Country 105

Country 105

Agriculture Report

Agrium posts loss


Farmers having trouble getting enough nutrients for fiels.


    The C-E-O of Agrium says farmers have been so eager to fertilize their crops that some regions are having trouble getting their hands on enough of those nutrients.
    Mike Wilson says indications from the Calgary-based firm's vast U-S retail system show that growers are applying fertilizers and other products on their fields at more normal levels, after delaying that activity during last year's deep economic downturn.
    Yesterday, Agrium posted a first-quarter net loss of seven (m) million dollars (US), dragged down by 68 (m) million dollars in hedging losses, but improved from a year-ago loss of 60 (m) million.
    The company, which reports results in U-S dollars, says fertilizer sales volumes were higher in the quarter and it sees them returning to normal as the long impact of the recession ebbs.

    Cuba says this year's sugar harvest is the least productive in more than a century.
    A report in the Communist Party newspaper Granma says the harvest fell short of expectations by 850-thousand tons, though it did not specify what the goal had been.
    It says there had not been ``such a poor sugar campaign'' since 1905.
    Troubles with harvests in other parts of the world have helped push sugar prices higher on world markets and could lead to increased prices for baked goods and other food products down the road as food processors pass along rising costs to consumers.


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