Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - February 26, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta
! AGRO-OUTLOOK Friday, february 26, 1971 - THE IETHBRIDO! HERALD - 23 By STEVE BAREHAM AT a recent meeting of the standing committee on agriculture held in Edmonton, a private submission concerning national marketing Bill C176 was entered by Dr. Allan Warrack of the University of Alberta. Perhaps people have been so worried about whether or not C176 is implemented, that some obvious questions have gone unanswered. Dr. Warrack's submission raised some good points: Should trade between provinces be restricted? And If so, why restrict only farm products? The brief said that part of the definition of Canada should be unrestricted commerce between provinces. Should the agricultural producers primarily affected be allowed to decide? Bill C176 would empower national marketing board establishment by proclamation - or without approval of parliament or of the farm community primarily affected. The brief further contends there should be regional ap proval criteria to prevent one region from imposing its will on another. What are the limits to the powers granted under C176? The bill says, "May do all other such things as are incidental as conductive to the fulfillment of its duties - do ill such other things as are necessary or incidental to the exercise of its powers." What would be the social and economic impact of C176? Dr. Warrack observes, "One would expect a far reaching and possibly irreversible act such as C176 to be backed by definitive analysis. The tenor of C176 seems negative and regulatory, rather than geared to the dollars and cents realities of 1970 agriculture." Would C176 contribute to unification or division of Canada? Plainly, these questions Have not been answered to the farm community. As always, farm producers are suspicious of a body yet unknown, and while for the most part they have learned the need for co-ordination and discipline of self regulation, many may find legislation such as this which may in effect cater to the producers closest to large cities a lttle hard to swallow. March has been declared Good Seed Month. No one has to tell a farmer about the improved germination and yield quality gained from using pedigreed seed, and the extra cost isn't that great when one considers the other expenses involved in farming. Malting barley is one crop which invariably should be grown using pedigreed seed. Earl Coutts, Canada Malting Co. Ltd., said a high percentage of malting barley samples are rejected each year because of seed mixtures. He says each malting variety reacts differently in the malthouse and so for the malsters to obtain optimum per formance they must have barley true to variety. Alberta rat free-19 years All infestations of Nor way rats in Alberta were eliminated by the end of last year, leaving the province rat-free for the 19th consecutive year. Based on the amount of y r son used and the average size of rat infestations, an estimated 33,900 rats were killed in the province during 1970. The potential saving in rat damage for Alberta's $40,000 control program works out to about $1,000 for each dollar spent. The provincial department of agriculture continued its 50 per cent grant towards the salaries and expenses of officers in six eastern border districts. Two provincial officers worked closely with municipal authorities in handling problem rat situations and in control ling rats in northern improvement districts. As a result of these control Merek's disease vaccine finds Canadian market CANADIAN-OWNED MURRAY GREY - Gumbirra Golden Hind, 21-month-old Murray Grey Bull, recently become the first Canadian-owned bull of this breed. He was purchased in Australia jointly by Dick Jensen, Cardston and Tom Kay of Stettler. Due to Canadian import regulations the animal cannot be brought over to Canada, but semen will be exported for distribution by Murray Grey Breeders Ltd. Views in conflict The new Merek's vaccine is a real breakthrough in the war against one of the poultry industry's most costly diseases, says Dr. John Howell, head of the poultry disease section of the Alberta veterinary services division. He reports that in the past, this disease has caused heavy losses in Alberta pullets, going as high as 30 per cent in some flocks. Until mis new vaccine came along there was no reliable way of preventing or treating Merek's disease, he says. The vaccine is prepared in Canada by Connaught Laboratories and is distributed by K-Vet. It is made from a turkey herpes virus isolated in the United States. According to information received by Dr. How- ell, the performance of the vaccine in both laboratory and field tests in the States has been most impressive. There is also some indication that there may be benefits other than a reduction in mortality rates. Some trials showed an improvement in egg production and in non-specific mortality levels. Although similar vaccines have been licensed for use by individual states, no Merek's vaccine has yet teen licensed by the American federal authorities. The Merek's vaccine is different to any vaccine that has been used before in that it is a tissue culture vaccine in which the cells of the tissue culture must be kept alive until the vaccine is injected into the chicken. It is for this reason Flax outlook uncertain f\ LETHBBIDGE RESEARCH STATION PUEU5ME0 swo ini measures and the co-operation received from Alberta resi dents, pest control officers, mu nipicalities and other agencies rats were successfully hel along the 380 - mile front from Montana to Cold Lake, despite the significant increase in num bers crossing the province's eastern border. Some rats did penetrate this line through transportation facilities, but they were exterminated before they had a chance to multiply. Pest control officers appointed by rural and urban municipalities helped to investigate and handle local reports of rats. GROWTH STATISTICS Eels, common in the rivers of the Atlantic provinces, attain lengths of four feet and weights of 17 pounds. YEAR-END CLEAR0UT Different segments of the agricultural industry have ex-Dressed conflicting views about the outlook for flax production in Alberta. Some crop special-take a pessimistic view. They point out that since linseed oil is no longer widely used in paint manufacturing, there is danger of over-production - especially if Alberta farmers repeat their 1970 production which has been estimated at about 11,400,000 bushels. Alberta farm economists, by [ contrast, are more optimistic. They believe that Canadian flax will continue to sell in good quantities, although perhaps at a somewhat lower price. Canadian exports of flax to Europe have risen sharply in recent years, from 12,600,000 bushels in 1967-68 to 18,600,000 bushels in 1969-70. Most of this incease appears to be going into the manufacture of livestock feeds. It's considered likely that more flax will be used in livestock feeds, both here and abroad, if it remains competitively priced with other high-protein, high-energy feeds such as soybean and cottonseed meal. "The price flexibility of Canadian flax should ensure that it continues to sell abroad," says David Walker, marketing specialist with the Alberta department of agriculture. He also feels that more flax will be used in our own expanding cattle feeding industry. Based on production costs, the cost of similar feed ingredients, and levels at which it can be fed, Mr. Walker believes that flax can be used profitably in cattle rations when its price approaches $2 per bushel at the local elevator. In other words, if a farmer has farm - stored flax or can purchase it locally for about $2 per bushel, he should consider using ground flax seed in his cattle feed. Although animal nutritionists know considerable about the feeding value of linseed oil meal (flax with oil removed), relatively little has been done to evaluate flax in cattle feed. One of this continent's best known authorities on livestock nutrition, says "ground flax is entirely satisfactory as a pro- tein supplement in place of linseed meal." He further notes that "though it contains only two-thirds as much protein as linseed meal, it is one of the richest feeds in total digestible energy." Cattle feeding trials, designed to compare the advantage of using homegrown flax meal and linseed meal, were also carried out a number of years ago at the University of Alberta by J. P. Sackville, then a member of the university's animal science department. He concluded that ground flax, although lower in protein, was high in fat and compared favorably with linseed oil meal from a standpoint of its laxative and conditioning effect. Whole flax, it should be noted, would pass through the animal without being digested, so it is important to stress the need for grinding. Mr. Sackville, like other well - known authorities, concluded that there was considerable merit in including ground flax in a fattening ration and. he showed that an acceptable level was three-quarters of a pound per head per day. This information should be of considerable interest to both flax producers and cattle feeders who may be looking for less costly feeds. Crop insect outlook 4-H club news of WETMORE HAMMERMILLS & mixer mills BIG DISCOUNTS On tht remainder of our stock of Wet more Hammermillt and Mixer Mills - the perfect mill for the farmer or small feed-lot operator. One-man-operated. SAVE NOW WHILE THEY LAST SEE YOUR RENN-CUPIT DEALER . . . in LETHBRIDGE BRIDGE FARM SUPPLY GENERAL FARM SUPPLY in RAYMOND SUPER SALES & SERVICE RENNCUPIT CALOARY INOUSTHIES ITO Formerly McCoy-Renn Mfg. Ltd. 419 34�h Ave. S.E., Calgary 24, Alta Phone 243-4601 DEL BON'ITA The regular meeting of the Del Bonita Sew and Sew club was held Feb. 6. We held a short meeting in the morning where we discussed public speaking and the junior leadership conference. We then worked for about an hour on projects. We adjourned and had a box lunch and left for Shanks Lake for an' enjoyable Ski-doo party. We later went back to the home of Helen Newton for a lunch. PAT BOWEN - reporter TIMBER TRAILS The regular meeting of the Timber Trails 4-H club was held recently at the Deiinte home. The meeting was called to order by acting President. lac-quelyn Buries, with O'Canada and the 4-H pledge. Guest speaker, Bob Lyons, district agriculturist, gave points and tips on public speaking. The members then gave impromptu speeches, keeping in mind Mr. Lyons* suggestions. The club recently held a successful dance in the Cowley hall to raise funds and are grateful for the support they received. The sewing club held a work meeting at the White home. The members of the Timber Trails 4-H club wish to thank the Pincher Creek 4-H club for inviting them to their recent skating party. DONNA MURPHY - reporter PRONGHORN The regular meeting was held in the Foremost School Feb. 15. The meeting was opened by President Paige Keuhn with Mona Wutzke leading the pledge. Roll call was weight of calves. There were 10 members and six pee wee members present. Minutes of the last meeting and the treasurers report were read and adopted. Plans for raising money were discussed. Mrs. C. Stevens gave a talk on public speaking and had all the members give an impromptu speech. Club speak off will be on March 15 at the Foremost school. David Housen adjourned the meeting. RICK MacKENZIE - reporter Agri-business calendar March 1-3 - Calgary - Spring Bull Sale March 3 - Cardston - Rapeseed Production Meeting March 3 - Raymond - Irrigation seminar - soil, moisture and crops March 4 - Lethbridge - Milk Producers annual meeting March 4 - Medicine Hat - Farm management and home economics short course March 4 - Picture Butte - Irrigation seminar - soil, moisture and crops March 5 - Brooks - Plant Industry Day - Special crops March 8-9 - Edmonton - Annual meeting - Rapeseed Association of Canada March 9-11 - Olds - Farmstead mechanization days March 10 - Raymond - Irrigation seminar - Sprinkler and surface systems March 10-12 - Edmonton - Provincial service board conference March 10-20 - California - Vegetable growers tour sponsored by Calgary Power March 16 - Cardston - Forage management school series commences March 16-18 - Lethbridge - Southern Alberta swine show and sale March 19-21 - Lethbridge - A.I.C. sponsored science fair March 18 - Cardston - Commercial and hobby fish farming meeting March 20-26 - Olds - Pesticide - Herbicide applicators training school March 22-27 - Lethbridge - Week-long Agro-Rama program at Lethbridge Pavilion including March 22-23 - Lethbridge - Annual meeting and short course Alberta branch Canadian Seed Growers Association. March 21-25 - Lethbridge - Annual seed fair and machinery show March 25 - Lethbridge - Grain Marketing short course March 27 - Lethbridge - The Beef Industry in the 70's seminar March 31-Apr. 2 - Lethbridge - Spring bull show and sale. DR. N. D. HOLMES, Head, Crop Entomology Section Widespread destructive outbreaks' of insect pests have not been experienced for several years on the Prairies. Experience, however, has shown that outbreaks occur at intervals and so we must be prepared to expect them in the future. Despite the lack of such outbreaks we were not free of insect problems in Alberta in 1970. Sugar beets were damaged by red - backed cutworms beet webworms, and sugar-beet root maggots. A considera b 1 e acreage of rape southeast of Lethbridge was attacked by the diaraondback moth. Wireworms increased, particularly in irrigated districts, and this in crease is likely to continue. Other minor problems occurred as well. In southeastern British Columbia about half a million acres of rangeland required spraying for a heavy grasshopper outbreak. The pale western cutworm and the wheat stem sawfly attacked croos in southern areas of Saskatchewan. These insects were not a problem in Alberta in 1970. There are indications, however, of increases in numbers of grasshoppers and pale western cutworms that could lead to serious infestations if we have dry spring weather. Research at the Lethbridge Research Station in 1970 showed that flea beetles cause more loss to rape crops than previously realized; hence their control is now considered necessary. Another finding was that aphids, a serious threat to cover crops, are even more' de- structive when their damage is combined with that of barley yellow dwarf virus, a disease that they may carry. We are making good progress in developing sex attractants as a possible new method for control of cutworms and certain other insect pests. Tests with several new insecticides have indicated that we may shortly be recommending new com-pouhds for controlling cutworms, flea beetles, root maggots, and other pests. Our residue studies are progressing at the same time to ensure that these new insecticides will not contaminate crops nor create problems of pollution. In the past ten years we have tested and developed controls for 33 species of crop pests of the p r a i r i e s. Many changes have been made in previous control recommendations, mostly in newer insecticides. Although these are less persistent than the older types, such as DDT, more care will be required in their use because of their higher toxicities. Farmers are urged to consult their district agriculturist or other extension specialists to learn about the latest recommendations. Past outbreaks of insect pests and plant diseases includ i n g grasshoppers, the corn leaf aphid, and the 1970 attack of the southern leaf blight on corn are reminders that agricultural scientists still cannot afford to be complacent. We can be sure only that other outbreaks will occur. All the weapons against crop pests may not be infallible or perfect, but they are more efficient than those previously used, and we are bending every effort to improve them further. that the vaccine has to be transported and stored in liquid nitrogen (about 300 degrees below zero) in the same way that frozen semen is handled. It must be kept in this form until it is used, at whicfc time it is rapidly thawed and diluted. It must also be used up within an hour. The vaccine, says Dr. Howell, has to be injected into each individual bird and the smallest package available contains 500 doses. He stresses that it is very important to vaccinate the birds before they have a chance to come in contact with the Merek's virus, which means that they must be done before they are put on the floor in the brooder house. Consequently it is highly recommended that the vaccine be used at the hatcheries by their personnel. It is expensive, and unless it is used strictly according to directions it will l)e quite useless, Dr. Howell says. Because of the urgency to get the Merek's disease vaccine on the market as soon as possible, it was not feasible to carry out large scale trials in Canada as would normally have been done. The federal government has therefore, set up trials right across the country. In Alberta the poultry industry, the University of Alberta, the veterinary services division and the poultry branch of the provincial department of agriculture are co-operating in the trials. It is hoped that the trials will provide comparative information on Merek's disease mortality rates, non-specific mortality rates and egg production levels for vaccinated and unvaccinated birds in the same house. Alberta horsiest province Alberta is still Canada's horsiest province, but Ontario is gaining. In the last year the number of horses in Alberta dropped from 86,000 to 80,000, according to the Canada department of agriculture, while Ontario increased from 67,000 to 69,000. Saskatchewan held steady at 64,000 and B.C. increased slightly to 27,000. In all of Canada the horse population dropped five per cent to 324,000. Fifteen years ago Alberta had 154,000 horses, Canada 782,000. Provincial herd numbers at Dec. 1, 1970 were as follows: (1969 totals in brackets) B.C., 27,000 ( 26,000); Alberta 80,000 (86,000); Saskatchewan 64,000 (64,000). Manitoba, 31,000 (36,000); Ontario, 69,000 (67,000); Quebec, 41,000 (49,000); New Brunswick, 4,700 (4,800); Nova Scotia, 4,400 (4,600), and Prince Edward Island, 3,500 (3,700). High milk months Cows Calving between September and February give more milk than those calving during the rest of the year, according to a survey done in England by the Milk Marketing Board. The performance records of 672 Friesian herds in nine countries - six in the north and three in the south-west, were examined to see if any relationship could be established between yield of milk and date of calving. December and January prov ed to be the best calving months, the heifers concerned yielding 5.5 per cent more milk than the average for all 6,846 animals in the survey. At the other end of the scale were yields from heifers calving during May and June which were five per cent lower than the 12 month average. Experts of the Milk Marketing Board are unable U> explain the variation in yields, although one suggestion is that it may be a physiological reaction to such a characteristic of the terrestrial orbit as day length, which is known to influence the reproductive activities of many species. I ALBERTA I pool 4 0 for Quality SMALL GOOSE The brant is a small goose somewhat resembling the Canada goose but with a narrow patch of white on the neck instead of a conspicuous white patch on the cheeks. See Your "PoolMan"NOW!