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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 30, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta 6 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD TuMday, April 30, 1974 Ontario feedlots need West grain Feed costs hurt Cattle line up at the feed trough on Bob Sparrow's farm at Antrim, Ont., for a meal of corn silage. Many cattlemen in Ontario must rely on feed gram from the west and say feed costs alone make their opera- tions uneconomic. Sure-Grip Nylon 44 Guaranteed by Goodyear Big straight lugs provide extra traction 3-T nylon cords provide extra strength. Stop our biggest weed problem. Car- byne... the wild oat lighter. 'r SERVICO CiulfJ CENTRE V 3316-lrtAw.S. PhOM 328-9Z28 ANTRIM, Ont (CP) Bob Sparrow ran a practised eye over a heard of beef cattle plodding about in his Ottawa Valley feedlot and allowed in the lilting back-country Irish accent characteristic of the region that many of the animals could have been trucked off to market "a week or two ago A-bout 40 of the Herefords, mixed-blood Charolais and other animals crowding around feeding troughs are well over the "finished" weight, but Mr. Sparrow, like many of his neighbors, has been waiting for prices to rise Days before, the. government had announced a virtual ban on United States beef and cattle imports, ostensibly to keep out animals tainted with a suspected cancer causing growth hormone, diethylstilbestrol DES The effect of the tough new DES certification program for imported beef, however, was to boost sagging domestic beef prices and Mr Sparrow agreed cautiously that the government "had finally done something worthwhile" for cattlemen Stockyards His 40 fat cattle would be separated from the roughly 300 others on his farm and, marched off to the stockyards at the first opportunity "Imports are the real the 29-year-old beef farmer and graduate of McGill's Macdonald agricultural college said as he drove from one of his feedlot operations to another nearby A surplus in the U S usually means a jsimilar surplus in Canada, since American cattlemen are free to sell in either country Last year, for instance, cattle imports soared to head, up from in 1972, in the wake of an American beef-price freeze U S cattlemen had held their animals off the market while the freeze lasted, then sold heavily when it was lifted in the late summer The overflow spilled into Canada, driving down to about 45 cents a pound prices after they had reached record levels of more than 60 cents a pound early in the fall Ottawa countered with a btiff surcharge on cattle imports during the early winter, but when the surcharge was lifted in January, cattle again surged across the border By DOUG SMALL Canadian Press Writer and once more drove down prices Disrupts Again the government stepped in, this time with a subsidy of seven cents a pound on all cattle in the top four A Grades The subsidy, however, badly disrupted cattle markets and the government eventually gave in to demands that it be paid on all grades of beef, but only at a rate of five cents a pound Still, the subsidy on beef had less effect on cattlemen than the DES certification program. For one thing, many sold more than usual shortly after it was implemented to be able to glean the benefits befot e the 75-milhon-a- week program ended Mr. Sparrow agreed that he and other cattlemen are partly to blame for the drop in price brought on by those sales With U.S. imports now tightly controlled, however, he is optimistic that the domestic market will stabilize at higher prices Stability means a great deal to beef farmers here, in other parts of Ontario, and throughout the West Most, like Mr. Sparrow, buy calves for the going market rate when they weigh 400 to 700 pounds. The larger calves are fattened to market weight of about pounds in the space of three or four months. Cains help Most cattlemen sell their animals for less per pound than they paid for them, covering their labor, feed, overhead and other costs through the weight gams But while there are nearly as many beef cattle raised in Ontario as in Alberta, the country's biggest beef-producing province, many cattlemen here must rely on western feed gram to fatten their animals Soaring world demand for feed grain has pushed prices to record levels, and eastern cattlemen say feed costs alone are making their operations uneconomic Mr Sparrow and other larger operators avoid this squeeze by growing their own feed He and his father harvest about 175 acres of corn each year and the 12- to-15 tons grown on each acre is enough to keep their animals The corn is cut at ground level, and the whole plant is ground up as corn silage Only when cattle are ready to be finished, or fattened quickly prior to being sold, do they receive a straight corn ration "You pretty well have to raise your own feed these Mr. Sparrow said Those unable to do so were finding themselves better off selling their farms to speculators or urban buyers, and retiring LETHBRIDGE ARTIFICIAL BREEDERS Phone Daily 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. 327-8822 D' D' FANTOMEfaO Born: May Waighl Oct. Itw. CIIVM: iva. birth wt. (M F) 44 100% born unufltwd FLAMBARS18 Bern: Dec. 14.1970, Wtlgnt Oct. '73: 2440 Ibl. Cilvm: birth wt. (M A F) 77 100% live birth ALSO Blonde D' Aquataine Guide, Grand and Flon-Flon. Semen available from all and all Major Bull Studs ;