Country 105

Country 105

Agriculture Report

Trade Priorities for Ag Minister


Federal Agriculture minister wants to sign deal with European Union.


New trade agreements top the priorities of federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz this year.

He especially wants to sign a trade agreement with the European Union.

Ritz says his staff is already booking trips into the break weeks throughout the spring, summer and fall.

But he adds an election would disrupt those plans.


The National No Tillage Conference begins today in Cincinnati, Ohio and continues for the rest of the week.

The Innovative Farmers of Ontario are going to the conference.

In fact -- they have sold out their 500 dollar bus tour.

The conference includes a number of speakers who will share their no till techniques and how they have improved their crop yields.


Honey companies and importers in the U-S are launching a program to try to stop the flow of illegally sourced honey from entering the country.

The True Source Honey Initiative wants to certify the origin and purity of honey sold to American consumers in jars and products such as cereals, snacks and glazes.

Americans consume about 159 million kilograms of honey per year.

But U-S honey producers only made 65 million kilos in 2009 -- creating a booming market for importers.


The Canadian Wheat Board says sales prospects are very good in Western Europe despite a lower quality Prairie crop this fall.

Spokesperson Lisa Nemeth says customers expressed some concern about the lower quality crop because their requirements are high grade.

Canada has sufficient quantity to meet the demand of Western Europe, but they will be buying Number 2 instead of the usual Number 1 wheat and durum.


And Alberta's cheese industry is set to see its first major expansion in decades.

Thanks to a joint federal provincial program -- cheese producer Agropur will receive a 2.4 million dollar grant.

It will go toward a 23 million dollar expansion and automation of the company's plant that will nearly double the production capacity and increase the selection of cheeses.



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