In Brief… – for Sep. 2, 2010

Saudi Arabia caps barley profits:Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest buyer of barley, has capped profit margins for importers and threatened to sanction violators and hoarders after a sharp rise in red meat prices. The government said that due to unspecified “exceptional conditions,” it has capped importers’ profit margins at five per cent. Importers who violate the regulations will be ineligible for state subsidies and their import licence will be suspended for at least six months. World barley prices have risen sharply on drought-reduced crops in Russia and Ukraine.

Sharp jump in CWB PROs:

The CWB last week released its August 2010 Pool Return Outlook (PRO) for the 2010-11 crop year. Wheat values are up between $33 and $53 per tonne from last month’s PRO, depending on class, grade and protein level. Durum is up $33 to $41 per tonne. Malting barley has increased by $46 and feed barley values are up $66. A full list of payments is available at or by calling 1-800-275- 4292

– Staff

Flood fighting funded:

The federal and Manitoba governments on Friday promised a combined $29.7 million for flood protection work, including hydrometric network infrastructure, meant to improve forecasting and emergency response; “enhancements” to flood control works; gates for the Shellmouth Dam spillway; flood protection projects at Melita; and dikes for “various flood-prone communities” north of Winnipeg. The federal government also said Friday it’s identifying 75 homes on Peguis First Nation for “protection or relocation,” as well as “more permanent protection” at Peguis generally. Hail claims up about 33 per cent:Hail insurance claims in Manitoba rose by nearly 600 over the two weeks ending Aug. 27 to over 2,400 so far this season, according to the Canadian Crop Hail Association, a Prairie insurers’ group. Activity was “relatively light” during those two weeks but many storms affected “portions” of the province, particularly on a very hot, humid Aug. 12, the group said. Areas affected in Manitoba over that time included Roblin, Swan River, Birtle, Benito, Austin, Westbourne, Portage la Prairie, Notre Dame de Lourdes, Lowe Farm and Sperling.

Blahey joins CASA:

Glen Blahey has joined Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA) as a health and safety specialist. He recently retired as provincial farm safety co-ordinator for the Manitoba government and has more than 28 years of experience in agricultural and occupational health and safety. “We are pleased Glen Blahey is joining the CASA team,” said Marcel Hacault, executive director of CASA, which is based in Winnipeg. “His technical experience and expertise will allow CASA to develop safety initiatives that will benefit farmers across Canada.”

Former dean passes:

Jim Elliot, dean of the University of Manitoba’s agriculture faculty from 1989 to 2000, passed away August 21 at his home in Ottawa. After obtaining a PhD in animal nutrition, Elliot worked as an assistant professor at Macdonald College and then at the Research Branch of Agriculture Canada before his appointment to the U of M as dean as well as professor of animal science. Elliot was instrumental in physical and academic renewal of the faculty, attracting some $20 million in external support. Funeral was scheduled for Thursday in Ottawa. Grandin film scores honours:Stock handling took on Hollywood chic Sunday night as the made-for-HBO movie “Temple Grandin” won seven Emmys at the U. S.TV industry awards show. On top of two earned the previous Saturday for music and film editing, the film won five more for outstanding made-for- TV movie, director (Mick Jackson), lead actress (Claire Danes, who played Grandin) and supporting actress and actor (Julia Ormond, David Strathairn). The U. S. animal science professor and livestock-handling expert, whose early life and career are the subject of the film, also attended the awards show. CN conductors plan strike vote:The union for about 2,700 conductors, yardmen and traffic co-ordinators at Canadian National Railway reports talks have broken down with CN. The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference said Sunday it sent a strike vote by mail to members and expects results by the end of September. The union argued CN wants to use the federal Labour Code “to impose a settlement on the parties rather than bargain by mutual agreement” and see the matter sent instead to arbitration. The TCRC separately represents CN engineers who the government legislated off the picket line in late 2009.

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