Country 105

Country 105


Agriculture Report

Ag Sector Weathering Storm

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Farm Credit Canada says hog producers suffered losses, but prices are going up.


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Farm Credit Canada reports the agriculture sector is weathering the current economic uncertainty well.

Although Canadian hog producers have experienced substantial losses over the past 18 months to two years forcing many to exit the industry -- agency spokesperson Mike Hoffort says things are looking better with hog prices about 30 per cent higher than one year ago.

As well, feed prices have gone down and the Canadian dollar has dropped.

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The chief economist with the T-D Bank says farm prices are expected to improve in the coming two years.

Don Drummond says although the downturn in the world economy has affected agriculture, it has not been hurt as badly as the central Canadian manufacturing sector.

Saskatchewan is expected to be the only province to show economic growth in 2009.

Drummond predicts commodity prices will bottom out in the next couple of months.

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The Canadian Wheat Board says it welcomes the federal government's efforts to begin free-trade talks with Morocco.

The board says the talks are crucial to protect prairie durum wheat exports worth hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz met this week with the Moroccan agriculture and trade ministers in Rabat to discuss opportunities for a free-trade agreement.

Canada's dominant durum position is in danger of erosion from a deal signed four years ago between Morocco and the United States.

That deal could put Canadian imports at a tariff disadvantage to American imports.

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Ontario Rabbit's Annual Open House and Barn Tour is being held on Saturday May 2nd in Holstein from 11 AM to 2 PM.

Steve Bowier is this year's barn tour hosts.

He operates an 800 doe operation from their farm locations in Kenilworth and Holstein.

The barn in Holstein, will be the focus of the tour.

The tour will give participants an opportunity to see how the Bowiers have expanded their operation over the years, the challenges they have faced as a larger grower and the opportunities that are available for the Ontario rabbit sector.

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The economies of scale that push commercial agriculture have triggered a debate about food safety and security that some researchers and farmers say can be addressed by promoting genetic diversity in livestock.

Doctor Dian Patterson says Canada's food supplies are largely safe and affordable, but it wouldn't hurt to take a longer view.

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A food safety expert suggests comprehensive food safety systems are the best line of defence against the bacterial contamination of processed food products.

A Health Canada and Canadian Food Inspection Agency working group was formed in response to last summer's national listeriosis outbreak.

It is recommending several regulatory changes including increased end product testing by the agency.

Doctor Rick Holley says U-S initiatives to increase end product testing are a less than positive approach and he is concerned Canada may follow that direction.

 


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