Country 105

Country 105

Agriculture Report

Improving International Markets


Federal Ag Minister wants to improve international markets.


Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz says improving international market access is at the top of his to-do list for 2010.

Ritz says he plans on reducing trade barriers while creating new markets for Canadian farm products abroad.

Negotiations are already underway with several markets, including Korea and the European Union.

Ritz says he's also looking forward to progress on World Trade Organization talks for a a multilateral agreement -- although the U-S and European Union need to work out some significant differences before the round can move forward.


Workers at the Maple Leaf Food pork-processing plant in Brandon, Manitoba have ratified a new agreement.

The five-year deal contains improvements to pensions, wages, shift premiums and vacation scheduling.

It also has important language for members working under the foreign worker nominee program.

The language states that the company will be responsible for processing all the necessary paperwork and provide translators whenever required by foreign workers.


A number of cow owners in Alberta are looking for ways to weather the financial storm facing the cow business, and one option is setting up cow lease arrangements.

Ted Nibourg, of Alberta Agriculture, says cow leasing is an ideal way for retiring cow/calf operators to transfer the herd to the next generation and, at the same time, minimize the tax liability that often occurs with herd dispersals.

Nibourg says the most common question about leasing cows revolves around the share of the calf crop.

The next factor to consider is the replacement value of productive cows as well as a value for cull cows.

Operational costs, production estimates and anticipated calf prices also have to be determined in order to come up with an equitable calf share.


Florida's governor has signed an emergency order to deal with the cold weather threatening the state's crops.

The Governor signed the executive order that relaxes the normal restrictions on transporting crops

It also gives the state's Division of Emergency Management and other agencies the authority to provide growers with assistance.

Throughout central and south Florida, farmers are trying to salvage millions of dollars worth of citrus and vegetable crops

They are spraying them in protective layers of ice and covering them in plastic.

Forecasters say the cold spell will last through the weekend, likely breaking records for continuous cold temperatures in many parts of the state.


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