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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - February 6, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta S - THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD - Tuesday, February 6, 1973 Japanese trade enhanced by mission The Alberta government's Agricultural Task Force has opened new doors for trade with Japan with several company representatives in Alberta and others planning to come in the next few weeks. The provincial government's marketing commissioner and a member of the task force, Harry Hargrave, reports that the Japanese are very inter-cested in developing joint food production and processing ventures in Alberta. They are prepared to provide equity capital and loan funds. PORK The number one commodity mentioned by all Japanese trading companies during the Agricultural Task Force discussions was pork. The demand for pork and pork products is increasing in Japan at an annual rateof 10 per cent, Mr. Hargrave says. Development of large - scale pork production and processing plants is not possible in many parts of the country bscause of pollution problems, particularly in areas adjacent to lare popu-' lation centers. One estimate predicts that pork imports will reach 200,000 tons per year in five years time - a five fold increase. Eighty per cent of the pork is eaten fresh with the remaining 20 per cent processed as cured products. Japan imports pork supplies from the United States which has established some long-term forward contracts. Mr. Hargrave says the Japanese indicated that they would be interested in similar arrangements with Canada on a three-to five-year contract basis. BEEF The Japanese anticipate that the demand for beef will also increase rapidly in the next few years and are looking to Alberta as a possible source of supply. At the present time the per capita consumption of beef is only seven pounds compared with nearly 90 pounds in Canada. About 15 per cent of Japanese beef requirements are imported, mainly as frozen beef from Australia. Japan is now importing some grain-fed, chilled beef from Australia and the United States and is definitely interested in bringing in Alberta choice, chilled beef in cryovac wrap by air. Mr. Hargrave believes that it would be good business to acquaint the Japanese with the high quality of beef by sending regular shipments of grain-fed choice cuts. He says that the Japanese made specific inquiries about the opportunities for producing and processing beef in Alberta as a joint venture. BREEDING STOCK The Japanese are also very interested in dairy and beef cattle breeding stock as well as swine breeding stock. There is a great potential in Japan for increasing beef cattle production, says Mr. Hargrave, especially in the northern island of Hokkaido. The Japanese will have to import a large number of breeding animals to develop this potential rapidly. ALFALFA Japan is interested in alfalfa cubes to provide the roughage in their dairy and beef cattle rations. They used rice straw in the past, but satisfactory supplies are becoming increasingly scarce because of pollution problems. WESTGO'S NEW END-GATE AUGER NOW YOU CAN HANDLE EVERYTHING BULK. HERE'S AN AUGER TO FIT EVERY FARM NEED I Heavy-duty hinge keeps auger rigid when foSding. Over-centre latch assures rigid leak-proof connection. The End-Gate Auger features a 360 degree swivel head, with 3' rust proof spout Arm length control lever regulates flow of material. Available now at . . . STRIAL SUPPLY LTD. 803 46th Ave. S.E. 249 Stafford Drive CALGARY LETHBRIDGE Phone 243-5551 Phone 327-1571 or the "OLIVER DEALER" nearest you The Japanese also use a considerable volume of alfalfa pellets, mainly in poultry rations. According to Mr. Hargrave, they are very interested in Alberta's new Alfa-Bar cubes which contain a mixture of dehydrated alfalfa and barley. They were surprised to learn that barley imported in this form does not come under Canadian wheat board restrictions, providing that it does not account for more than 25 per cent of the cube. MALT Interest in tliis product has increased to the point where it is likely to result in the establishment of additional facilities for producing barley malt in this province. Japan is apparently intending to import increasing quantities of rapeseed and looks favorably upon the possibility of increasing imports of unrefined rape-seed oil. The Japanese are skeptical about the use of rapeseed meal in livestock and poultry rations because of unfavorable results they have had with with rapeseed meal that was not properly processed. After being assured that Alberta can produce rapeseed meal that is completely satisfactory, they indicated that they would be pleased to receive some sample shipments. Japanese interest in feed grains is high, especially in the case of barley. They are also keen on the possibility of importing pro-mixed livestock and poultry feeds that contain the proper ingredients to meet the various requirements of Japanese livestock and poultry enterprises. The discussions clearly showed htat Alberta and Canada can look forward to supplying increasing quantities of bread wheat to Japan, Mr. Hargrave says. Japan is also interested in buckwheat, widely used for noodles, sunflower seeds and many types of peas and beans (pulses). Majority of irrigated land south of TransCanada Total irrigated land in southern Alberta has reached 750,000 acres or four per cent of the province's total improved arable land and loca'.cd almost entirely south of No. 1 Trans-Canada Highway. The irrigated land is producing 20 per cent of Alberta's gross agricultural output each year, which is only a fraction of what this rich area could eventually produce, says Akos Pungor, head of the conservation and development branch of the Alberta Irrigation Division. During the last two decades, Southern Alberta farmers went through what one migh call a quiet revolution as far as irrigation practices are concerned, he says. Irrigation is not new to the people of Southern Alberta; its history goes back to early 1900, but preparation for efficient use of water and land resources has only started and taken a major step during the last 15 years. - Mr. Pungor says fanners are realizing more and more that the old "wild flood" irrigation methods are not practical and not efficient. They also realize that irrigation development has to take place in order to maximize production; consequently their net income. In recent years, he says, land prices have been sky rocketing in this area, therefore, one of the alternatives left to the irrigation farmers is to have their land developed and increase production on the same amount of land.. Extension plays a major role in irrigation farming. One of the objectives of the extension program is to teach irrigation farmers to conserve soil and water on the farm, or in other words, educate them to get the most benefit out of their irrigation practice, specifically increased production and reduced labor which directly relates to net income, he says. To do this, the Alberta government appointed trained agro-logists and agricultural engineers at a local level. These men are called Irrigation Specialists attached to the Irrigation Division, Alberta Department of Agriculture, located at Lethbridge, Tabor, Medicine Hat and Brooks, with sub-offices at Bow Island, Vauxhall and Strathmore. The type of extension work they perform includes formal short courses, field days, T.V., radio, newspaper and informal day to day or face to face contact in the office or on the farm. Under formal extension some of the basic principles are taught to farmers in soil, water and plant relationship. During the day to day contacts, specifics are brought up dealing with the farmer's individual problems. This of course, includes consultation on: -Irrigation systems selection such as gravity types (border dyke, furrow corrugation) and sprinkler types (hand move, wheel roll, center pivot). -Irrigation timing, scheduling irrigation as per moisture use, precipitation, type of soil, kind of crop and the method of irrigation. -Water distribution, structures to divert and control the stream for irrigation purposes. To prtmde the above information the conservation and development branch is co-operating with the Lethbridge Research Station and the Alberta Horticultural Research Center to gain more meaningful and more precise information. Where a quick answer is needed, the branch will depend on its staff specialists who are here to do applied research on systems, methods, timing, crop use and structures. Lang named marketer A farm-producer engaged in a g r i-business in Southern Alberta joins the market development section of the Alberta Department of Agriculture in mid-February. The appointment of Larry Lang as domestic marketing officer was announced by Alberta's marketing commissioner, Harry Hargrave. In h i s new position Mr. Lang will be working with the section's other three domestic marketing officers in promoting sales of Alberta products throughout Canada, and in other countries. Mr. Lang, born and raised at Spring Coulee in southern Alberta, graduated from the University of British Columbia in 1959 with a B.Sc. degree in agricultural economics. Since then, he has been involved in farming and agri-business in the Lethbridge area, including a large enterprise specializing in the production of forage crops, oil seeds and cereal grains; a feedmill and feedlot operation; and soil analysis lab. Mr. Lang is a member of Alberta's Agricultural Prod ucts Marketing Council. LARRY LANG FRED'S BAKERY Featuring a full line of EUROPEAN and CANADIAN SPECIALS "FRED'S ON THE LABEL MEANS QUALITY ON THE TABLE" WESTMINSTER PLAZA PHONE 327-0877 ;