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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 17, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta 12 THE IF1HBRIDGE HERAID Tuesday, October 17, 1972- Wool producers facing stiff competition Wool pnxli'.cors hove a tough lime these days in the face of declining-markets through stiff competition from synthetic fi- bers. Canadian shorn wool produc- tion dropped from G.2 million pounds in 1052 to 3.C million in 1970. Wool is a "miracle" fiber, it's durable, comfortable and versatile. But competition is keen in the textile Industry and synthetic fibers replace wool when prices GO too high. "The ideal is a price level high enough to give producers a fair return, but not enough to scare off the textile In- says G. L. Locking, chief of the Canada department of agriculture's livestock grad- ing section. "However, the real potential for the Canadian sheep indus- try is in the lamh market." Increases in lamb prices sup- port Mr. Locking's opinion. The national weighted average price of lamb rose from per hundredweight in 1961 to per hundredweight in 1970. Mr. Locking believes the market possibilities are there despite a decrease in the 1971 national weighted average price for good lambs. High qualily fresh Canadian lamb finds it ready market at premium prices and is pre- ferred by Canadian consumers to the frozen, imported prod- uct. Statistics Canada figures show an eight per cent increase in Canada's sheep population at Dec. 1, 1971, compared with ttie year before. That's important because the flock at Dec. 1 is primarily breeding stock. Alberta show- ed the largest increase, 23 per cent in 1971 compared with 1070. The other three western provinces registered increases of between six and nine per cent. Declines were registered in all eastern provinces with the largest a 20 per cent drop in Prince Edward Island, and the smallest a one per cent drop in Ontario. The Statistics Canada fig- ures also show an increase in sheep and lambs at June 1, Hffl 11 per cent for all Can- ada with 10 per cent in the west and two per cent in the cast. Lamb marketings increased by almost 11 per cent last year from 1070. The Prairies ac- counted for nearly all the In- creases. There are major obstacles facing would-be lamb pro- ducers. The harsh Canadian climate means lamb producers must provide some shelter during the winter. But, buildings can be expensive, driving up pro- duction costs. And the warmer months bring problems, too. Predators particularly coyotes are real problems for sheep ranch- ers. For example, in Alberta last year coyotes destroyed one sheep in every 25 for a value of Sheep only breed once a year even though the gestation peri- od is five montlis. That means lamb production is seasonal. Canada department of Agricul- ture scientists are investigating several methods of overcoming this problem, including cross- breeding, early weaning and controlled atmosphere housing. Slaughter costs are relatively high because of the small vol- ume of lambs sent to market each year. However discouraging these obstacles may seem there's a group of CDA research scien- tists who believe they can be overcome. Dr. II. F. Peters, a geneticist In Ottawa, is one of the group of CDA's Animal Research In- stitute, scientists working on sheep problems. "There's tremendous poten- tial for the industry, but we have to develop intensive man- agement methods and sheep that will respond to these he says. "We're working on increasing productivity, trying to get sheep that can breed year- round, are more prolific and show more growth efficiency." "So far we've demonstrated that some sheep will breed every seven months or so. "We think that with persev- erance and appropriate breed- ing procedures we can succeed in developing the type of sheep required." The scientists are looking for faster gaining lambs, which develop into larger carcasses without too much fat. "We want to get a lamb chop that's as big as pork Dr. Peters said. The research program also includes the development of nd- CCjUate, low-cost housing. Dr. Hamish Robertson, the reproductive physiologist in the team, considers thai under the ideal management system the sheep Hock would be divided mlu two groups, one perhaps being bred in May-June and No- vember-December and the sec- ond in August-September and February-M arch. These breeding dates might have to he modified to meet the peak periods in demand of the 'ethnic trade1 in certain localities. It may ultimately be possible, by breeding and selection, to obtain ewes that will breed all the year round under natural conditions, but in the mean- time intensive production Ight- tight barns offer tlie possibilty of controlling the breeding sea- son of the ewe by manipulating the light regime. As it may take four year to evaluate a particular lighting regime, results will unfortun- ately be slow in coming. As well, the scientists are trying to develop feeding ods for young lambs. "We can wean lambs from the ewes at 24 hours and raise them on says Dr. Dave Heaney, a nutrition- ist with the Institute. "But the problem is that any milk replacer diets we have found must include milk as the base." JOE'S MOBILE HOMES LTD. 1st. AVENUE ond 32nd. STREET SOUTH (Highway 3 East to Tober) PHONE 328-0166 or 328-0181 Worth of Mobile Homes must be cleared to make room for new units on the way! See the new KMIGHT SCHMIDT INDUSTRIES MOB5LE HOMES Double Wide and 14 foot Single Wide Units ALSO THE Nor Wesfern Units In Single 12 Ft. and 14 Ft. Wide Make your selection now and save hundreds. YOU GET Quality AFI unifs carry CSA approval. 3. Long term financing, tako up to 16 years to 3. Lower ralo terms, 4. Service and salisfaciion after purchase, REMEMBER YOU ALWAYS BUY ?OR LESS AT JOE'S MOBILE HOMES The young Iambs cannot di- gest plant protein, so that rules out plant bases for the moment. "Milk rcplacers using a milk base are expensive, but we're going to continue to look for substitutes, and researchers elsewhere are working on this problem says Dr. Heaney. The scientists hope to devel- op breeds which will be suited for intensive management methods in Canada. "We're not confining our ef- fort to adapting the existing breeds to our says Dr. Peters. "What we want is to develop breeds or and crosses which will fit our system." The first priority in the re- search program, which began n 1066, is to establish the man- agement system and get the equipment working. Several buildings for this work have been at the Animal Research Institute's Greenbelt Farm in Ottawa. POT-LUCK By D'ARCY RICKARB Sesame Street has been cast in shadow. We used to walk on the sunny side of Sesame Street at our house but now the show has been dumped. If you want to get it back, write to Canadian Radio and Television Commission, ICO Metcalfe Street, Ottawa, Ont., K1A ON2. Just tell the CRTV you want the show because it has great educational value- even though it's not classed as "Canadian content." I'll vouch for Sesame Street any time. On my cul- tural map it's the greatest. Son Cliff learned his ABCs through watching the show and enjoys school immensely because he got that little extra push. Every kid should have it. Of the 30 privately owned CBC affiliates, CJOC TV is one of 17 that has had to maKo the decision to drop the program, says production manager R. C. Johnson. In my television days in Toronto, (I was the Mar- ilyn Bell of the television film delivery world, used to carry Wild Bill Hickok films up Jarvie Street to the CBC after the sugar corn pops commercials were spliced it amazed me to meet Uie number of fantastically skilled artists and craftsmen in the in- dustry. Surely to goodness this country can come up with some educational shows of this calibre. Maybe we could even throw a little something in for the kids on poverty row a little history about our native people. Like Pierre Berlon says, when we slaughtered the Indians it was "opening up the and when they slaughtered us, it was a "massacre." Maybe some day we'll get the history books straight. Speaking of history, the Canadian Shredded Wheat Company Ltd. of Niagara Falls has really come a long way with its packaging. Eighteen biscuits, all separately wrapped. Remember the good old days when the factory was pictured big and bold on the box? And Niagara Falls was pictured roaring mightily on the ends? And when you got through the first layer of biscuits you got a card to color and holes to punch out to make a book. Shredded in Canadians Canadian wheat. And a special good night to the election candi- dates. I'm going to vole for the man who'll guarantee two cars of grain where one grow before. As the song says: "Everyhling will be lovely, lovely by and by. Everything will be lovely when the pigs begin to fly. There will he no poverty, no envy and no malice. The home of every laboring man will be just like a ;