Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - June 27, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta
2 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Tuesday, June 17, 1972- Ric SWIHART The present high beef price on the live market is one of the best sights to come along in agriculture in many years. For too long, farmers and ranchers have been toiling long hours, buying expensive equipment and land and then taking a licking at the market place. It seems almost like right will win out and it will if the live market price continues at the present pace. The Canadian cattleman lias worked under stress conditions for the past 20 years. In that period, beef consumption per capita has increased by 75 per cent. This increased demand has been met for the most part by a tripling of the beef cow herd. Looking directly at the high dollar value taken home by the cattleman is misleading. In the period in question, the wages and salaries paid out have tripled and supplements and fringe benefits have in- creased supstantially. Direct production costs have increased substan- tially as well and this gives added weight to the fact that the farm price index for all commodities has remained the same as it was 20 years ago. Rising costs and steady income means less profit. Because of the cyclical nature of beef production, changes in retail meat prices can be easily associated with price changes at the farm level. The gradual increase in non-food costs is masked by the larger fluctuation in commodity price move- ments with the result that the producer is often un- justly associated with the trend to higher meat prices. This leads to another sticky question. Is the price of beef too high? Looking on a day-to-day scale, it appears that meat prices are unrealistic, that they are driving the average family to rack and ruin. This is because the housewife generally, because of a lack of home freezer space, lias to go to the market daily or semi-weekly for meat purchases. Fluctuations of a few cents per pound or a few cents per cut are readily noticed and "painfully felt" in the pocket book. But take that same person who complains bitterly about the high price of beef. Maybe 20 years ago lie purchased a car for Whether he complained then or not is insignificant. Today he goes to the car lot, plops down and drives away as if he were in his right mind. He puts himself into a payment-plus-interest situation for a luxury item, pays exorbitant union wages for bolt-turners who can, at the drop of a hat, control the economic picture of the nation by strike and does it willingly. But let the cost of a meat product rise slightly and complaints rain profusely with no thought to the increased cost and lowered profit margin for the farmer and rancher. The best guarantee for an adequate food supply in the future is that farmers and ranchers get a fair return for producing it today. This point should not be overlooked especially in southern Alberta, which is agrarian in nature. None of the fancy businessmen in Lethbridge will be selling televisions, cars or any of the thousand and one items which are vital to the farm community if there is no money in the kitty. And this seems to be the pinch. If the farmer and rancher does start to make headway in the eco- nomic sphere, the rest of society counters with in- creased prices and the inflation spiral continues-. What is needed from the Canadian population is a large-scale attack on inflation which will settle prices and costs once and for all. Caterpillar check important urban and rural res- idents would be wise to check their fruit, ornamental and sMterbcIl trees for caterpil- lars. Several species seem to be numerous this year. Entomologist and pest con- trol specialist with the Alberta plant Industry division, Mike Dolinski, reports that most cat- erpillars can be controlled wilh malEhion. Recommended ap- plication rates and safely pre- cautions are listed on contain- er labels. Mr. DolinsM advises direct- ing the spray so that it wets both sides o( the leaves when- ever this is possible. He said Uiat if there are only a few caterpillars on a small tree, removing them by hand and killing them is belter iff (he environment and less cosliy than spraying. TOP BULL Canton, the top performing bull at the Central Association for Artificial Insemination station at Areno, Italy, weighs in at pounds at five years. He stands six feet eight inches at the withers. This compares to an average domestic bull which would weigh about pounds and stand five fe et high at the withers at the same age. This animal was one of the best seen on a tour by Dr. Slen. Animal reproduction talks attended by Dr. Syd Slen Dr. Syd Slen, head of the ani- mal section at tho Lethbrldge Research Station, just return- ed from the 7th International Congress on Animal Reproduc- tion in Munich, Germany, There were delegates from 30 countries with stress aimed at ova transplants re- search, particularly in Great Britain, Germany and France. Dr. Slen said ova transplants receive more attention in re- search today because more off- spring can be taken from one female animal in a short per- iod of time. This will increase the number of valuable breed- ing animals which carry the best traits. Ova transplant involves in- jecting a female animal with fertility drugs to produce more than one egg. She is then im- pregnated. When the fertilized eggs reach a certain development stage they are removed for the donor animal surgically and tmplauted surgically into the recipient animal. The recipient animal then bears the calf of superior par- ents. Dr. Slen. said there are some problems with this process such as an inability to always get all the eggs possible and a danger of damage to the ovaries of the donor animal. He said one research station is working on ova transplants in horses, presumably to ob- tain a larger number of pro- geny (offspring) from high performing race horses. Other areas covered (luring the meetings were estrus con- trol, particularly hormonal control. Estrus is the term to describe when an animal comes into heat, ready, for breeding. Sperm physiology, sperm preservation and artificial in- semination was also discussed. "Since we are very inter- csled in reproductive physiolo- gy in our beef and sheep breed- ing programs, the main interest was to assess the work under- way in the said Dr. Slen. can then relate this work to the research being done In our own programs here." Wliile in Europe, Dr. Slen visited farms in Italy with Chianina animals. Lclhbridge now has 10 animals this breed for research purposes. Chianina are considered one of the largest and oldest breeds in the world. He spent some time with the director of the National Beef Breeders Association in Rome. This organization is responsi- ble for the handling of promo- tion, registration and export of Cbianina, Marehigiana, Rom- agnala and Maremme cattle. Through a tour sponsored by the association, Dr. Slen visit- ed four large purebred herds, including one at ranch Coun- tessa M. di Frassineta of Arez- zo, Italy. He also toured the Central Association for Artificial In- semination facilities with parti- cular interest in progeny test- ing programs for young bulls. Dr. Slen said researchers have found export trade is so profitable producers are now using the more valuable lani for cattle. Before, cattle were grazed on rough non-arable hills and mountainous regions. The animals are even main- tained under loose housing con- ditions and fed corn silage and bay throughout the year in some regions. The rest of the trip was spent at the National Animal Re- search Centre at Jouy-en-Josas, France where crossbreeding programs were studied. Results have shown that crossbred animals produce a greater economic return under favorable conditions. Breeders have gone to crossbrcds so strongly that there is a danger in many areas of France where domestic breeds face extinc- tions. In defense of the French do- mestic cattle breeds, research has shown that they outperform crossbred under difficult graz- ing conditions. Dr. Slen said officials In an countries visited showed great interest in the tests conducted in Canada, especially tests in- volving European breeds. Chicken for economy, taste Cliickcn continues to be ona of the most economical meat dishes for today's housewife and if people get tired of it prepared in the usual manner (something unheard of in rural communities) this receipe for Napa Valley Barbecue Clucken will pull one out of the dol- drums. The main ingredient, chicken, is first on the list. About two pounds of fryer quality bard >s needed. To prepare the meat, dip the cut peices into beaten egg and then shake into a mixture of 'A cup flour, one teaspoon paprika, three ciglhs of a teaspoon of salt and one eighth of a teaspoon cracked pepper. The chicken should then be browned in cup of butler and then set aside. A special sauce, the secret of the recipe, should I hen be prepared. Mix one cup ketchup, cup cooking sherry (a cheap one third of a cup water, two tablespoons lemon juice, one medium minced on- ion, one tablespoon Worcester- shire sauce, two tablespoons melted butler and one table- spoon brown sugar into a pan. Bring the sauce ingredients just to a boil and pour over the browned chicken in a flat dish or casserole dish. Bake covered for lYi hows or until tender at 325 degrees Fahrenheit. The dish can be prepared early in the day or the day before. Cover with sauce and store in the refrigerator Improves tha flavor. This dish has been doubled and tripled wilh success. From the kitchen of Mrs. Margaret Corbet of Calgray Napa Valley Barbecuo Chicken.