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Agrimarketing : July 2009
26 Canadian Update:18 CAMA Update 7/15/09 2:04 PM Page 26 CANADIANMARKET UPDATE WHAT’SNEWINTHECANADIANMARKET Editor’s note: To get a feel onwhat’s happening in the important Canadian market,we invited prominent ag communicators to provide the following updates. CANADIAN PRAIRIES by Barb Glen Editor TheWestern Producer There’s awide diversity of agriculture in TheWestern Producer’swide coverage region,which consists primarily of farmers and ranchers in Saskatchewan,Alberta and Manitoba—the Canadian Prairies. Major crops include canola, wheat, barley, oats, flax and a variety of pulse crops.Area seeded to those crops, according to the June report by Statistics Canada,was 61.47million acres. Prices formajor cropswere Glen above the long-termaverage at time ofwriting, although not at the highs of 2008. Input costswere slightly lower than last year. That combination had crop producers in a generally optimisticmood, tempered by concerns about an extended spring that delayed seeding. This puts crops at greater risk of frost damage before achieving fullmaturity and yield this fall. Drought conditions in some parts of the prairie grain beltwill reduce yields but crops in the deeper south areas of the three prairie provinces looked promising in early July. Lowcarryouts inmostmajor cropswere expected to support prices. On the livestock side of the equa- tion, conditions are far fromrosy. The cattle business depends greatly on exportmarkets to the United States. Prices are down and demand is low, exacerbated by U.S. Country of Origin Labeling rules that discourageAmerican packers from accepting Canadian cattle.High feed costs and theweakening U.S. dollar 26 Agri Marketing s July/August 2009 in early Julywere also bearish for cattlemarkets. Dry conditions in major cattle producing regions increased the risk of feed shortages and some producerswere selling early due to limited pasture. On the hog side, producers are reeling fromhigh feed prices, a high Canadian dollar relative to the greenback, and the lingering effects ofH1N1 flu, known in themainstreammedia as swine flu, that damaged demand and closed some foreignmarkets.Major losses continue in the Canadian hog sector,which may shrink considerably this year. In Canadian agriculture, there never seems to be a timewhen all sectors are enjoying profitability. However, the effects of the recession don’t seemto be as severe as those reported in the U.S. and there is general optimismabout a speedy economic recovery. ONTARIO by PaulMahon Publisher/Editor-in-Chief Ontario Farmer Ontario agriculture is a prime example of co-existingwith yourmarketplace. Historically Ontario has pro- ducedmore agricultural production than any other Canadian province. Over 100 commodities come from Ontario, from the cattle ranges of Grey-Bruce, to the dairy stronghold of Oxford County, the fruit belt ofNiagara, the hog concentration of Perth andMiddlesex counties —and the tomato fields of the southwest and the vast industry under glass of Leamington’s greenhouse industry. All of it is produced in the nar- Mahon rowtemperate soils of the Great Lakes basin,which alsomanages to be one of themost densely populated areas ofNorthAmerica. The Greater Toronto area,whichmeshes with the dense population of the eastern U.S. seaboard, represents whatmay soon be the largest or second largest population cluster in NorthAmerica. This is a huge and diverse market forwhich Ontario agriculture iswell-poised to deliver. It alsomeans Ontario farmers pull off the tight compromise of producing the value they do in the very shadowof this hugemarket. Ontario farmers have towork closely as stewards and citizens tomanage their farms among this huge population,where population density can rank as tightly as some European hot spots. It hasmade us leaders in animal and crop stewardship aswe prove to our urban neighbours thatwe are doingworld-class food production “right next door.” LA TERRE DE CHEZ NOUS by Loic Hamon Manager La Terre de chez nous La Terre de chez nous, amagazine established in 1929, is theweekly reference for producers in the field of farming news and information. La Terre de chez nous has evolvedwith the times and produces over a hundred publications yearly. Besides its specialized magazines, Le Producteur de lait québécois and Porc Québec, it also e´publishes four additional inserts: Bovins du Québec, Grandes Cultures, Forêts de chez nous, and l’Utili-Terre, the technicalmagazine for the farm. La Terre de chez nous can also be Hamon viewed on the internet, on the www.laterre.ca and www.utiliterre.ca web sites, inweekly and daily newsletters, aswell as in an internet version of themagazine. The circulation of La Terre de chez nous is presently at about 33,000 copies,with over 80,000 readers. In 2008, therewere some 42,423
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