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Agriculture Headlines

Canadian Pacific Railway union serves strike notice

Union members representing Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd's (CP) conductors and locomotive engineers have served a notice to go on strike as early as May 29, according to a union statement released on Saturday.

LIVESTOCK-Feeder cattle extend gains after USDA shows drop in placements

U.S. cattle futures rose on Friday, shrugging off earlier declines on technical buying and support from government data showing fewer cattle placed in feedlots during April, traders and analysts said. Relatively thinly traded feeder cattle futures jumped more than 1 percent after the U.S. Department of Agriculture released its monthly Cattle on Feed report at midday, and those gains pushed up more the actively traded live cattle market . "When I started seeing the rally late, I think it was led by the feeder cattle. The deferred live cattle caught a little fire with that," said one U.S. futures trader. Chicago Mercantile Exchange August feeder cattle settled up 1.625 cents at 144.925 cents per pound, the highest since May 7. The weekly percentage gain of more than 5 percent was the largest in the contract's history. Most-active CME August live cattle finished 0.525 cent higher at 102.300 cents per pound. While the USDA report underscored abundant U.S. cattle supplies, declines in placements of cattle in feedyards declined by about 8 percent in April. That suggested that feedlots might need to buy cattle to fill up their pens. And even as the total supply of cattle on feed was up about 5 percent, new supplies available to bring into feedyards was beginning to tighten, the traders said. "We are going to have a hard time finding animals," said Zaner Ag Hedge analyst Ted Seifried. "The supply is going to dry up a little bit." The Cattle on Feed report was relatively in line with pre-report analyst estimates. The data showing large supplies on its own could be perceived as bearish but many had prepared for it. "A lot of times we get these slightly bearish reports that come out as expected, and we rally from there," Seifried added. Cash cattle after the report fetched about $110 per cwt in Kansas and Nebraska - sales that were down $5 to $6 from a week ago, suggesting limited demand for the moment from beef packers. Lean hog futures were little-changed in muted trading ahead of the three-day U.S. Memorial Day holiday weekend. CME July hog futures finished 0.775 cent higher at 77.550 cents per pound, keeping within the wider trading range established on Thursday. (Reporting by Michael Hirtzer; Editing by Richard Chang)

The sun rises behind a corn tassel in a field in Minooka

Hot weekend to boost growth of U.S. Midwest corn, soy crops

Sizzling temperatures in the U.S. Midwest and Plains this Memorial Day weekend should help spur the growth of young corn and soybean crops following planting delays due to cold weather last month, agricultural meteorologists said on Friday.