Country 105

Country 105

Agriculture Report

Farmers Getting Less Money


Agriculture prices fall in May by 4.8 per cent.


Prices farmers received for their commodities fell 4.8 per cent in May compared with May a year ealier -- as the crops index fell -- offsetting an increase in the total livestock and animal products index.

Statistics Canada reports the prices producers received for crops in May were 14.4 per cent lower compared with May 2008.

Higher prices for potatoes, fruit and vegetables were unable to compensate for lower prices for grains, oilseeds and specialty crops.

Total Canadian stocks for all major grains and oilseeds increased in the first quarter of 2009 compared with the same quarter of 2008, the result of strong production in 2008.

Prices producers received for livestock and animal products in May increased 2 per cent compared with May 2008, continuing the growth in year-over-year prices observed since June 2008.

Increases were recorded for all commodities except hogs and eggs.

Higher cattle prices have been supported by lower input costs and reduced inventory.


Farmers say a new traceability program isn't worth the cost to implement it.

Livestock producers say thousands of dollars are spent each year on tags to help track where beef comes from -- but it's actually processors who need to be more accountable.

Meat plants have come under fire lately for their role in the listeriosis outbreak.

The federal government wants a more comprehensive traceability program in place by 2011.

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz says producers will be asked to pay an extra 60 cents for an animal tag containing microchip technology.

But he adds the investment will pay off as Canadian products reach new markets.


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.

Officials say beekeepers are about two weeks late extracting honey because it's been unseasonably cold.

That could impact the honey supply unless the weather improves.


The European Union's Agriculture Commissioner has rejected appeals by farmers to lower milk quotas to ease the glut of dairy products on the market.

However, officials want member states to fast track aid payments and loans to dairy farmers affected by the collapse of prices for milk, cheese, butter and other dairy products in recent months.

Dairy farmers across Europe have called for more help and to cut milk quotas because a 50 per cent drop in prices over the last year is forcing them to sell below cost.


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