By <a class=”colorbox” href=http://www.agcanada.com/daily/lower-canola-acreage-no-surprise-to-farm-groups “>dave
p>CNS Canada – A slight decline in canola acres in Statistics Canada’s forecast Thursday may have come as a surprise to industry analysts — but farm groups closer to the situation agreed the crop was due for a bit of a pullback.
StatsCan’s report indicated Canadian farmers intend on seeding 19.8 million acres of canola in 2014, a 0.7 per cent decrease from 2013. Meanwhile, pre-report trade guesses generally ranged from 20 to 22 million acres, with most analysts anticipating at least a million more canola acres on the year. [Related story]
Saskatchewan canola acres are forecast at 10.3 million — a 1.9 per cent decrease, the biggest decrease out of all the provinces. Alberta intentions increased 1.6 per cent to 6.2 million acres and Manitoba remained the same as the previous year, at 3.2 million acres.
“Well, I think that one of the biggest reasons is that farmers really farm with their pencils,” said Catherine Folkersen, executive director at the Saskatchewan Canola Development Commission.
While canola prices are still doing reasonably well, a number of contributing factors may be causing producers to pull back from planting the crop, she said. One of those factors would be poor grain shipping programs in Canada …read more
By <a class=”colorbox” href=http://www.agcanada.com/daily/alta-pet-food-firm-to-make-u-s-play-with-kentucky-plant “>dave
p>An Edmonton pet food manufacturer with a penchant for home-grown ingredients plans to expand its reach south of the border with a new U.S. facility, and new U.S. suppliers, in western Kentucky.
Champion Petfoods, which operates plants at Morinville, Alta. and Oakville, Ont., announced Thursday it will build its third kitchen at Auburn, Kentucky, about 90 km north of Nashville, Tenn., creating 147 long-term jobs at a site “closest to our biggest market.”
The company, which sells its dog and cat foods in Canada and 70 other countries under the Acana and Orijen brands, has to date billed itself as sourcing its beef, pork, chicken, lamb, turkey, duck, bison, wild boar and eggs from Alberta producers, saltwater fish from Vancouver Island, fruits and vegetables from Alberta and the Okanagan Valley, and freshwater fish from northern lakes in the three Prairie provinces and Northwest Territories.
Privately-held Champion said Thursday its Canadian kitchens will continue to focus on supplying pet specialty markets in Canada, Europe and Asia. The new Kentucky kitchen, however, is to make Acana and Orijen products for the pet specialty market in the U.S., with its first products expected to be available in 2016.
Rural Kentucky will provide Champion with access to local …read more
By <a class=”colorbox” href=http://www.agcanada.com/daily/guenther-amid-tension-in-ukraine-positive-change-sought-for-farmers “>dave
p>As seeding progresses in Ukraine, farmers are eyeing input prices, markets and weather, just as their counterparts do in other parts of the world. But Ukraine’s farmers have the added worry of whether conflict in the eastern part of the country will boil over.
Last week Russian and Ukrainian officials signed an accord agreeing to back away from further violence and calling for demonstrators to leave public buildings in eastern Ukraine. But three pro-Russia separatists were slain in a shootout in the eastern city of Slavyansk over the weekend, and the bodies of two people allegedly abducted by pro-Russian activists were discovered Tuesday. Ukraine forces on Thursday reportedly killed up to five pro-Moscow separatists.
Both sides lay blame for the violence on the other’s doorstep; Russian President Vladimir Putin most recently warned of “consequences” if Kiev used its army against its own people. The U.S. is now deploying NATO troops to Eastern Europe.
Mike Lee, an agribusiness consultant based in the western Ukraine city of Lviv, said the conflicts have polarized people. Lee is originally from the United Kingdom but he’s also worked in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Russia. He now works with private investors setting up farms in Ukraine.
It’s difficult to know …read more
By <a class=”colorbox” href=http://www.agcanada.com/daily/ardent-flour-merger-closer-to-completion-with-mill-sale “>dave
p>Reuters -- U.S. food and grain-handling companies ConAgra Foods, Cargill and CHS have moved closer to sealing a deal to merge their North American flour mill operations by agreeing to sell four mills to a Japanese company.
Miller Milling Co., a U.S.-based unit of Tokyo-based Nisshin Flour Milling, will buy the four U.S. mills, the companies said Thursday.
Divesting the operations was part of the companies’ plans to complete the merger and create a company called Ardent Mills, which would control a third of the U.S. flour market.
Completion of the deal has taken longer than expected due to an investigation by the U.S. Justice Department’s antitrust division.
Under the deal, ConAgra is joining forces with Horizon Milling — a joint operation between Cargill and CHS that already is the largest flour miller in the U.S. The deal was first made public in March 2013 and was initially expected to close late last year.
Canadian assets joining Ardent are to include Horizon’s former Robin Hood flour mills in Montreal and Saskatoon, its former Robin Hood dry baking mix plants at Burlington, Ont. and Saskatoon, and its product development facility at Burlington — plus its plans to build another flour mill at Guelph, Ont.
The flour mills …read more
By daveChicago | Reuters -- U.S. wheat futures jumped nearly two per cent on Thursday on concerns about dry conditions in the U.S. Plains winter wheat belt and some key production areas of Western Europe as well as worries about tensions in eastern Ukraine.
Soybeans bounced back on bargain-buying after shedding more than three per cent this week, but uncertainty over demand from top importer China capped gains. Employees of a trading unit of Marubeni Corp. in China have been detained over allegations of tax evasion on soybean imports.
Corn futures drifted lower on profit-taking and technical selling following a sharp rally earlier in the week. Declines were limited by concerns that rainy weather might stall already-delayed spring planting.
Expected rain in the U.S. Plains fueled a drop in wheat prices on Monday, but traders said showers this week have missed some very dry regions in the southern Plains.
“I don’t think that the wheat market is convinced that the rains in Texas and Oklahoma are doing the job, and we’re getting worries about dryness creeping into Western Europe, particularly France,” said Sterling Smith, an analyst at Citigroup, citing the European Union’s top grain producer.
Tensions in Ukraine on Thursday also showed the continued risk of …read more
By daveChicago | Reuters – Back-month Chicago Mercantile Exchange feeder cattle futures on Thursday set new contract highs, sparked by weak corn prices that could help ease input costs for feedlots, traders said.
Feeder cattle futures drew more support from buying in the neighbouring CME live cattle pit.
May feeders gained more ground after breaking through the 20-day and 10-day moving averages of 179.058 cents and 179.255 (all figures US$).
August led advances after investors bought that contract and simultaneously sold May futures in a trading strategy known as bear spreading.
May closed 0.975 cent per pound higher at 179.6 cents. August ended up 1.6 cents to 184.05 cents, and hit a new contract high of 184.075 cents in after-hours electronic trading.
Live cattle extend gains
CME live cattle gained for a third straight session, supported by stout wholesale beef demand, traders said.
April live cattle closed up 0.325 cent/lb. to 144.25 cents, and June ended at 135.85 cents, up 0.75 cent.
Thursday morning’s wholesale choice beef price was up $1.42 per hundredweight (cwt) from Wednesday to $234.06. Select cuts rose $1.57 to $222.24, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Beef end users are stocking up to feature product during the spring grilling period, traders said.
Grocers competed for beef …read more
By <a class=”colorbox” href=http://www.agcanada.com/daily/statscan-canola-area-intentions-come-in-below-expectations “>dave
p>CNS Canada – Canadian farmers intend to seed less canola than most industry participants had anticipated this year, according to the first survey-based estimates from Statistics Canada, released Thursday.
However, adjustments to actual seedings are still possible, as spring seeding has yet to begin across Western Canada.
StatsCan pegged canola area at 19.8 million acres, which would be down from the 19.9 million seeded in 2013. Average pre-report estimates had been for an increase of at least a million acres in canola area on the year.
“The headline number is canola, and it didn’t just fall short of trade expectations, it was actually lower than last year,” said Mike Jubinville of ProFarmer Canada. He noted the survey was conducted a month ago, and still felt actual area could be up on the year, given changing market and weather conditions.
“It’s supportive for new-crop canola,” said Jerry Klassen, manager of GAP S.A. Grains and Produits in Winnipeg, on the lower acreage.
A return to average yields, after the record crops grown in 2013, would also help cut into the burdensome supply situation for canola, he said. However, with the record yields still a very fresh memory, growing conditions over the summer will now be a major …read more
Manitoba is bringing up the rear on this issue. What will happen is what has already happened in Ontario and Québec, homeowners will buy their products at the border, or your local hardware store, like mine will have two shelving units, top to bottom stacked with glyphosate for your personal attack on poison ivy – “it’s everywhere, it’s everywhere”.
OTTAWA – Apr 24/14 – SNS – Canadian farmers expect to plant less wheat than last year, while planting more field peas and their sixth consecutive record quantity of soybeans.
Farmers may modify their plans prior to planting time, as some reported being undecided about their strategies for 2014. Similar to 2013, many areas of the country are experiencing a longer winter than anticipated. Seeding intentions are based a survey of 11,500 farmers between March 24 and March 31.
Total wheat area could drop 4.8% to 24.8 million acres in 2014. Specifically, seeding intentions for spring wheat show a 5.6% decline from 2013 to 18.0 million acres in 2014, while acreage of durum wheat is expected to decrease 2.6% to 4.8 million acres.
Not such good news for Syngenta and Bayer, yet, the problem remains the same, no one has a decisive explanation for the rapid increase of bee deaths and bee colony decline. Nature is far from black and white, neonicotinoids may be one small factor here.
Arysta LifeScience North America recently announced two additional staffing updates: Kevin Staska has moved into a new role as Marketing Manager for Biostimulants; and Michael Snyder will assume the Marketing Manager for Broad Acre Fungicides role vacated by Staska.
Dow’s Agricultural Sciences sales recorded a slight increase of 0.8% to $ 2,119 million in the first quarter ended on Mar 31, 2014. Sales volume increased 2 % and price dropped 1 %.
Crop Protection sales rose 4 % due primarily to higher sales of herbicides in EMEA(Europe, Middle East and Africa), as favorable weather conditions led to an early start to the European cereal herbicide season. Increased sales of insecticides in Latin America also contributed to growth in Crop Protection. Sales of new crop protection products grew 28%, led by pyroxsulam herbicide.
By <a class=”colorbox” href=http://www.agcanada.com/daily/pearce-confusion-remains-surrounding-new-fluency-agent “>dave
p>Many in the seed and seed treatment sectors hoped, as the 2013 growing season came to a close, that development of a new fluency agent would be the beginning of the end of controversy between beekeepers and the crops sector.
At issue was the use of neonicotinoid-based insecticidal seed treatments and alleged ties to bee deaths and colony collapse in Ontario. Last year, mainstream media reports routinely savaged farmers and the agri-food industry for using neonicotinoid-based seed treatments, in spite of efforts by researchers and private-sector interests to determine the extent of any damage, and then to find a workable solution. As the season wore on, the battle between beekeepers and farmers became more heated.
The topics of bee health, seed treatments and a new form of dry lubricant were addressed during the season’s first meeting of certified crop advisers, retailers and staff with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food near Exeter, Ont. last Tuesday (April 15).
Dubbed the Fluency Agent, the new polyethylene wax-based seed flow lubricant was developed and tested extensively last year by Bayer CropScience and promoted at various events as a replacement for talc and/or graphite in negative-air (vacuum) planters. The new product became commercially available in February. …read more
By <a class=”colorbox” href=http://www.agcanada.com/daily/long-fund-position-could-be-bearish-for-cbot-soybeans “>dave
p>CNS Canada – Old-crop soybean futures on the Chicago Board of Trade moved sharply lower during the week ended Wednesday, with new-crop values seeing less severe losses.
The narrowing in of the old crop/new crop spread was a feature of the week’s activity. Going forward, the trend looks to bearish, according to analysts.
Values came under pressure amid reports of Chinese cancellations for old-crop U.S. soybeans, and fears that even more defaults could continue to weigh on the market.
“Right now, we’re pretty much at two million tonnes” of Chinese cancellations, said Sterling Smith, analyst with Citigroup in Chicago. “Seeing that number to three million tonnes would not surprise me in the least.”
With the South American production situation looking better, and reports that supplies from the region are moving into the U.S., the market could move down to the US$14 per bushel level, he said.
There’s also the possibility of fund selling going forward, as “we have an overabundance of funds long here, and that can certainly lead to some liquidation,” according to Smith.
But the news is not all bearish, as the market is going to need to build in planting and weather risk premiums ahead of the growing season in the U.S., he …read more