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July 23, 2008
Looking for Greens to Quench a Growing Taste

Neck-deep in one of the many fresh canola crops flowering out in Western Canada, this deer—and its mate were found north east of Provost munching on the plants to help with their high energy demands. Farmers meanwhile are nurturing the crop for another reason—the $14 per bushel it is expected to bring at the marketplace. Story above. ©Provost News Photo.

Farmers Eye Record Crop Prices—But Expenses Climb
‘a kind of perfect storm means a rally in prices’
Farmers this year are looking forward to record prices for many crops but, says provincial crop market analyst Charlie Pearson expenses are also on the rise for producers.

Pearson told The Provost News in a telephone interview that across the nation canola has set a record at 15 million acres planted beating the previous record of approximately 14 million acres.

Canola is now commanding approximately $14 per bushel though prices are “bouncing around quite a bit” and there seems to be a lot of volatility in the marketplace now. Over the last couple of years canola fetched $6 to $7 per bushel.

Fewer and fewer farmers are summerfallowing their fields due to better use of technology for continuous cropping. “I think it will be a good year for farmers’ profitability” but Pearson is quick to point out that any farmer will say that fertilizer and fuel and other costs are climbing as well so there is “still the cost squeeze. Like every year they need a good crop to pay the bills. There are good prices but it’s not 100 percent gravy.”

In mid-July, No. 1 wheat was selling for $300 per tonne, or
approximately $8 per bushel. The global shortage of wheat has been building for years as farmers opted for more profitable crops, and consumption outstripped production. Barley meanwhile is earning $4.50 per bushel.

Pearson says there are three major factors driving the increase in value of the crops. For the past five or six years more grain has been consumed which has pulled down inventories. “This year finally the chickens came home to roost and people realized how tight food supplies are.” That was in part triggered by an increase in world populations.

In addition, improving economies in south east Asia where better diets mean more wheat instead of rice is being consumed there. The wealth in Asia has also triggered huge demand for oilseeds and feed grains.

The third factor is the emergence of bio-fuels. More grain is being used for ethanol and more vegetables for vegetable oils are tightening up those supplies “so a kind of perfect storm” means a rally in prices.

Four billion bushels of corn are expected to go into ethanol production in the U.S. this year—up from three billion last year —putting a squeeze on corn and grain markets, adds Pearson. The higher world prices are being reflected in the Provost area as well, the crop analyst says.

Rest of story in July 23 edition of The Provost News.
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Crude Oil Production in Canada Continues Upwards
The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) has released its annual crude oil production, supply, markets and pipelines outlook for 2008.

CAPP's 2008 Canadian crude oil supply outlook has two cases, both looking out to 2020.

The Moderate Growth Case represents the “expected” outlook while the more aggressive Pipeline Planning Case has been developed to ensure the industry is planning for adequate pipeline capacity.

In the Moderate Growth Case, total Canadian crude oil production (conventional, oil sands and Atlantic offshore) is projected to increase from 2.7 million barrels per day in 2007 to almost 4.5 million b/d in 2020. In the Pipeline Planning Case, production rises to 5.0 million barrels per day.

Rest of story in July 23 edition of The Provost News.
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‘No Turning Back for Adult Condo Project’—Developer
An eight unit condominium project aimed for use for “seniors adult living” will be built near Hillcrest Lodge with construction to get underway next month, according to one of the people putting the plan together.

Complete story in July 23 edition of The Provost News.
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Street Spokesman
This week we ask: We ask "We asked How Can You Keep Children Occupied on Long Car Trips?"
. . . and offering advice were Wendy Parker, Yvonne Johnson, Anita Carter, Susan McCulley, and Ana Duff
Check out the July 23 edition of The Provost News for their answers.
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This, along with many other stories and pictures can be found in this week's edition of The Provost News.
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