Country 105

Country 105


Agriculture Report

Bigger Isn't Always Better

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Study says organic farms can be more efficient than larger farms.


Length:

A new study says bigger isn't always better when it comes to farming.

Researchers at York University in Toronto say organic farms can be more energy efficient than conventional farms that mass produce crops.

A 12 year study of forage and grain crop rotations shows 50 per cent lower energy use.

The absence of nitrogen fertilizer was a main contibutor to reduced energy inputs and improved efficiency.

A study of conversion to organic canola, wheat, soybean and corn concluded Canada would consume 39 per cent less energy and generate only 77 per cent of global warming emissions of conventional wheat farming.

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Four farm families from Alberta area have come together to donate two containers -- 50 tonnes-- of hay to dairy farmers in the earthquake area of Japan.

Barry Schmit says they know it's a small contribution to a very difficult and tragic situation, but he hopes it will help.

Dairy farms in the earthquake area are trying to cope with no power, no water, damaged milking parlors, refrigeration and milk storage equipment and feed storage facilities.

One of the major feed importers is paying the cost of the freight from Calgary to Japan and inland to the dairy farm.

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More and more countries are checking food imports from Japan for elevated radiation levels.

Brazil is the latest,  the agriculture ministry says Japanese food will only be allowed into the country if they are in compliance with U-N norms to ensure food safety.

Food products carried by travellers arriving from Japan will also be scrutinized for radiation levels.

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A crop analyst says the acreage estimates in the United States Department of Agriculture's planting intentions report are only achievable with ideal weather conditions.

Stuart McMillan notes the U-S-D-A says cotton acreage will be up 15 per cent, and wheat up 8 per cent.

That equates to more than 9 million acres more in the ground than last year.

McMillan says to achieve that -- there must be ideal planting conditions in nearly all regions throughout the entire planting season.


 


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