Country 105

Country 105

Agriculture Report

More Funding for Organic Foods


Organic food sector gets funds as cattle producers look ahead.


The federal government is giving the organic food sector 170-thousand dollars in aid.

The Organic Trade Association will receive more than 118-thousand dollars.

The money will be used to participate in international trade shows, develop promotional materials and build a long-term international strategy for the organic sector.

The Canadian Organic Growers Association gets almost 50-thousand dollars to develop a strategy for determining how current on-farm food safety can best meet the specific needs of organic agriculture.

Five organic commodities will be chosen for the project in consultation with organic farmers across the country.


The president of the Canada Beef Export Federation says the country's 17th case of mad cow disease has not affected markets.

Ted Haney says trade continued uninterrupted when the news came out February 25th about the six year old Alberta beef cow.

Haney says the latest case means Canada cannot apply for negligible risk status, which would open up more markets and lower costs for producers until 2015.


One Canadian cattle buyer says 2010 will be a year of transition for the Canadian cattle industry.

Rick Wright with Heartland Order Buying Company says the industry is moving out of the bottom of the price cycle.

He says there are signs of a complete turnaround in the cattle business by 2014.

Wright says he understands some producers are reluctant to get their hopes up after potential price runs in the last decade consistently hampered by bad luck.

He believes -- provided there isn't any abnormal market activity -- that there will be significant improvement in the cattle business in the next few years.


Lentil prices have been on the decline lately mainly due to the expectations of a major increase in seeded acres this spring.

There are forecasts that lentil area could exceed three million acres.

One trader with Simpsons Seeds says about 25 per cent of the 2009 crop remains unsold, despite the fact that lentil prices were in the mid to high 30 cent a pound range for a lengthy period this winter.

There were steady shipments of both red and green lentils through January but they hit a wall in February.

Producers are encouraged to sell into any price increases during the April to June period.


An agricultural researcher says pork producers could see increased savings from the implementation of improved breeding practices.

Doctor George Foxcroft at the University of Alberta says producers should consider switching back to single boar mating programs, rather than using pooled semen samples.

He says a single boar mating system allows producers to choose a high performing animal, rather than the pooling system where producers don't know the characteristics of the progeny.

He notes when semen is pooled, the effectiveness of the sample is usually dominated by the least productive boar.


New American rules that define what makes milk and meat organic have natural food advocates optimistic that governments are committed to ensuring the label means something.

U-S consumers bought 24 billion dollars worth of organic products in 2008.

But for many -- the purchases came with uncertainty about what they were getting for their money.

The optimism is based on U-S Department of Agriculture rules that require livestock to be grazed on pasture for at least four months a year to qualify for an organic meat or dairy label.

The animals also must get at least 30 per cent of their feed from grazing.

Previous rules required only that animals have access to pasture.


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