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Pulses campaign may benefit Sask

Posted by Flaman Agriculture Nov 12, 2015

12 Nov 2015
The StarPhoenix

Pulses campaign may benefit Sask

Farmers look to boost market share
     A yearlong celebration of pulse crops that began this week could benefit Saskatchewan, which has become the world’s largest lentil producer and a significant contributor to Canada’s $3-billion pulse crop industry.
     International Year of Pulses was launched Tuesday in Rome by the Food and Agriculture Organization, a United Nations agency dedicated to eradicating world hunger. The global event is intended to raise awareness about pulses’ importance to health, environmental sustainability and global food security. But it may also create new opportunities for Saskatchewan farmers.
     “It is about winning the hearts and minds and stomachs of consumers, not just in the traditional parts of the world that have eaten pulses for many years, but in the whole world,” said Pulse Canada chair Lee Moats, who has been growing pulses at Riceton, near Regina, since 1991.
     “If you look at North America, we grow a lot of pulses, but we don’t consume that many. From a grower’s standpoint, this is about increasing the market opportunity.”
     Saskatchewan was not always a global leader in pulse production. In the first half of the 20th century, the province’s agricultural industry was dominated by cereals such as wheat and barley. By the 1960s, farmers were experimenting with oilseeds and pulses, a family that includes lentils, peas, chickpeas and beans. According to University of Saskatchewan plant scientist Bert Vandenberg, the crops’ benefits were readily apparent.
     “Pulse crops fix nitrogen, and there’s substantial benefits that come with that in crop rotation,” he said. “Plus, you’re breaking disease cycles. It’s basically going back to basic farming principles that have been known for 10,000 years.”
     Because pulses were not controlled by the nowdefunct Canadian Wheat Board, farmers could sell them as a cash crop.
     The upshot is that Saskatchewan pulse production increased dramatically, from about 45,000 acres in the early 1980s to four million acres, or 10 per cent of the province’s arable land, in 2015, Vandenberg said.
     More production conferred yet more benefits on Saskatchewan producers.
     Because Saskatchewan grows half the world’s lentils, production problems at home and shortages abroad both guarantee higher prices, Vandenberg said.
     “It’s a hedge both ways,” he added.
     Moats, who is also a director of Saskatchewan Pulse Growers, hopes International Year of Pulses will further expand the market for Saskatchewan pulses.
     While farmers in the province are familiar with the protein-rich crops’ benefits, the bulk of their pulses are exported to Turkey, India, Bangladesh and other foreign markets.
     A broad conversation about global food production, one that taps into concerns about health and sustainability, could help the North American market grow, Moats said.
     “We think that International Year will bring attention to these crops, why consumers should be interested in them and how to use them and incorporate them into their diets. International Year gives (us) a platform at a whole new level.”
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Most of farm file's handlers to return to Commons

Posted by Flaman Agriculture Oct 20, 2015

Most of farm file’s handlers to return to Commons

Trudeau's Liberals have former ag minister, critics on roster

From http://www.agcanada.com/daily/most-of-farm-files-handlers-to-return-to-commons
Most federal parliamentarians with experience in the agriculture and agri-food portfolio will be back in the House of Commons under a new majority Liberal government.
As of Tuesday morning, prime minister-elect Justin Trudeau’s Liberals were elected or leading in 184 of 338 seats, for a decisive majority following Monday’s federal election. Stephen Harper’s Conservatives return to opposition, elected or leading in 99 seats.
Thomas Mulcair’s New Democrats are demoted to second opposition, elected or leading in 44 seats, followed by the Bloc Quebecois in 10, and the Green Party, whose leader Elizabeth May hung onto the party’s lone seat.
The Liberals, who’d had just 34 seats after the 2011 election, will return to power with a largely rookie caucus, but their returning veterans carry years of experience on the agriculture file.
Ralph Goodale, the Liberals’ agriculture minister from 1993 to 1997 and minister for the Canadian Wheat Board from 1993 to 2003, easily held his riding of Regina-Wascana on Monday night by a spread of more than 10,000 votes over the Tories’ Michael Kram.
Goodale, who’d started his federal political career in 1974 as a rookie MP for then-prime minister Pierre Trudeau, returned to Regina in 1986 as leader of the provincial Liberals. He rose through cabinet during the Chretien administration and handled the finance file during Paul Martin’s short stint as prime minister (2003-06).
Paul Martin’s parliamentary secretary for agriculture and agri-food will also return to Ottawa. Wayne Easter, the MP for the Prince Edward Island riding of Malpeque since 1993, easily held his seat by a 10,003-vote margin over Tory candidate Stephen Stewart.
Easter, who led Canada’s National Farmers Union (NFU) for 11 years before entering politics, was the parliamentary ag secretary from 2003 to 2006. On the opposition benches, he served as the Liberals’ critic for agriculture and the CWB (2006-11) and for international trade (2011-13).
The Liberals’ incumbent agriculture and agri-food critic since 2013, Nova Scotia MP Mark Eyking, also returns to the Commons, handily winning his riding of Sydney-Victoria by over 24,800 votes over NDP contender Monika Dutt.
Eyking, who with his wife Pam farmed and earned the Outstanding Young Farmers of Nova Scotia award before he entered politics, also served as Martin’s parliamentary secretary for agriculture and agri-food (2003-04) and for international trade (2004-06). On the second opposition bench, Eyking also served as critic for foreign affairs (2007) and rural affairs (2010-11).
Among other files of interest to farmers, the Liberals’ critic for international trade, Toronto MP Chrystia Freeland, will return in the redrawn riding of University-Rosedale, while their transport critic, David McGuinty, held his riding of Ottawa South.
The Conservatives head back to the opposition with most of their bench strength on the agriculture file intact, led by their incumbent agriculture minister Gerry Ritz.
Ritz on Monday easily held his western Saskatchewan riding of Battlefords-Lloydminster by a spread of more than 14,600 votes over NDP challenger Glenn Tait, a grain farmer involved in both the Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission and the NFU.
Other Tory MPs well known for their work on the ag file will also return to the Commons on the opposition side, among them southern Ontario MP Bev Shipley (Lambton—Kent—Middlesex), the incumbent chair of the Commons’ standing committee on agriculture.
Previous ag critics and standing ag committee members such as Larry Maguire (Brandon-Souris, Man.), Blake Richards (Banff—Airdrie, Alta.), Bob Zimmer (Prince George—Peace River—Northern Rockies, Alta.), Larry Miller (Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, Ont.), Earl Dreeshen (Red Deer—Mountain View, Alta.), David Anderson (Cypress Hills—Grasslands, Sask.) and Randy Hoback (Prince Albert, Sask.) will also return for the Tories.
Harper’s minister of state for small business, tourism and agriculture (2013-15), veteran Quebec MP Maxime Bernier, also held his riding of Beauce by a spread of more than 20,000 votes over Liberal contender Adam Veilleux. Former parliamentary ag secretary (2006-07) Jacques Gourde held his riding of Levis-Lotbiniere by a spread of almost 18,000 votes over the Liberals’ Claude Boucher.
Tory MPs who lost their seats Monday include former parliamentary ag secretary Pierre Lemieux (Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, Ont.) and former New Brunswick ag minister Rodney Weston (Saint John-Rothesay, N.B.).
The Tories’ incumbent transport minister, Lisa Raitt, held her southern Ontario riding of Milton; the party’s incumbent minister for international trade, Ed Fast, also hung onto his B.C. riding of Abbotsford.
NDP critics out
Monday’s election also cost the federal New Democrats their lead agriculture critic. Malcolm Allen, who had represented the Niagara-area riding of Welland since 2008, lost in the redrawn riding of Niagara Centre by over 2,300 votes against Liberal contender Vance Badawey.
Pat Martin, the veteran NDP MP for Winnipeg Centre since 1997, who served as critic (2011-13) and assistant/associate critic (2007-11) for the Canadian Wheat Board, was also unseated, losing by a spread of almost 9,000 votes against Liberal contender Robert-Falcon Ouelette.
The NDP’s remaining caucus, while light on experience in the agriculture file, still includes its incumbent deputy ag critic. Ruth Ellen Brosseau, who won the riding of Berthier-Maskinonge as a rookie for the NDP in 2011, held the riding Monday night by almost 9,000 votes over Bloc Quebecois contender Yves Perron.
Don Davies, the NDP’s critic for international trade, hung onto his riding of Vancouver-Kingsway on Monday night; the party’s transport critic, Toronto MP Olivia Chow, lost her riding of Spadina-Fort York to Liberal contender Adam Vaughan.
The Bloc Quebecois, while also light on ag experience in its slightly larger new caucus of 10 MPs, still includes veteran Louis Plamondon, a former Progressive Conservative MP who helped found the Bloc in 1991 and served as its ag critic briefly in 2004.
Plamondon, who sat on the Commons standing ag committee for the Tories (1984-86) and again for the Bloc from 2002 to 2004, easily held his riding of Becancour-Nicolet-Saurel against Liberal contender Claude Carpentier by a spread of over 8,000 votes. — AGCanada.com Network
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Oil prices may drop further - but end in sight

Posted by Flaman Agriculture Aug 05, 2015

Oil dip triggers global trouble spots

Tuesday, 4 Aug 2015 | 4:22 AM CT

Helima Croft, RBC Capital Markets, discusses how cheap crude prices are impacting oil-focused economies and whether prices are headed lower from here.

Video is at:  http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000403240


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Posted in Farm related news | Tagged with oil diesel global politics Helima Croft | More articles by Flaman Agriculture

Trade 'balancing' act in focus at ag ministers' meeting

Posted by Flaman Agriculture Jul 20, 2015

CNS is reporting that  . . .

With foreign governments urging Canada to open up its protected dairy, poultry and egg markets, the country’s provincial agriculture ministers are unanimously counter-urging in supply management’s defense.

Pressure from trading partners and strong regional support in principle for supply management are nothing new. But Canada’s annual ag ministers’ meeting, held this week in Charlottetown, wrapped ahead of international talks starting later next week on the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The TPP, a proposed 12-nation Pacific Rim trade deal, includes not only Canada but major dairy and poultry exporting nations such as the U.S. and New Zealand. Negotiators are to meet July 24-27 in Maui, followed by a ministerial meeting July 28-31.

Canada also faces domestic pressure to stay at the TPP negotiating table, from beef, pork and grain producers aiming not just to expand but to preserve their access to TPP markets such as Japan.

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Posted in Farm related news | Tagged with ag trade politics | More articles by Flaman Agriculture