BMO Report: Canadian Livestock Producers Set for Robust Growth in 2014

February 26, 2014 | Commerce

According to a BMO Economics Agriculture Report, released today, the Canadian livestock industry is set to benefit from a variety of factors this year, including lower feed costs, the weaker loonie and expected stronger economic growth on both sides of the border. Between the bovine spongiform encephalitis (BSE) crisis, fluctuating feed prices, the global recession, and the longer-term appreciation of the loonie, Canadian hog and cattle producers have faced almost every conceivable challenge over the past decade or so, said Aaron Goertzen, Economist, BMO Capital Markets. Fortunately, the pendulum has finally started to swing in the other direction, which has positioned the industry...

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Farming Groups Say Chipotle’s “Farmed and Dangerous” Misleads Viewers

February 24, 2014 | Commerce

Feb. 22--Wisconsin farmers aren't finding much humor in a new television comedy that has exploding cows and an underlying serious message critical of large-scale agriculture.

Produced by the restaurant chain Chipotle Mexican Grill, the comedy series "Farmed and Dangerous" satirizes the lengths to which corporate agribusiness and its image-makers go to create a positive image of industrial agriculture, Chipotle says.

The first episode of the show, which began this past week on Hulu and Hulu Plus, focused on farmers planning to feed cows petroleum pellets -- a move meant to boost profits by lowering costs but which backfires when a cow explodes.

Later episodes begin with snippets of text...

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Cargill to Reject for Export Crops With New GMO Syngenta Corn

February 18, 2014 | Commerce

Cargill Inc, the top exporter of U.S. grain and oilseeds, said it will reject crops containing a new genetically modified Syngenta AG corn trait that are delivered to its grain elevators for export contracts.

Corn seeds containing Syngenta's Agrisure Duracade trait are available for planting in the United States for the first time this year after U.S. authorities cleared the trait in 2013. The trait has not been approved for import by China or the European Union, both major buyers of U.S. crops. To read more click here.

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USDA Raises Exports and Lowers Corn Stocks in February WASDE

February 12, 2014 | Government | Commerce

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) increased corn exports by 150m bushels, which lowers current ending stocks to 1.481bn bushels, in the release of the February World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report on Monday.

With the revised figures the USDA is now projecting exports will total 1.6bn bushels and is giving some expectations that crop prices will hold firm heading into the 2014 planting season which will commence in the key growing regions over the next six weeks as weather permits.

In January the agency had projected there would be about 1.631bn bushels carried over but the latest USDA estimate paints a picture of a market growing...

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US Sorghum Sales to China Surge

February 11, 2014 | Commerce

This week's U.S. Grains Council Chart of the Week shows that U.S. sorghum sales to China have surged in the current 2013/2014 marketing year that began Sept. 1, 2013, up from zero last year to more than 1.6 million metric tons (62.9 million bushels) of combined exports and outstanding sales this year through Jan. 24. U.S. sorghum exports and outstanding sales to Japan also are up this year – from 91,700 tons (3.6 million bushels) last year to 270,400 tons (10.6 million bushels) this year. 

China provides a new opportunity for U.S. sorghum sales partly because of access barriers to U.S. corn in China. Although China's domestic corn prices are well above world market levels,...

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Latin America Economic Powers Sign Trade Pact

February 11, 2014 | Commerce

CARTAGENA, Colombia (AP) — The presidents of four nations collectively responsible for half of Latin America's economic output have signed an accord to eliminate tariffs on 92 percent of the products they trade.

The presidents of Colombia, Chile, Mexico and Peru signed the accord in Cartagena, Colombia, on Monday. Together they form the nearly two-year-old Pacific Alliance.

The accord is expected to take effect next year after approval by institutions within the member nations. Tariffs on agricultural goods such corn and beef will be gradually reduced.

The four partners count 212 million inhabitants among them and their economies are worth a combined $2 trillion a year.

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