By Manny Paiva
Grey County beef producers will hold annual meeting, trade focus for Ag Minister.
The New Year always brings the season of annual meetings.
Grey County beef producers will hold their meeting tonight.
It begins at 6 PM at the Ag Centre in Markdale.
Canada's agriculture minister says farmers should look forward to more trade deals in 2014.
Gerry Ritz says he's focused on three trade deals in particular -- Japan, Korea and then the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Ritz notes he's also looking forward to the first international symposium on creating a protocol for low-level presence standards in trade.
He says these standards would prevent major disruptions when trace levels of genetically modified material are found in exports.
The U-S Department of Agriculture is expecting American beef production to go up in 2014 -- but lowered projections for pork, broiler and turkey production.
Officials say total red meat production is going to be lower than it had predicted in December.
One of the factors in the forecast of lower hog production is the PED virus.
The U-S-D-A says that disease will likely slow growth in pigs per litter and keep the U-S market hog supply relatively tight this year.
And Saputo has signed a deal to buy the milk business from Scotsburn Co-Operative Services.
The 61 million-dollar deal will see the Nova Scotia-based co-op keep its ice cream and frozen novelties business.
The deal is subject to approval from members and regulators.
Scotsburn operates two milk processing facilities, employing about 400 people.
Saputo says the acquisition will increase its presence in Atlantic Canada.