Country 105

Country 105


Agriculture Report

Smaller Profits for Ag Companies

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Agrium and Archer Daniels Midland reporting smaller profits.


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Fertilizer giant Agrium says a plunge in potash sales volumes contributed to a 42 per cent decline in second-quarter profits, even as sales edged up during the period.

The Calgary-based company reported net income of 370 million dollars, down sharply from year-earlier profits of 636 million.

Agrium attributed part of the decline to an 87.5 per cent plunge in gross profits from its potash division.

A 513-thousand-tonne drop in potash volumes offset an 81 per cent spike in prices for the fertilizer.

Agrium reported an increase in sales for most other divisions.

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Archer Daniels Midland says its fiscal fourth-quarter profit tumbled 83 per cent as its results were pressured by higher corn costs, lower average selling prices and softer demand.

The Decatur, Illinois-based agribusiness company earned 64 million dollars, down from 372 million in the same period a year ago when the company benefited from crop prices that hit all-time highs.

Corn processing operating profit fell partly on higher corn costs, while weakening demand hurt oilseeds processing and agricultural services results.

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Canola growers should be careful about what chemicals are used to treat product that's getting harvested this fall.

The insecticide malathion is not registered to treat bins that store canola and should be kept away from those areas.

Every country that buys Canadian canola sets limits on pesticide residues, and exceeding those limits can mean rejected shipments and increased monitoring.

Last year Canadian canola seed exports amounted to over 3.1 billion dollars and detection of residues could cost the industry, including farmers, millions of dollars in business.

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The Canadian Wheat Board has released the initial payments for  various grades of wheat and barley.

Canada western red spring wheat brings 178 dollars a tonne and Canada western amber durum gets 183 dollars a tonne.

The initial payment for Canada western feed barley is 101 dollars a tonne.

Select Canada western two-row designated barley is at 160 dollars a tonne, and select Canada western six-row brings 140 dollars a tonne.

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The pricing period for the Canadian Wheat Board's wheat pricing option has begun.

A FlexPro contract enables farmers to lock in their own price for their wheat any business day of the year on tonnage committed between June 22nd and July 29th of this year.

FlexPro prices are directly linked to all markets the board sells into.

FlexPro is offered as a flat price without separate futures and basis components.

As well, sign-up is under way for 2009-10 early payment options, designed to provide additional cash flow throughout the crop year and to provide a floor price for grain committed to the program.

The program enables producers to receive 80, 90 or 100 per cent of the pool return outlook, less a discount, based on a reference grade.

And beginning tomorrow, the board will offer May 2010 futures and basis sign-up under the 2009-10 basis price contract.

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The Canadian International Grains Institute is hosting durum wheat buyers from around the world.

They are taking in the International Durum Program, which runs until August 14th.

Participants invited by the Canadian Wheat Board will learn about durum production and marketing in Western Canada and become familiar with the Canadian grain industry.

They also will participate in practical sessions that showcase the superior qualities of Prairie durum in pasta production, visit farms and primary elevators near Swift Current and tour grain terminals at the Port of Vancouver.

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Potato crops in most areas of Manitoba are at the bulking stage.

Tracy Shinners-Carnelly of Manitoba Agriculture says that means the tubers have formed and are starting to grow.

She adds it's important now to monitor for diseases and insects that commonly show up at this time in the season.

Shinners-Carnelly says no late blight has been found in Manitoba or North Dakota, but adds growers must remain diligent in scouting their fields regularly and applying preventative fungicides.

 


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