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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 16, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta LETHBRIDGE April 6War baby' now important crop By JOSEPH MA The Canadian Press Rapeseed came to Canada in 1943 as a war oil used to meet an Allied shortage of lubricants. Today, it is the third most important crop in Western Canada, outpaced only by wheat and barley, and only a small portion is used for lubricants. Edible oils, animal feeds and fertilizers now are rapeseed's main byproducts. To help turn the wheels of war in 1943 Prairie farmers seeded acres to rapeseed and harvested bushels. In 1971 they seeded 5.3 million acres and harvested 100 million bushels, creating a surplus for the first time since 1943. In 1972, rapeseed's reputation as a Cinderella crop was somewhat tarnished as farmers seeded 3.1 million acres and harvested 55 million bushels. This year, despite pleas from processors and grain companies for increased production, the harvest is estimated at about the same as last year's or slightly less. The major reason, said A.C. McPhail of Brandon, president of the Prairie Rapeseed Growers' Council, is transportation. "We don't want to produce more than the transportation facilities can said Mr. McPhail, who predicted a 50-million-bushel harvest. Another reasons is com- petition from other crops. In a world hungry for food, Canadian farmers can sell everything they grow at good prices, at least in the immediate future, said Lome Clap- son, a grain trader with Cargill Grain Co. of Winnipeg. Higher initial prices for wheat and barley were an- nounced recently by Otto Lang, minister responsible "Whtrl GOOD SERVICE Is AUTOMATIC" AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION 'LTD. Plum 327-0910 1520 3rd AVI. S. Guaranteed Servicing Rebuilding and Exchange for the Canadian wheat board, making those crops an attractive alternative to rapeseed. James McAnsh of Van- couver, executive director of the Rapeseed Association of Canada, said while" farmers overshot demand with 1971 production, current market demand can comfortably absorb 75 million bushels. John Banfield, association president, said rapeseed crushing is one of the fastest-growing industries in Canada but is plagued with a shortage of rapeseed. "The current rate of growth suggests we will be able to use 150 million bushels by said Mr. Banfield, vice-president of Western Canada Seed Processors Ltd. of Leth- bridge, the largest oilseed- crushing plant in Canada. Mr. Banfield said the objective should be a higher yield per acre so that enough rapeseed can be produced without compromising farmers' desire to grow other crops. Mr. Clapson advised farmers to take a long- range view in deciding which crops to grow. Demand grows "The growth in demand for basic food grains such as wheat and rice is slower than that of feed grains such as corn and barley. The growth of demand for protein and oilseed-type grains is higher than that of either bread grains or feed grains." CENTURY Skid-Mounted Sprayers Hand Gun or Boom Models... Choice of Pumps Carry 125, 200, 300, 400, or 500 gallon tank Electronic control from Cab (optional) Roller piston or centrifugal pump Can be used as fire fighting unit AVAILABLE NOW AT... OLIVER Industrial Supply Ltd. 236 36 Street North Phone 327-1571 or the "OLIVER DEALER" nearest you! Farmers should not repeat their 1971 mistake, Mr. Clapson said, but should grow enough rapeseed to develop and .retain markets. Gordon Graham of New- dale, Man., president of the Manitoba Rapeseed Growers Association said: "Rapeseed is just one single entry in a fiercely competitive industry and it is not going to maintain its present position unless a lot of us do a lot of work in the field of producer rela- tions." Association officials say the current average yield per acre, 20 bushels is far short of the achievable yield. At the recent annual meeting in Calgary, the association called for a 30- bushel average. Yield per acre of as high as 60 bushels has been achieved, said H. E. Umemoto of Vancouver, the association's export liaison officer. Producing enough rapeseed, however, is not the only concern for the association, representing the producing, processing and marketing sectors of the industry. New rapeseed varieties are needed to im- prove its competitiveness with other crops. The switch to low erucic acid rapeseed from high erucic acid rapeseed varieties has been successful. Last year, the crop was estimated to contain 85 per cent low- acid and 15 per cent high- acid varieties, said H.D. Pound of Winnipeg, chief commissioner of the Canadian Grain Com- mission. The federal government has discouraged the seeding of high-acid varieties but such varieties can still be exported. The association said the health hazards of high-acid varieties are still not substantiated but agreed that it is in the interest of all concerned to grow low- acid varieties. A low-acid variety is a seed which produces oils with five per cent acid levels or less. The first Canadian double-zero rapeseed variety. Tower, has been developed in Winnipeg and licensed this year. Double- zero rapeseed refers to rapeseed with low acid and low glucosinolate levels. Glucosinolate adds a sharp taste to rapeseed meal, .which animals don't like In addition, efforts are being made to develop triple-zero is, varieties with erucic acid, glucosinolate and fibre-content levels. High fibre content slows the growth of animals. The association reaffirmed its stand in favor of an open marketing system for rapeseed. In a recent poll, the majority of rapeseed farmers voted in favor of open marketing. However, because 46 per cent voted in favor of marketing through the wheat board, Ottawa has proposed a voluntary pooling system for those farmers who wish to opt out of open marketing. Mr. McPhail said dis- cussions have been held with the Grains elite of federal trade and agriculture officials headed by Mr about voluntary pooling. One suggestion from farmers is that farmers make a declaration at the beginning of a crop year whether they want to opt in or out of open marketing. A proposal for forming a Canadian Oilseeds Associ- ation, to represent all oilseed associations in Canada, is progressing, Mr. McAnsh said. Growers of rapeseed, flaxseed, sunflower seed, soybean and mustard seed all supported the idea. The largest customer of Canadian rapeseed is Japan, which imported 30 million bushels last year. The association is planning to set up an export liaison office in Tokvo. Barley scald can hurt crop yield By DR. FRANK HARPER Plant pathologist Scald is a leaf disease of barley that can cause appreciable losses in cool, wet weather. The disease occurs throughout the prairies and is often serious in the northern part of the barley growing areas of Alberta and Saskatchewan. Surveys by the Lethbridge and Lacombe Research Stations have shown that scald has caused a loss of more than 16 million bushels of barley in the last three years in Alberta. Scald is caused by a fungus which overwinters on infected barley debris in the field and on seeds. In spring, cool wet weather promotes the development ot tiny spores by the fungus. These are carried to the growing barley leaves by wind and splashing raindrops. If the leaves remain wet for 48 hours and the temperature stays below 60 edgrees Fahrenheit, the spores germinate and the fungus invades the leaf. Ten days later, oval spots appear on the leaves. Initially, the ipots have a gray green, scalded look but later they become tan with a dark brown border. At this stage, the fungus again produces spores and may infect new leaves if a 48-hour period of cool wet weather occurs. This infection cycle may be repeated every ten days throughout the growing .season. USED EQUIPMENT SPECIALS! Massey Ferguson 97 tractor with cab Massey Ferguson 95 Tractor Massey Ferguson 2V Double Disc Deere 750 Grinder Mixers Deere 700 Grinder Mixers Deere 500-14' Rodweeders Deere 500-12' Rodweeders Victory 19' Blade 14' Blade Deere New 12' Hoe Drill SHUR-CROP SOIL SERVICES LTD. Phones 485-2331 485-2333 Vulcan, Alberta ;