Country 105

Country 105

Agriculture Report

Federal Budget Attacked


More funding for sheep not enough for Liberals to stop attack.


Federal Liberal agriculture critic Wayne Easter says the federal budget confirms  belief that the Conservatives don't care about the farm community.

Easter calls the budget an insult to farmers, especially those in the hog and cattle sectors.

He says the government has failed to support pork producers, despite unprecedented losses in the industry.

And he says the cattle industry continues to be crippled by specified risk material removal requirements.

Easter says the government should have included a per-head payment to put Canadian producers on a level playing field with American ranchers.

He adds the government also needs to change it's policy surrounding the Agriflex program -- which Easter says has become the minister's slush fund.


The federal government is investing up to 6 million dollars to strengthen the sheep and goat industry.

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz says the money will go to various projects, including tracing goats and sheep from the farm to the consumer.

The federal government also wants to determine the presence of scrapie -- a fatal disease in sheep.

The information will help set up a time frame to eradicate scrapie and reopen international markets.


Soybean supplies have moved from extremely tight to possibly burdensome in the last 18 months.

Jon Driedger of Farmlink Marketing Solutions says the soybean market has gone through a significant transition as global supplies were quite tight 18 months ago.

Since then, there's been a record U-S crop and an enormous, record breaking crop coming off the field in South America.

Driedger notes there are several potential surprises that could send a bullish signal to the soybean market.


A futurist says farmers should anticipate a dramatic increase in automation in the agriculture industry over the next decade.

Richard Worzel shared his outlook at the Grainworld conference last week.

He says new applications for robots in the farm world are emerging quickly -- especially as fewer young people are involved in agriculture.

Worzel says farmers will also have to focus on producing more than the traditional three F's -- food, feed and fibre.

He says there's growing dependency on farmers to produce fuel, industrial feedstocks and "farm-aceuticals.''


Computer models indicate the 2010 growing season could be similar to last year.

Drew Lerner with World Weather says snowfall has been below normal this winter over much of western Saskatchewan and eastern Alberta.

As El Nino's grip begins to loosen in May and June -- precipitation levels will improve in southern Alberta and southwestern Saskatchewan.

Lerner is also anticipating a cooler than normal summer, but not quite as bad as last year.

However, that will result in another slow-developing crop.

He is not expecting a repeat of 2009 when temperatures were well above average for most of September and November.


The U-S corn industry is lashing out at an Oscar nominated documentary that has grossed out grocery shoppers.

"Food Inc.'' has captured audiences with its behind the scenes look at the food industry.

It brought cameras into feedlots, slaughterhouses and chicken farms used by corporate agriculture -- describing stomach-turning practices in an effort to encourage consumers to buy locally grown and organic foods that aren't mass produced.

The corn industry -- one of several food industries attacked in the film -- is fighting back.

It is encouraging corn farmers to get the word out in the media and on social networking sites like Facebook to rebut the documentary.



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