Country 105

Country 105


Agriculture Report

Agriculture Minister Defends Budget

By

Carol Mitchell says budget will help farmers.


Length:

The MPP for Huron Bruce believes the 2010 provincial budget will benefit farmers and rural communities.

Carol Mitchell -- who is also the Agriculture Minister -- says the budget increases agriculture spending by 150 million dollars.

She says the money will help give Ontario farm products further exposure on the world stage.

Mitchell says Ontario farmers must be competitive and they must remove barriers that restrict the growth of rural communities.

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A Farm Credit Canada survey indicates many farmers are hoping to pay down debt this year.

Spokesperson Mike Hoffort says almost half of farmers are hoping to reduce their debt load this year.

The survey also reports 22 per cent of farmers plan to seek more financing.

Hoffort suggests cash flow management will be a big challenge this year.

Farmers face cash challenges because of trade issues with canola and flax, and because of the downturn in the red meat sector.

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Alliance Grain Traders says it earned 15.2 million dollars in its latest quarter -- up from 8.1 million a year ago.

The pulse crop processor says profits grew by more than 50 per cent.

Alliance Grain Traders cleans, splits, sorts and bags pulses and specialty crops for export and domestic markets.

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Ranchers and farmers in six U-S states are praying for cool, wet weather this spring to stifle a potential grasshopper infestation.

A federal survey last fall warned of costly swarms of adult grasshoppers in parts of Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska and Idaho.

Some species are capable of eating their body weight daily in vegetation and can waste up to 6 times more by dropping forage on the ground.

 

 


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