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Agriculture

Cool, wet spring in Saskatchewan delays seeding by at least a week

The cool and wet start to April in Saskatchewan has delayed seeding for at least a week and probably more if the forecast holds.

Brent Flaten is with Saskatchewan Agriculture, he points out producers are pretty used to delays due to the weather. In perfect conditions farmers in southwest Saskatchewan can sometimes start seeding in the last week of April, while other areas aren’t normally ready until the middle of May.

“We’re playing the wait and see game same as everybody else with the weather,” Flaten commented.

U of S vet students' Magic School Bus parody finalist in video contest

Some students at the University of Saskatchewan's Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) are trying to herd people online to vote for them in a cow-themed video contest.

The U of S video follows the journey of students who take a magic school bus ride inside a cow and if this video receives the most votes, the school will win a new ultrasound.

Value of Sask. farmland increasing

Farmland values are looking good in Saskatchewan, according to a recent report from Farm Credit Canada (FCC).

According to the report the average value of farmland in Canada has continued to rise; in Saskatchewan the average value increased by 28.5 per cent in 2013, giving the province Canada’s highest average increase.

The increase was in spite of Saskatchewan’s average land price being less expensive than its neighbouring provinces.

Indian Head Tree Nursery gets new lease on life after year in limbo

It has been over a year since the federal government took the axe to the 113 year old Indian Head Tree Nursery, but now a charitable research group is giving it a chance to grow again.

Rodney Sidloski is the CEO of HELP International, a non-governmental organization and research group based in Weyburn. After more than a year of sending paper-work and calling back and forth to Ottawa, the company officially signed an agreement this week to operate the nursery for this season.

Hunting changes target ravens, wolves on farmland

Some rule changes announced Monday will allow farmers and hunters to gun down more ravens and wolves.

Saskatchewan's Wildlife Regulations have been altered, partially because of increasing raven numbers. The population has apparently flourished in recent years and it's taking a toll on farms. Producers say the birds have been killing or hurting newborn livestock and tearing holes in grain bags.

Fire commissioner can't determine what caused OlySky barn fire

The Office of the Fire Commissioner can’t pinpoint the cause of a barn fire that claimed the lives of 3,500 pigs on Monday.

Following its investigation which wrapped up today, the fire commissioner said they couldn’t determine a cause because of the amount of damage from the blaze.

Sask government wants heftier mandate, penalties for grain shipping

Saskatchewan's Agriculture Minister wants to see more grain moving and higher fines against rail companies if it doesn't.

On Friday Lyle Stewart made a submission to a federal government committee that is looking at how to improve Bill C-30, the proposed legislation meant to address the massive grain shipping backlog. Stewart doesn't feel the federal bill goes quite far enough to address the supply chain issues that are costing farmers millions of dollars.

Sask. hog industry unaffected by pig nursery fire

Monday's pig nursery fire is a hit to OlySky but has little effect on the hog industry, according to the Saskatchewan Pork Council.

“It’s very unfortunate for the individuals involved-- the company, the people that work there and the critters themselves—but 3,500 is relatively insignificant compared to the number of hogs we produce in the province. We would produce about two million,” Neil Ketilson, general manager with the Sask Pork Council said.

3,500 pigs die in barn fire near Lanigan

Thousands of pigs are dead after a fire at Big Sky Farms northwest of Lanigan.

Humboldt RCMP and the fire department got the call about the fire near Burr around 6 p.m. Monday.

Photo courtesy RCMP.

Smoke was coming out of the eves of the building when they got to the scene but the fire became fully involved very quickly.

CN Rail: grain companies, elevators not doing their part

Canada's biggest railway is deflecting blame for the on-going grain transportation crisis to a new target : grain companies and elevators and the federal government's ending of the Wheat Board's marketing monopoly.

In a statement issued Monday, CN Rail argues that the entire supply chain is responsible for the massive backlog of grain. He said railroads are being unfairly targeted.

"There has to be greater supply chain collaboration, not finger pointing," insisted Mark Hallman, CN Rail's director of communications.

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