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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - September 18, 1970, Lethbridge, Alberta _____.......____. Friday, September IS, 1970 THE LETHBRIDCE HERALD 13 Task Force Report By J. C. CALMS Regional Agriculturist Back in 1967 a federal task force on agriculture was com missioned by the minister of agriculture to give positive di- rection to seeking of solutions to many problems besetting the industry in the sixties and to provide policy guidelines for the 1970's. Now after some three years, their rather comprehensive re- port of some 475 pages has been released. The Alberta de- partment of agriculture and Uniform have prepared a 65- page abridgement of the Task Force Report giving a sum- mary of highlights and all of the recommendations proposed. Unifarm have also prepared a BROWN SWISS Allan Orr of fort Macleod, own 100 purebred Brown Swiss hei- fers and consequently the third largest herd of this breed in North America. All of the Heifers were bred by means of artificial insemination, 75 per cent to Brown Swiss, and 25 per cent to Charolais. Mr. Orr is raising the cattle strictly for cross-breeding purposes, and plans to sell offspring to other breeders throughout Canada and the States. U Of A Tests Show Brown Swiss Outperform Popular Breeds 1 ALLAN ORR By STEVE BAKEHAM licrald Farm Writer Allan Orr, Fort Macleod, lays claim to the third largest herd of purebred Brown Swiss cattle in North America, and plans on owning the largest herd of per- formance tested crossbred Brown Swiss cattle in the world within a few years. Mr. Orr imported 100 pure- bred one- and two-year-old heif- ers from the eastern Un i t e d States, an investment of about All of the heifers were indivi- dually picked from dairy herds on the basis of beef qualities and growth rate per age. The heifers were bred by Ar- tificial Insemina lion, 75 pel- cent to purebred Brown Swiss and 25 per cent to purebred Charolais. A recent pregnancy lest performed on the herd in- dicates a catch rate of 80 per cent, marginally higher than is expected on other beef breeds. "We are really pleased with the growth of the animals said Mr. Orr. One reason the calves do so well is due to the ample quantity and excellent quality of the Sown Swiss cows." He attributes 60 per cent of the growth rate to this trait. Another boon to growth rate is the weight of calves, says Mr. Orr, who feels the Brown Swiss gains a 12 per cent ad- vantage over other major beef breeds. Tests conducted by the Uni- versity of Alberta show Bown Swiss to have gained .36 pounds per day more than Herefords and 1.2 pounds per day more than Charolais up lo weaning time. Other qualities of the breed are dark skin and hair, pigmen- tation of eyes and udders, les- sening chances of udder sun- burn, eye cancer and pinkeye. Mr. Orr is raising the cattle strictly for cross breeding pur- poses, and plans to sell off- spring to other breeders in Can- ada and the United States. Es- timates indicate he should be able to get per pregnant heifer, and for bull yearlings. He plans to keep half of the heifer calves he obtains next spring, and three quarters of the lop bull calves for his own breeding purposes. Mr. Orr says he will increase the breed- ing herd by another 100 ani- mals this spring. Dairy Cattle Move To The Fore As Beef Qualities Are Recognized OAKVILLE, Out. CP) M.'V. Bazilli, president of Twin Lake Tractors Ltd., said recent- ly he is considering Russian fi- nancing for Canadians who want to buy imported Russia tractors. Mr. Bazilli, who imported 50 medium ranged tractors from Russia last year and was only able to sell 25, said his com- pany's efforts to sell the ma- chines have been blocked. He would not say who was doing the blocking but added that it was difficult for Cana- Agriculture Unjustly Blamed Some pollution problems affect- ing health, hobbies and living habits are being unjustly blamed on agriculture, says Dr. J. C. van Sehaik, soil physicist at t he federal agriculture re- search station here. Dr. van Schaik is doing re- search he says could clarify much of the controversy sur- rounding charges that fertilizers pollute water and soils. "We must keep in mind that contaminants can only be moved to lower depths in soil by says Dr. van Schaik. In many areas, contamination doesn't penetrate the soil to any great depth. Little rain falls on most of the southern prairies, which means, he says, thai fertilizers actually don't go below Ihe upper soil levels. Some chemicals from ferti- lizers also grab onto soil parti- cles, clinging so tightly that they stay in the upper soil lev- els. This characteristic is called correct absorption. STAY NEAR SURFACE Phosphorus, an ingredient in many chemical fertilizers, and strontium-90. a product of nu- clear fallout, are absorbed and stay near tire surface for a long time. "Phosphorus w o n 't move down to the ground-water level, so it is not a worry to us as a possible well-water van Schaik. Some chemicals such as ni- trates stay in solution in soil. If sufficient rain falls or irrigation water is applied, these chemi- cals will be carried to lower depths. "These nilralcs could cnlcr rural wells and, if conccnlration is high enough, could pose a health Dr. van Schaik concedes. "That's why it is wise to have private wells checked periodically. "Bui, by and large, agricul- ture is not the polluter that some make it oul lo be." dians to get financing agree- ments for the tractors so that they could be boughl on credit. He said in an interview the tractors, 55- and 70-horsepower models, retailed for and respectively, 35 per cent less than equivalenl tractors being sold on the Canadian market. "No one can really say we would hurt the Canadian eco- he said. "After all, all the tractors in that range are imported into Canada with about 70 per cent coming from the United Kingdom." In a letter to federal and provincial governments he said: "Obviously we are fight- ing not only the lobbying of the established industry but also fighting against prejudice. "It is difficult to understand why Canada is reluctant to buy from e m (Russians) when they were not reluctant to buy million worth of wheat from Canada." He said that of the 25 trac- tors sold last year, 12 went to Ontario farmers, eight to Al- berta and five to Quebec. Mr. Bazilli also said he had heard from dealers that farm- ers who wished to buy the trac- tors under the federal govern- ment's farm improvement loan plan, had been refused. He said lhal meetings with Russian officials willing to dis- cuss financing will be held shortly. He also said lie plans to lake delivery of 150 more of the Rus- sian-made tractors by the end of October and sell them Ontario, Quebec and Alberta. Calendar Of Farm Events September 21-23 St. Adele, P.Q. International Rapeseed Conference and Rapeseed Assoc. of Canada annual meeting September 23 Raymond Unifarm Task Force Study Meeting September 24 Lethbridge Unifarm Task Force Study Meeting September 21-October 1 Vancouver Canadian Hatchery Federation annual meeting October 1, 8, 22 Pincher Creek Beef Cattle Nutrition Courses (Pre-registration deadline September 21) October 5-8 Lethbridge Washington State Cattleman's Tour of Southern Alberta October 10, 17 Walsh Fall 'Feeder Cattle Sales November 13-21 Toronto Royal Agricultural Winter Fair November 18-20 Edmonton Alberta Poultry Industry Con- ference November 19-20 Brooks Alberta Potato Commission and Alberta Potato Growers Assoc. Annual Meeting and Potato Harvest Ball November 18 Edmonton Alberta Turkey Assoc. Annual Meeting November 25-27 Ottawa Agricultural Congress on Task Force Recommendations summary supplement of Ihe re- port which lias already gone out to the public through their press in tlic "Organized Farm' Despite tlic wide publicity on the subject during recent wuoks it appears there are many farmers who stale they never heard of the report, nor are they aware of it's implica- tions. It is the feeling of the writer that while this may be true, various aspects of the re- port and policy considerations, haws in fact been the subject of m u c h deliberation and thought by most individual farmers, farm organizations and various commodity groups, particularity last winter. How- ever, they may not have re- lated their policy considera- tions to the report specifically. Tills opportunity now exists and whatever feedback the Task Force Report generates is to be considered at a special agricultural congress called by the federal minister of agricul- ture for late November. The Unifarm organizations aiu spearheading a series of study meetings on the Task Force Report throughout Alber- ta. Some forty meetings have already been held, but here in Ihe south an early harvest and favorable weather conditions have precluded any farmer meetings until most of the grain harvest is cleaned up. Meetings in the southern re- gion will likely emerge during late September and early Oc- tober under the sponsorship of various Unifarm locals and serviced by resource speakers from our department and the University of Alberta. Among Ihe more conlrover- sia! changes recommended by Ihe report relate to UK follow ing: Free Irade negotialions with the U.S., and subjeclion of non-agricullural sectors of the Canadian economy to in- creased foreign competition. Elimination of the PFAA program; Substantial changes i n dairy policies; 9 Targets for and exporl of feeder cattle to the U.S.; t Elimination of the feed freight assistance to B.C. and eastern Canada; Introduction of legislation to implement nalional market- ing boards, Considerable changes in policy for the Canadian wheat board on Ihe marketing of wheat and feed grains. Considering the vast divers' ity and dimension of Ihe indus- try in Canada it will likely be very difficull to arrive al a pol- icy which will satisfy all sec- tors of the industry, various commodity groups and differ- ent regions ol' the country. However, one thing is certain, it will focus much more thought and deliberation on the part of farmers beyond the pro- duction phase. The report is es- sentially one dealing with as- pects very much beyond the farm gate, but the implica- tions will drastically affect and determine what farmers will do within their fences, or whether in fact, they will remain in busi- ness during the seventies. ymt iwicuuM n iiiHBRipof RISURCM it! ro: By STEVE BAREHAM CANADIAN wheat farmers appear to have been saved from the sinking ship, but hopefully not before a valuable lesson in the pros of agricultural diversity was learned. Recent government reports indicate grain sales are likely to come Canada's way over the next J2 months as a corn blight in the United States has taken 10 per cent of the total crop, and severe drought conditions in Australia. France and the 'Argentine seriously affect projected grain estimates. Senator Harry Hays says Canada will have no wheat sur- pluses by ncxl fall. He declined specifics on the subject, but said his sources were reliable. Canada produced 338 million bushels of wheat in 1970, compared to G84 million bushels in 19G9. The total world production of wheat was down about 25 per cent, according to figures circulated by the Dominion Bureau of Statistics. Meanwhile barley and oats come on as Canada's golden crops in 1970. In addition lo increased world demand for the two major feed grains, domestic uses are expected lo rise appreciably as more and more Canadian farmers start cattle and hog feeding operations on the farm. An almost sure indication of the feed grains potential comes from the drastic decline of replacement cattle han- dlings at private and public stockyards throughout western Canada. A feeder cattle holding trend is evident and animals in both small and large feedlots fed. Some fear Ihe price on oats and barley will go out of sight with Ihe coming of winter, to form what could turn into an unfortunate situalion for persons operating feedlols. More time is needed before one can accurately equate the end results of Operation Lift, but in my opinion, the was not long lasting, and Canada, western in particular, only stands to gain from the abrupt diversity it was forced inlo. Livestock Pesticides UK. M. A. KUAN Toxicotogisl An advanced sludy institute on the Toxicily of Livestock Pesticides was held recently in Lethbridge. Organized by the Canada de- partment of agriculture Re- search Station, Lelhbridg.e, with the financial assistance of the North Atlantic Treaty Or- ganization, the institute con- sisted of a comprehensive se- ries of lectures and discussions on all aspects of livestock pesti- cides. The lecturers generally were top scientists from the NATO countries, who advise their own governments and in- lernalional organiza lions on the evaluation and use of pesti- cides. Some of the imporlanl con- clusions regarding the use of pesticides drauTi at the Insti- tute Livestock pesticides now in use, if applied as recom- mended, are as safe as any other drug and will neither ad- versely affect the treated ani- mals nor deposit harmful amounts of residue in food or the environment. Some new p e s t i c i d es. which are safe for animals and do not leave persistent resi- dues, may become available as replacements for recently ban- ned pesticides. Chemical and biological control of insects should, for best results, be integrated and. wherever feasible, biological control of livestock insects, which at present is not avail- j able in Canada, should be de- veloped. The debate on pesticides j tends to polarize at two tremes of thinking. The ad-j verse effects cf environmental contamination resulting from Uic misuse of such insecticides as DDT have been exag- gerated. Some of the alleged h.'irmuil effects of DDT such as the threatened extermination of some raptorial birds may be attributed to other pollutants or Ihe great demand for hunting falcons. M o d i c a 1 toxicologisls are convinced that DDT. as reconi- mcnd'jd for agricultural and public health purposes, is harmless to man. Workers in DDT manufacturing plants ex- posed to 400 times the 'usual' level of DDT for a period of 19 years have suffered no harmful effects. T h e beneficial effects of pesticides have been overlook- ed. The much-maligned DDT has been used for the partial or complete control of 30 fatal or disabling diseases of man and his animals, not to mention nu- merous crop pests. During the first eight years of its use DDT is estimated to have saved five million human lives and pre- vented 100 million cases of hu- man sickness. DDT and other related chemicals will continue to be used in several continents for agricultural and public health purposes and. since Ihese com- pounds are volatile. Ihe global contamination of the environ- ment will continue. The con- tamination problem will not be solved by bans and moratori- ums, which only add to the problems of agriculture and public health. In fact, the re- surgence of pests is already forcing the use of some of the recently banned pesticides. The solution to the problem of con- tamination by pesticides lies in proper use of available pesti- cides and the development of suitable substitutes. Irrigation Water Draw Methods Mav Chaiiee E. E. O'Donnell, Taber, chair-, water from the lateral into a man of the Alberta Potato pond about the centre of the Commission, believes he has quarter. solved the problem of fluctuat-1 "I was experiencing difficul- ing water levels in irrigation ties pumping because of the laterals. fluctuating water levels in the Tn an irrigation system a Iat-jp0nd, said Mr. 'There didn't seem to be any- eral ditch serves individual quarter-sections. Farmers re- quiring water along the lateral inform the ditch riders of their needs and the rider directs the necessary amount of water into the lateral from the main ca- thing the ditch rider could do to keep the correct amount of water in the lateral to satisfy all the customers without fluc- tuating levels, "I suggested to the engineers '1. they run a pipe underneath the Mr. O'Donnell says the only j ditch and tap (he supply from drawback to this method of the bottom. As long as the water delivery is that water is 'ed into the quarter-sections off ,he top of the lateral ditch, and, if ditch didn't run dry I'd be able to draw "They were skeptical thai if. for any reason the level j would work but after I used if. ;frops, the man on the quarter for a season and found it op- can experience difficulty get-; era ted satisfactorily, they are ting water on the land. [now talking of adopting it as Those who have turned to i s t a n d a r d practice where sprinkler irrigation take the' sprinklers are used." FOR RENT Building with Sq. Ft. or Less Located on 3rd Avenue with good parking Feasible for any type of business Write Box 24, Lethbridge Herald We re not on strike General Motors is on Strike BUT here at... We still have a good selection of brand new 111 models and company demonstrators... now at f 1 i i" i r I IK i