BRIEFS – for Aug. 30, 2010

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Sugar beet ruling pressures USDA

Proponents of tighter U.S. oversight of biotech crops have threatened further court action if the USDA does not start examining the environmental and economic harm potentially associated with such crops. U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White on Aug. 13 imposed a ban on Roundupresistant sugar beets after earlier ruling USDA had not done a thorough enough environmental review of the biotech beets. The ban is to remain in place until USDA completes a thorough impact analysis of the crop. The ruling is the latest in a string of adverse actions against USDA for failing to properly evaluate biotech crops.

No food inflation threat yet from wheat rally –FAO


World wheat prices are set to be high and volatile in the coming months but they do not yet threaten to trigger global food inflation, an economist the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization said Aug. 20. Expected wheat output shorfalls in drought-hit Russia, the world’s third-biggest wheat exporter last year, and prospects of export curbs in neighbouring Ukraine have set international grain markets on fire in the past couple of months.

“We are coping with this problem (of output shortfalls) this year by taking on inventories…As inventories shrink, we are going to have even more volatility than we do today,” FAO economist and cereals analyst Abdolreza Abbassian told Reuters in a telephone interview.

“The current conditions will prevail for some time to come, until we have firm information about production prospects in 2011, usually it means until April-May next year,” he said.

As long as price surges are limited to wheat it does not pose a threat of global food inflation, Abbassian said.

“To talk about food inflation when the bulk of the increase is in wheat is a bit too early,” he said.

AARD Ag-Info line welcomes calls and questions


The Ag-Info Centre in Settler provides an easy way for Alberta’s agriculture industry and community members to access specialists, information and services within Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development.

The centre is staffed with specialists in the areas of crops, commercial horticulture, beef, forage, business management and new ventures. Resource agents take all calls, answer questions, forward the caller to specific specialists, help find online information and data or refer the caller to other information sources.

Ag-Info Centre staff are experienced at handling producer inquiries, from program information and production questions

to diagnosing complex agricultural issues.

The centre is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 pm. Monday to

Friday, except statutory holidays. To contact the centre, call

toll-free in Alberta, 310 FARM (3276). For out-of-province

assistance, dial 403-742-7901.

For more information on the Centre and a list of in-house specialists and resource agents, visit Alberta Agriculture’s website, scroll down to Frequently Asked Questions and click on the Ag-Info Centre link.



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