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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - March 20, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta 18 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Tuetjoy, March 20, Mussels are barometer for ocean pollution test BREMERHAVEN, West Ger- many (Rcutcr) The humble mussel, surely one of the loast demanding creatures on earth, has been enjoying the unaccus- tonvil luxury of being bottle- fed in the marine research in- stitute here. More than of the grey, elliptical shellfish, winch usu- ally spend their lives clinging to rocks or harbor piers, are being used by biologists to in- vestigate the effects ot sea water pollution, Mussels exist by perpetual- ly swilling ocean water through their system and filtering nour- ishment out of it. With their aid, the West Ger- man scientists have made one significant discovery about water pollution. It is not only the recognized poison wastes of industry that are organically harmful to marine life, but a lot of the ordinary refuse of civilization that finds it way intu the sea and has hitherto not been regarded as damag- ing. As long as the mussels were fed on bottles of pure scawnte1- enriched with algae, the basic form of ocean life, their weight increased. The tests have shown conclu- sively that even non-toxic pollu- tion can have disastrous effects on the marine life cycle. Since mussels are widely dis- tributed around the world, the scientists believe they can per- form a useful function as a sort of "pollution barometer1" by which marine institutes can instantly detect when the level of contamination of coastal wa- ters is intolerable. QUICK MOUNT Take 110V out of any allernator, will run any brush type AC-DC motor, will charge any 6, 12, 24, or 32 volt baltery, will supply 3000 waits at strong idle or will run any healing equipment up to walls. Especially good for vacuuming, etc. No danger of shock or damage to the alternator. Priced at 34.95 37.5Q or 39.9S ___________________________ PHONE OR WRITE _________________'________ FA6RBELD APPLIANCE SERVICES LTD. 1244 3rd AVE. S. PHONE 327-6684 r i JL PR PROPANE CAMPING STARTER KIT 746 is qualify kit equips ihe weekend camper with the basic appliances to which you can add on later It consists of: 2069 2-burner Stove Lantern (equal to a 100W electric bulb) 8155 Dual outlet Lamp Posl 2012 Refillable Propane Cylinder. AM in c fitted carton. Size of carton: 173.4" L, 13" H, D, Weight: 20 Ibs. Call Joe Parsons af 2810 5th Ave. N., Lethbridge Propose Phone 328-6667 Ric SWIHART Lookout world. The agricul- tural community in Western Canada is standing on its back legs and Ls starting to look out for itself and, since it's long past due, things could start to happen in a hurry. Sound like a duck out of water? Just remember where you read it. For years the farmer has been tied to ths land, producing food to fill tlw bellies of the na- tions population. Mechanization has moved in and caused a dwindling farm population until today the agricultural commun- ity in Canada consisls of only five por cent of the total. The significant fact which is forgot- ten by Ihe rest of (he residents is that five per cent of the pop- ula'.Ion accounts or about 40 per cent of Canada's economy or indirectly, Dwindled With this dwindling popula- tion, tlie voice of the farmer and rancher in the events af- fecting Jiim has also dwindled. He has had to become much more vocal to accomplish the same things. To do this, the farmer and rancher as had to borrow a trick from labor, from the men he has fed lor years the simple act of organization. This organization initially took the form of large groups which looked cut for the good of all agriculture. This worked up to a point, hut agriculture scon became a more spe ci a 1- ized profession and the men of the land became sugar beet gi'owersj vegetable producers, sheep men, cattle men, grain growers, egg producers, chick- en ra isers find coun tJes s other specialists. Yes, many of them combined specialties hut they treat each segment of agricul- ture they avu in a specialty. Southern Alberta has been the leader in Ihe formation of organized groups of these spe- cialty areas of agriculture" in recent months. The Alberta Cattle Feeders Association is a good example. Until recent years, farmers and 'ranchers fed cattle them- selves but with the growing popuJauon, more cattle had to he readied for market. This called for the speciaUzed cattle feeder ov feedlct operator, the in an who w ould take c a II ie owned by himself or other men and for a fee, i'atten them for slaughter. Committee The Western Stock growers Association has had a commit- tee set up to look after the needs of this select group of cattlemen but they felt they could do the job belter them- selves. Sheep producers in A'berta particularly have raised ani- mals almost in spite of mar- kets and mffney. They have had to face live animal prices which fluctuate as much as 2fl cenls per pound and had to al- most give away the wool and other byproducts. Just last week organizers of Lamb Processors Co-operative Ltd, put shares up for sale to producers. Using an open mind policy, they have opened their organizalion to ouLsiders but only to a limit of 20 per cent. Through the co- operative, producers will be able to con- trol the market and when this is done, their pockets will be the benefactors to a greater per- centage of the returns rather than the numerous middlemen. The Alberta Hog Producers Marketing Board was estab- lished more than two years ago and in that time the price of hogs rose from all-time lows of 18 and ?.9 cents to record highs surpassing 50 cents per pound live weight. Now the board has taken that extra step to allow forward contracts." Tills is designed to make .it possible for producers to increase stock and at the same lime increase profits. To prove that the farmers still have the rest of the country at heart, all the contracts call for export product only to keep the dom eslir market from being flooded. This will keep the rest oL the red meat market strong. These antf other segment; are springing up through out Canada and it is about time. That's Just like the first time Jock, that canine companion of this reporter for more than 15 years, sat up on his haunches for the first time and got a piece of meat for it. He learned that if be sat un- ion g enough someone would lake nolice and feed him. Agriculture today is sitting up and is going to feed itsolf because it has learned over lime that nobody else will do it. Research station report By A. DOUGLAS SMITH Agronomist, Research Station Results of soil analyses mado during the past two years sup- port an observation made ear- lier that fertilizers arc not pol- luters on dryland grass. The soils analyzed were ob- tained from under bromegrass and crested wheatgrass awards at the Lcthbridge Research Sta- tion. Ammonium nitrate fertilizer had been applied annually for four consecutive years at rates ranging from zero to 840 pounds per acre. Only where the amount of fertilizer applied had been greater than that required by the grass for maximum growth had any of the fertilizer penetrated to the lower levels of the soil. By the end of the four year period most of the excess fer- had accunrjlaled in tho top two feet of the soil. Except at the highest rate of applica- tion none of the fertilizer had moved through the soil to the three and four-foot levels. Because tlie most economical rate at which to apply fertili- zers is lower than that needed for maximum growth of tfrass it is certain that great amounts of plant nutrients will not move off the grasslands of Southern Alberta into our lakes and streams. Qur frugal ranchers and farmers aro not apt to fertilize excessively just to enrich tbo waters of Alberta with valu- able plant nutrients! Even if a surplus of fertilizer is applied to the grass, the ex- cess nutrients will remain in the upper levels of the soil whore they will be available for plant growth the following year. ;