Country 105

Country 105


Agriculture Report

Top Notch Winter Wheat

By Fadi Didi

The Ontario agriculture ministry says not only was this year's winter wheat crop massive, it was also of excellent quality.

The ministry points to optimal planting conditions a year ago as a big reason for the record yields.

The field crop team says cool nighttime temperatures and a lack of snow cover in March and April led to purple wheat in much of the province. That turned quickly though as the weather got very warm this summer.

The heat led to a harvest which was two weeks ahead of 2015. The team says the main issues for wheat producers were stripe rust and cereal leaf beetle.

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An Ontario-based wine and spirit producer says it's looking to benefit from the province's move to allow more wine sales from grocery stores and from growth in export sales.

Diamond Estates Wines & Spirits Inc. wants to raise 5-million dollars to fund an expansion that will increase its production capacity by 50 per cent.

The company says it's in the process of selling about 22-point-7 million shares of Diamond Estates at 22 cents each, through private placements. The money raised will be used to add barrel storage, warehouse space and bottling capacity.

The company says the resulting economies of scale are expected to translate into higher margins on incremental sales volume.

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The quarantine of cattle in a western Canada bovine tuberculosis outbreak continues to grow, even as no new confirmed cases of the disease have been found.

However, officials are saying they are hopeful that the number of animals quarantined or needing to be destroyed may have peaked.

The chief veterinary officer for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, calls it cautious optimism.

He says detailed inspections of animals for tell-tale signed of the disease have so far turned up nothing, beyond the cattle that were originally found to be infected.

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Ranchers in the Northern Plains hired fewer workers this year than in 2015, and paid them less this October during the key harvest period than they did a year earlier.

That's the news from a farm labour report issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture office in Lincoln, Nebraska.

The report said farmers and ranchers in South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas hired 34-thousand workers this summer, down eight per cent from the same week in 2015.

Comparing July 2016 to July 2015, farmer labour earned more this year and livestock workers earned less, and worked fewer hours.
 


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