Country 105

 

     
Country 105

Country 105


Agriculture Report

Farmers Debt Load Rises

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Report shows Canadian farmers have higher debt load than U-S.


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Farmers in Canada are carrying a much higher debt load than their counterparts in the U-S.

Ian Wishart of Keystone Agriculture Producers says farm debt is four times higher in Canada compared to the United states.

Wishart says government programs in Canada are much weaker -- leaving farmers more vulnerable to declining markets.

A report released in August also showed producers in the U-S receive a much larger market share of retail food revenue.

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Some farmers in Ontario still have a lot of work ahead of them.

Rainy weather in the province's southwest has grain farmers wondering when they can get back into the field and resume harvesting.

The President of the Kent Federation of Agriculture says many producers are frustrated because the harvest is usually in full swing by this time of year.

Farmers are also hoping the rain doesn't cause quality problems by keeping the moisture content of crops too high.

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Meanwhile -- winter like conditions across the Prairies last week -- including snow and near-record cold temperatures -- brought harvest to a halt.

More than 10 per cent of the crop is still standing, mostly in northern Saskatchewan.

Two to three weeks of warm, dry conditions will be required for harvest completion.

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Canada and Russia have finalized a new trade deal involving beef exports.

The agreement will open up markets for Canadian bone-in beef from animals under 30 months of age, and boneless beef from older animals.

Russian importers will also have access to a variety of other parts from Canadian beef animals.

Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz says the new agreement will put millions of dollars more into the Canadian livestock sector.

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A farm industry group is concerned about Canada's supply management marketing system and the Canadian Wheat Board.

The National Farmers Union says the system is in jeopardy of being dismantled at World Trade Organization meetings.

N-F-U President Stewart Wells says producers would lose money if the system is wiped out.

A W-T-O draft proposal has been tabled which seeks to remove Canada's single desk marketing system.

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The president of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture is not optimistic that progress will be made on a World Trade Organization agreement any time soon.

Laurent Pellerin just returned from a trip to Geneva.

He says there were no signs that any of the major countries are willing to change their positions.

He adds the federation continues to push for a balanced position of increased market access while protecting our domestic market.

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The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has developed and released a new national poultry biosecurity standard.

The document focuses on disease prevention and protection measures.

Spokesperson Doctor Keith Campbell says they felt past disease outbreaks -- such as avian flu in B-C -- could have been prevented or minimized by having better biosecurity practices in place.

Campbell says many of the practices outlined in the document are already in place on commercial operations -- but they've never been compiled into a single document.

The standard was developed in consultation with poultry marketing boards, producers, processors and veterinary associations.

 


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