Country 105

Country 105


Agriculture Report

New Strawberry on the Way

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New berry will be available for growers next Spring.


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Strawberry lovers are getting a new type of berry to sweeten their shortcakes and jams.

Valley Sunset -- named because it blooms late in the season -- was developed in Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley and will be available to growers next spring.

The egg-sized berry was 20 years in development and might give Canadian growers a new advantage in an increasingly competitive market as well.

The fruit breeder who created Valley Sunset says it could extend the local season by a week -- a substantial boost for the berry.

Andrew Jamieson, who developed the plant at the Atlantic Food and Horticulture Research Centre in Kentville, says the extra week could increase the income from strawberry sales in Canada by 15 per cent.

Agriculture Canada estimates that the strawberry industry brings in 10 million dollars annually for growers in Atlantic Canada and 60 million across the country.

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The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) says agriculture is one sector of the Canadian economy that will face ongoing challenges over the coming years.

In its monthly Agriculture Business Barometer the CFIB says it's most pessimistic about agriculture, natural resources and transportation.

In the the case of agriculture, the concerns revolve around the downturn in the livestock industry as well as drought in parts of Western Canada.

Marilyn Braun-Pollon, CFIB's vice president for agri-business says "It is our hope the recent meeting of federal, provincial and territorial ministers of agriculture will acknowledge these significant challenges and implement improvements to programs like AgriStability."

She says Our agri-business members want to earn a profit from the marketplace, not the mailbox.

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The top investigator into last year's deadly listeriosis crisis hands in her long-awaited report to Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz on Monday.

Sheila Weatherill's report will assess how the federal government responded to the crisis that saw 22 people die and hundreds more fall ill after eating contaminated deli meats.

The report will not express findings of criminal or civil liability, but it will make recommendations on how to prevent similar outbreaks.

Weatherill and her team conducted more than 100 interviews and amassed some five million pages of information during their seven-month probe.

The investigators held closed-door meetings with cabinet ministers and their senior aides, bureaucrats, various experts, and industry and consumer groups.

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Honey bees are normally, well, busy as bees at this time of year, but a relentless cool summer has taken the buzz out of honey and other crop production.

Calvin Parsons, president of the Saskatchewan Beekeepers Association, says beekeepers are about two weeks late extracting honey because it's been unseasonably cold.

Parsons says that could impact the honey supply unless the weather improves.

Environment Canada senior climatologist David Phillips says the lack of heat is having an impact on growing areas from Alberta to the Maritimes.

But Phillips says the good news is that new weather models predict warmer than normal or near-normal temperatures for most of the country from mid-July to mid-August.

 


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