Country 105

Country 105

Agriculture Report

Improving Farm Support Programs


Federal Ag Minister wants to improve farm support programs.


Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz says he wants to improve federal farm support programs.

Ritz admits that aid programs are ineffective for many livestock producers and he wants to add some type of income insurance program for cattlemen.

Ritz also is pushing for speedy approval on an interim payment for grain sold in the crop year ending July 31st.

The Canadian Wheat Board is hoping an interim payment can be approved by early October and Ritz wants federal bureaucrats to comply quickly.


Farmers are becoming increasingly concerned about shrinking profits, even though prices at the grocery store continue to rise.

A new study shows food prices at the retail level have increased almost 4 per cent over the last year -- but the net revenue producers receive has actually dropped.

Keystone Agriculture Producers President Ian Wishart says farmers should be making more.

He wants to examine how value chains can become more efficient, as well as how the government can ensure more profit gets back to producers.

Wishart says producers in the grain sector receive the smallest share of profits from grocery revenues, while net profit is much higher for farmers in the red meat sector.


The Canadian Cattleman's Association is applauding the governments pursuit of new trade opportunities.

Ottawa has asked the World Trade Organization to settle a dispute with South Korea, after initial talks failed to conjure up a new agreement.

Cattlemen President Brad Wildeman says the government's determination to overcome what he calls an unjustified border closure is encouraging.

He says it's mystifying as to why their borders are off limits to Canadian Beef -- despite scientific evidence showing its safe to eat if cooked properly.


A spokesperson for the Beef Information Centre says American consumers are very accepting of Canadian beef.

Glenn Brand says that's what they found when they hired researchers at Texas Tech University to examine feelings of consumers about Country of Origin labelling.

He says there was a slight preference for U-S product, mainly due to bias toward domestic product -- but overall, Americans enjoy Canadian beef.

Researchers also found American consumers had no negative misconceptions about Canadian beef.


A spokesperson for the Canadian Cattlemen's Association says Gary Doer is a good choice for the position of Canadian ambassador to the U-S.

John Masswohl says as Manitoba premier, Doer took the time to go to Washington frequently, evidence that cross border relations are important to him.

Masswohl adds Doer's relationships with American governors will also be beneficial as many of the issues the association deals with are under state jurisdiction.


Cattle ranchers in Alberta are having a tough time this year.

Many are radically scaling back their operations -- and according to some auction houses -- a growing number are selling off their entire herds.


The Saskatchewan harvest is way behind schedule.

Just under 8 per cent of the 2009 crop has been combined -- up from 3 per cent last week.

An additional 9 per cent is swathed while 4 per cent is ready to straight combine.

The 5 year average is 22 per cent harvested.


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