Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - May 30, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta
2 THE LOTHBRIDGE HERAID Tucsdoy, Moy 30, 1972 Pork industry seminar lli Olds College June 15-17 j ji j eluding special ernpba.sis on new Lax legislation. Resource personnel include Sealon H. Baxlec, senior In- vestigator, Scottish Farm Buildings Investigation Unit, The North of Scotland College of Agriculture; Dr. O. A, Lodge, chief of pig and poultry breeding, department of ani- mal science, Univorsily of Minnesota Dr. W. ft. Rempel, professor of animal breeding, department of animal science, University of Minnesota; Arthur -I. Muell- ling, associate professnr and extension specialist, depart- ment of agricultural engineer- ing, University of Illinois; and Paul R-ibey, chairman. Nation- al Farm Products TUai keting Council, Ottawa. Alberta fanners market set for acres corn Alberta farmers have a ready market for about acres of grain com without go- ing oulsidu Ihe province, said Dave Jantzie, head of the Al- berta department of agricul- ture's field crops branch. In addition to this market for livestock feed, British Columbia needs apprraimalely two mil- lion bushels of grain corn an- nually to meet feed and distil- lery requirements. In Uie past, this corn has been import- ed from Uie United States. Grain corn can be grown in nreas Uint have a rating of Corn offers alternative By MAItVIN M. GAITS Regional Farm Economist Corn is one ot the many al- ternative crops which the irri- gation farmer in southern Al- berta may consider when plan- ning his current and future pro- duction pattern. Although there arc many fac- tors which must be considered, the overriding decision should depend on the economic as- pects of the com versus oBier alternatives. As with roost de- cisions, the picture is not clear cut because all the factors to bo considered do not provide the eamc conclusion. H o w e v c r, by weighing and evaluating these factors as they apply lo a specific opera- tion, a more optimal use of your resources c.in he achieved and it may be that some acres should be in grain com or silage. The majnr factors can be di- vided into two main categories: Those internal to an opera- tion such as the cash require- ments, the cost of production and estimated returns, the risk involved and the investment re- quired lo begin production. Those factors external to the farm unit, particularly the ability In market the product at a reasonable price. Cosls and returns from 1971 cost studies, grain and com silage data from the 1971 survey uswl, shows grain silage would be far superior to Ihe other alternatives with a net return of while grain corn would be one of the Ires desirable alternatives with no H'lurn (o management. It is obvious that mw'. farm- ers would not or could not. grow all silage because of the lack ol livestock on their own farm, and lack of an external market. Also, to avoid risk, diversifi- cation may be desirable. Like- wise, the amount of sweet corn or soft wheat would be limited by the contract or quota. On the other hand, a need for a crop such as grain com exists because of the ability to market It and obtain cash. Also the po- tential for greater yields must be considered when choosing al- ternatives. The data from the survey ot grain and silage corn producers Indicates a wide variation in di- rect inputs, resulting in equally as wide a variation In yields and net returns. Various amounts of fertilizer, herbicide, irrigations and seed- ing dates were tried. Similar results were received for both grain corn and silage. Only in the case of the seed- ing dates does there seem to be a d i r e e t relationship to yield with all producers getting over 70 bushels having the crop seed- ed by the first week In May. The response from the other in- puls was inconsistent illustrat- ing the need for H co-ordina- tion of cultural practices to nchieve high yields. The data from the 1971 sur- vey showed thai most of Ihe highest yields were obtained at as low or a lower cost than the lower yields. It Is apparent that higher average yields could bo obtained by producers with lit- tle or no additional expense, pimply by liming and co- ordinating the cultural prac- liccs, making corn a more profitable alternative. more Ihan 2.300 heal uniis, pro- viding it has plenty of niois- lurc. In Alberta this includes most of Ibe area of a line from Empress through Brooks to Milk River. Tests have shown that with' correct cultural practices, yields of 100 bushels per acra are possible under irrigation. Grain corn production Is somewhat more complicated than the production of cereal crops. For example, it requires row crop equipment and the com must be dried after it has been harvested. On the other hand, corn can be harvested over a longer period Ihan ce- reals, and there arc no quota restrictions. Anyone conlemplating grow- ing grain com as an alternative crop should contact the secre- tary of the Alberta Corn Com- mittee, Ralph Trimmer, Alber- ta department of agriculture, Lcthbridge. This committee has tested com hybrids Ihr.t are suitable for Alberta conditions and has the latest information on cultural practices. Corn for ensiling requires 200 heat units and can be grown in an area south and of a line from Alsask, Driunheller and Fort Macleod lo Mill; River. In the best growing arens, and under irrigation, yields of 24 tons to the acre aro possible as opposed lo about 12 Ions for cereals. Silage mado from corn is a high quality feed. Information on suitable hy- brid varieties and cultural practices for maximum silage production can also be obtain- ed from Uie Alberta Cora Com- mittee. Last year, southern Alberla farmers grew about acres of grain com and approximate- ly acres of corn for silage, PREDATOR RATES The Alberta sheep predator survey showed Uiat coyotes wore responsible for IS per cent of the predator loss. Of the total animals lost to predators, 74 per cent were lambs. Dogs were responsible for 11 per cent of the loss, followed by bears and wolves at 1.3 per cent each; foxes at one per cent, mountain lions at 0.2 o[ one per cent and eagles at 0.3 of one per cent.