By Fadi Didi
Some good news from dairy farmers.
The year-over-year growth of total cash receipts in Ontario was more than double that of the national average in December.
Statistics Canada says producers saw a 10 and a half per cent jump in receipts to 185.2 million dollars.
Canada as a whole had receipts reach 545 million dollars for the month, an increase of 4.2 per cent.
This comes as the volume of milk and cream sold in December actually dropped slightly from 2015.
The sale and distribution of raw milk remains illegal in Canada, but
eastern Ontario farmer Michael Ilgert is hoping to persuade the province
to back down.
Ilgert appealed an order last week by the Renfrew County and District Health Unit to cease and desist selling raw milk, which he says he began doing through a cow-share program in 2010.
A decision by the Ontario's Health Services Appeal and Review Board is expected at a later date.
The British Columbia government is making changes to animal welfare legislation to establish a regulatory or licensing system that monitors dog and cat breeders.
Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick says introducing amendments to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act is part of the government's efforts to develop a system that ensures puppies and kittens are treated with care and respect.
Craig Daniell, executive director of the provincial S-P-C-A, says the organization investigates up to 200 animal cruelty cases involving breeders annually, and many of the animals do not survive the mistreatment they suffer.
The University of Vermont's Proctor Maple Research Center has tested an improved technology that could keep maple sugar producers from working late into the night boiling sap into syrup.
The new machine can remove more water from sap, leaving a higher sugar content in half the time and energy.
Timothy Perkins, the centre's director, says the flavour of the syrup produced with the new machine is so far acceptable as the centre continues to research the technology.
Dozens of producers in Vermont, New York, Maine and Wisconsin are now using the machines, which are made by a handful of companies.