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Agriculture

Saskatoon free of Dutch elm disease

Saskatoon has close to 100,000 elm trees, but we've never had a confirmed case of Dutch elm disease.

"It just hasn't made it to this area of the province. Saskatoon is a bit of an island. The closest confirmed case is in Davidson," Darren Crilly, director of parks with the City of Saskatoon, said.

This week, Regina had its first case of Dutch elm disease and cut down an infected tree in the northwest part of the city.

Sask. pork industry nervous about Russian sanctions

Canada's pork producers woke up Thursday morning to find themselves swept up in the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

Russia announced it's blocking a list of agriculture products, including pork, which made up about 80 per cent of Canada's farm exports to that country in 2012.

The move comes as a retaliation for sanctions imposed by Canada, the United States, the European Union and other Western countries in response to Russia's involvement in unrest in the former Soviet country.

Family farm 'blown away' by OHS rules

A law preventing a Saskatchewan woman from letting her kids do certain jobs on her chicken farm is ruffling some feathers.

Janeen Covlin raises and sells chickens and eggs at Cool Spring Ranch in Endeavour, Sask., 370 kilometres east of Saskatoon. Her kids help out at their processing plant-- or at least they did.

Small town clothing line turning heads

A small town clothing line is gaining popularity not only in Saskatchewan, but also overseas.
 
"There's not too many comedic farming apparel companies out there, so that's where I slid in," Tractor Fitness founder Adam Fullerton laughed.
 
The 23-year-old farmer from Lacadena, Sask., said it all started last year when he was on his 16th straight day of seeding.
 

New regulations for railways take effect

New regulations passed by Ottawa at the height of this winter's grain shipping crisis took effect Friday.

Speaking at the Western Development Museum in Saskatoon, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said a key part of those regulations will see an order requiring rail companies to move a combined minimum of about a million tonnes of grain extended through the fall.

Crop insurance claims on the rise after summer flooding

The insurance claims are starting to trickle in from farmers who have had their land affected by flood waters.

Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation’s Rae Groeneveld said a total of 792 pre-harvest claims had been submitted as of July 29.

“A good majority of those claims are as the result of the flooding,” he said.

The southeast and east-central portions of the province were hardest hit.

Grain spilled after train derails in central Sask.

Clean up is underway in central Saskatchewan after a train derailment near the Village of Conquest.

Around eight cars jumped the tracks Monday night and two cars fell on its sides spilling grain.

"I have heard back from Big Sky Rail and they have informed me that they are conducting an investigation into the derailment," said Conquest village administrator Colleen Reilly. "It should be cleared up by tomorrow ... they are spilling but it's only grain."

Reilly said that no one was hurt and that neither RCMP nor the local fire chief were called.

Sask. group paving roads with deep-fried canola oil

While mixing a tank of used canola oil to power his diesel truck, Mark Hryniuk realized he had too much.

“So I simply took this oil and threw it on my road at home and didn’t think about it,” Hryniuk said.

And for a year the oil sat in the sun where it baked and hardened.

“Then one day I was moving equipment around my yard and there was this patch of gravel road that didn’t have any markings on it. There were tracks going up to it, and then on the other side and then it dawned on me -- that’s where I put that canola oil last year.”

Producers still feeling pinch of grain backlog

The grain backlog that plagued the country's producers this winter is getting better.

But, Norm Hall, president of the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS), said there's still about 20,000 railcars waiting to move.

"It's a hell of a lot better than back in March, when they were 70,000 cars behind," he said.

Hall said the majority of those cars are in Saskatchewan, as rail companies took the path of least resistance when the federal government started hitting them with fines for not shipping enough grain.

Two boys killed in tractor accident

A farm accident has claimed the lives of two boys in southwest Saskatchewan.
 
Shaunavon RCMP say the tractor they were on was pulling a bailer along a rural road near Ravenscrag Wednesday evening. As they headed east down a hill, the tractor left the road and went into a very steep ditch.

 A 10-year-old boy was ejected from the tractor, which then continued into a ravine where a 16-year-old boy was ejected. Both died at the scene.  

The names of the two young victims have not been released. 

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