Country 105

Country 105


Agriculture Report

Ag Minister Against Funding RMP

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Gerry Ritz says he is opposed to the proposed program.


Length:

In response to questions from Liberal Agriculture Critic Wayne Easter, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz made clear he would not support federal funding for Ontario's proposed Risk Management Program.

Easter says Ritz has presided over a $900-million cut in Agriculture Canada spending over the last year, while countless hog and beef producers went into further debt and out of business.

He says "Ontario farmers have come together to propose a practical, bankable business risk management program, yet this government refuses to support them."

Earlier this week, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff committed to AgriFlex as it was originally proposed by farmers, federal funding to support regionally flexible programs like the RMP in Ontario.

Easter states Farmers have said no to one-size-fits-all, National programs just don't work. What farmers want are practical and predictable programs that help them meet their cost of production.

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The Canola Council of Canada is encouraging growers to check their bins, even if the canola went in dry.

Above-normal April temperatures may have changed air circulation patterns.

For big bins, the issue is increased compaction.

The pressure reduces air flow, and with less air flow, moulds can grow.

Mould growth generates heat, which triggers spoilage.

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Statistics Canada says Manitoba is the only province or region in Canada to see an increase in hog herds in the first quarter of this year.

The report says there were 2.55 million hogs in the province as of April 1st, up slightly from last year.

The other five provinces or regions covered in the report saw their hog herds decline during the quarter, including Saskatchewan and Quebec.

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The president of Farm Credit Canada expects interest rates could jump half a per cent this year.

Greg Stewart says the rising rates will not have any significant impact on farmers.

Stewart says the future is bright for agriculture, although there are some storm clouds such as the rising value of the dollar.

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It is a buyers market for barley.

The International Grains Council estimates barley consumption at 142 million tonnes this year, down two million from last year.

With rising stocks and reduced consumption, barley prices are under pressure.

This marketing year, the Canadian Wheat Board says Ukraine and Russia have captured 65 per-cent of the world feed barley trade so far.

A weaker euro has also made western European barley more competitive.

Global barley prices are expected to remain weak, well below levels that would pull feed barley from the Canadian Prairies into the export market.

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The National Farmers Union is blasting a draft copy of the proposed free trade agreement between Canada and the European Union.

President Terry Boehm says the agreement as drafted is bad news for farmers because it would reduce farm support programs, rewrite seed laws and open more attacks on the Canadian Wheat Board and supply management.

Boehm says it would effectively eliminate farmer rights in Canada to save and re-use seeds.

He adds canola and cattle producers have nothing to gain either.

Boehm says European genetically modified crop regulations are exempt under the draft plan, and the European Union continues to maintain an illegal ban on Canadian beef.

 


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