Country 105

Country 105


Agriculture Report

Farmers More Innovative

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FCC says economy forcing farmers to be more innovative.


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The economic downturn is forcing Canadian farmers to be more innovative.

Farm Credit Canada has completed a study looking at the issue.

Spokesperson Micheal Hoffort says the economic downturn has forced producers to be more cautious about their purchases as a way of reducing costs.

Researchers found 65 per cent of producers plan to implement new technology -- such as G-P-S or robotic milkers -- in the next five years.

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Pork producers and the federal government are talking about the Canadian swine industry crisis.

Ottawa has set aside 75 million dollars to set up a program to help producers quit the business.

The Canadian Pork Council says producers are anxious to hear details of the program and officials are trying to get it completed.

Spokesperson Gary Stordy hopes the program can be finalized in the next month.

Ottawa also is setting up a second program to offer loans to producers to help them stay in business.

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The National Farmers Union blames a decline in the Canadian beef cow herd on overdependence on the U-S market and mergers in the beef processing industry.

Research director Darrin Qualman says beef cow numbers have dropped 10 per cent in the past two years.

Qualman says the government has approved mergers that have resulted in just two major packers, one of which owns most of the auction marts.

He notes the U-S has recently opposed beef packing plant mergers.

Qualman also wants a ban on the growing trend of packing plant ownership of cattle herds.

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Manitoba farmers are harvesting more flax this year.

A recent survey from Stats Canada revealed the size of the flax seed crop increased by 24.4 per cent over last year.

Flax Canada spokesperson Less Rankin says it's a result of the cooler spring, and a later start to seeding.

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The Saskatchewan harvest is way behind schedule.

Spotty rain showers in many areas of the province last week delayed harvest operations.

Just over 3 per cent of the crop is in the bin.

The five year average is 16 per cent combined and 22 per cent swathed or ready to straight combine.

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Honey producers in Saskatchewan will have a disappointing year.

While the bee population has recovered -- it's too late to get a whole lot of production out of them.

One official says by early July -- producers had great expectations but everything got delayed because of the cool, wet summer.

The delay did give the bees a chance to get stronger so when the flow did start there was great optimism -- but the rain just wouldn't stop.

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Researchers have a new clue to the collapse of honey bee colonies  -- damage to the bees' internal "factories'' that produce proteins.

Theories about the cause of bee colony collapse have included viruses, mites, pesticides and fungi.

The new study of sick bees disclosed fragments of ribosomal R-N-A in their gut -- an indication of damage to the ribosomes -- which make proteins necessary for life.

The study is in the latest issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

 


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