. S. winter wheat acres planted this fall. Despite some of the best soil moisture seen in years, many farmers in key U. S. growing areas this week were either still evaluating how much wheat to plant or were planning to sow fewer acres to wheat. Large world supplies and lacklustre demand has weighed on the market and prices have been in decline since 2008 when the global wheat crop hit a record 682 million tonnes. Welcome news: Keystone Agricultural Producers has welcomed the passage of the federal tax deferral on breeding livestock initiative as part of a ways-and-means motion in the House of Commons.

The tax deferral allows producers in designated disaster areas to defer income from the sale of breeding livestock. KAP lobbied the federal government for months in 2008 and 2009 to expand the tax deferral (Section 80.3 of the Income Tax Act) to include excess moisture situations, which was previously only to be used for producers affected by drought. Better cold starts: Imperial Oil has introduced a synthetic oil for heavy-duty diesel engines that it says will improve cold-weather starting, improve fuel efficiency, extend engine life and reduce emissions. “Rigorous testing by Imperial shows Mobil Delvac 1 ESP SAE 0W-40 reaches the farthest parts of an engine within that all-important first minute, even in temperatures as low as -43C. While conventional oils thicken in the cold, Mobil Delvac 1 ESP SAE 0W-40 moves into action as soon as you turn the key,” the company says in a release. Loading reprieve: CN Rail, under pressure from the federal agriculture and transport ministers has agreed to keep the 52 producer car loading sites that it had marked for closure last month until at least the end of 2009. This additional time will allow for consultations with farmers interested in maintaining any of these sites.

“Farmers have always had the choice to load their crops onto trains via an elevator, or via a producer car loading site,” said Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz in a release. “Our government is committed to maintaining that choice.”

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