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BC Sessional Papers

Department of Agriculture SIXTY-SECOND ANNUAL REPORT 1967 British Columbia. Legislative Assembly [1968]

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Department of Agriculture
Printed by A. Sutton, Printer to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty
in right of the Province of British Columbia.
  To Major-General the Honourable George Randolph Pearkes,
V.C., P.C., C.C, C.B., D.S.O., M.C., CD.,
Lieutenant-Governor of the Province oj British Columbia.
May it please Your Honour:
I have the honour to submit for your consideration the Annual Report of the
Department of Agriculture for the year 1967.
Department oj Agriculture,
Victoria, B.C.
Minister oj Agriculture.
  The Honourable Frank Richter, Minister of Agriculture.
  A. H. Turner, B.Comm.,M.S., Deputy Mini:
mister of Agriculture.
The Honourable Frank Richter
A. H. Turner, B.Comm., M.S.
J. Newman
Administrative Assistant
L. W. Johnson
M. M. Gilchrist, B.S.A.
J. E. Hall, B.Sc.
J. S. Allin, B.S.A.
E. M. King, B.S.A., M.S.A.
S. G. Preston, B.S.A., M.S.A.
W. B. Richardson, B.S.A.
S. B. Peterson, B.S.A.
J. Corner
Provincial Apiarist
N. F. Putnam, B.Sc, M.Sc.
W. E. A. Wickens, B.S.A.
A. C. Carter, B.S.A.
Provincial Horticulturist
J. A. Mace
R. J. Miller, B.A.Sc.
Acting Head
C. L. Neilson, B.S., M.S.
Provincial Entomologist
W. R. Foster, B.Sc, M.Sc.
Provincial Plant Pathologist
W. H. Pope
P. N. Sprout, B.S.A.
Senior Soil Surveyor
A. Kidd, D.V.M., V.S., D.V.P.H.
Live Stock Commissioner and
Chief Veterinary Inspector
K. G. Savage, B.S.A., M.Sc.
  Report of the Department of Agriculture
There were some gains, some setbacks, and virtually no surprises on the farm
front in British Columbia during 1967. A mild winter which eliminated frost injury
was followed by an unusually warm, dry summer growing season. This in turn resulted in reduced production of such items as hay and grain, but at the same time
brought about good yields and quality in apples, cherries, and such heat-loving crops
as corn and tomatoes. For the most part, those losses incurred through drought
conditions were offset by gains in over-all quality.
The index of prices for farm products displayed a softening trend in average
returns per unit for several products, but price rises in others plus gains in total
output produced a moderate increase in agricultural gross income. Cash receipts
from the sale of all farm products amounted to an estimated $5,000,000 more than
the record $190,000,000 figure established in the preceding year.
Among the more significant gains recorded this year was the increase in milk
production, accompanied, for the first time in recent years, by an apparent rise in
per capita milk consumption. This was achieved in the face of price increases at
both the farm and retail levels. Total output reached an estimated 925,000,000
pounds, up 5 per cent from 1966.
Also significant was this year's cherry crop, which reached nearly 17,000,000
pounds for an all-time record. Excellent quality led to the establishment of new
sales records, including the movement of more than 156,000 crates to Eastern Canada markets, more than double the 1966 figure. Shipments to the United Kingdom,
mostly by air, reached 23,000 crates.   Sales to canneries increased by 63 per cent.
The apple crop was down slightly from 1966, but still above the average of
recent years. Generally excellent quality made possible wider distribution at relatively good prices. A feature of the British Columbia apple industry this year was
the introduction of waxing, which saw about 60 per cent of the apples sold on the
fresh market so treated.
Vegetable production remained at close to 1966 levels, with increases in corn,
onions, and field tomatoes being offset by declines in potatoes, carrots, and rutabagas.
Returns for most crops were generally satisfactory, except for potatoes. Surplus
potato production in the United States created a depressed market situation over
the entire continent. A reduction in seeded acreage in British Columbia produced
a drop of close to 20 per cent in the total potato crop from 1966 levels.
Increased output and lowered producer prices for eggs and turkeys were the
dominant features of the poultry industry in 1967. The weighted average return
for eggs dropped to the lowest level in many years as production exceeded market
demand. Similarly, turkey-meat output rose about 23 per cent to the point where
the Province was self-sufficient in that product, but excessive United States production exerted strong downward pressure on prices. Only broiler chicken escaped
this condition, and then only through cutbacks in production.
The cattle population remained unchanged this year as increases in numbers
of beef heifers and steers equalled decreases in beef cows, while dairy cattle showed
the same total as in 1966. These changes reflected a rebuilding of beef cow herds
in the Province, with more heifer calves and yearlings moving in as breeding replacements.
Under such conditions, beef prices generally remained firm, with a tendency to
strengthen during the latter months of the year to almost $3 per 100 pounds above
the 5-year average, the highest level in the past 15 years.
Shipments of cattle and calves out of the Province were down sharply, with
only about 5,000 head moving to United States points, while movements to other
Provinces were down 25 per cent at 53,767 head.
Total slaughterings of British Columbia cattle were down 8 per cent, at just
under 100,000 head.
The lower totals for both outward movements and slaughterings indicated a
holdback of nearly 30,000 head as compared with 1966 figures.
As a result of the relatively high prices prevailing during the preceding two
years, British Columbia hog-growers increased production by 20 per cent this year.
This in turn brought about a sharp upswing in marketings as 46,458 head were
slaughtered at inspected and approved plants. Under this increased flow, prices
softened steadily through the year, ending with December averages about $2.50
below those of the preceding January.
The sheep population remained at its relatively low level established in recent
years, as reflected in a total lamb slaughter of some 20,000 head, about equal to
the 1966 figure. Prices were moderately higher during the midsummer period but
below 1966 averages for the remaining months of the year.
While the number of licensed fur-farms declined slightly, the total number of
breeding animals increased by some 6,000 to approximately 197,000. Of this number, 180,175 were breeding mink. Mink-pelt prices declined sharply during the year
by nearly 40 per cent, to bring a corresponding drop in total returns in the industry.
Wool production declined again, this time to only 231,000 pounds from a total
of 32,000 shearings.
With drought conditions prevailing in the Province's main producing area,
cereal-grain output was down about one-third from 1966 levels. Both acreage and
yield of dry peas were down by a similar amount, while fodder corn was up slightly
with a good-quality crop. Forage-crop seed production declined by nearly 500,000
pounds, with only red clover and alfalfa showing appreciable gains.
Unfavourable weather conditions were also a factor in this year's honey production as the crop fell below the 2,500,000-pound mark. Similarly, the holly crop
declined by about 40 per cent through the failure of many trees to set berries.
Less affected by weather, greenhouse crops, particularly tomatoes and cucumbers, were up in production, with generally good prices prevailing throughout the
season. Mushroom production was also well maintained this year at steady price
Nursery-crop production again showed a continuing upward trend, in response
to a growing demand for coniferous evergreens and shade-tree varieties in addition
to bedding plants and ornamental shrubs.
The over-all results of 1967's production and marketing performance indicate
a growing awareness on the part of many primary producers of the increased earnings to be realized through further specialization in a number of fields where British
Columbia conditions lend themselves to such development. With comparatively
little of its land area suited to large-scale production, this Province can offer considerable scope to the specialist who is equipped to turn out quality products.
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Once again the annual Agricultural Outlook Conferences sponsored by the
Department attracted a measure of interest among agriculturists of the Province.
With the continued co-operation of the Canada Department of Agriculture, the
University of British Columbia, and several sectors of agri-business, successful conferences were staged for the first time at Dawson Creek, Kamloops, Courtenay, and
Creston. A departure from previous schedules saw all four staged in December
rather than in the early weeks of the year.
A highlight among conferences was the three-day staff meeting held in North
Vancouver, at which the entire professional membership met together for the first
time in many years. This afforded an opportunity for all to discuss common problems affecting the workings of the Department.
The crop insurance service was expanded this year to include coverage for
small fruits and grapes. In addition to crop-loss coverage, provision was also made
for insuring against loss of strawberry plants and grape vines.
John Bankier speaking during the official opening of the laboratory named in his honour.
Of particular interest in veterinary and live-stock circles was the official ceremony held at the new Veterinary Laboratory in Abbotsford on October 20th, during
which the laboratory was formally named the John Bankier Building in honour of
the retiring officer-in-charge, Dr. John C Bankier. Presiding at the ceremony were
the Minister of Agriculture and the Minister of Public Works. This marked the
first occasion on which a public edifice has been named after a member of the
Department's staff.
Also officially opened this year was the British Columbia Beef Cattle Test Station at Tranquille, near Kamloops. This will enable the progeny testing of beef
bulls under controlled conditions.
Additional photographic equipment was obtained this year for use in television
programming over outlets in Kelowna, Kamloops, and Dawson Creek. Public
response to the programmes continued in a favourable vein.
 CC 14
The Live Stock Branch reported that the general incidence of disease in the
Province's live-stock population continued low, although there were a number of
minor outbreaks of various types during the year. Among these were pink-eye and
face fly in cattle, with no satisfactory treatment found for lasting successful treatment
of the latter. Work on such diseases as infectious bovine rhino-tracheitis, bovine
virus diarrhoea, and bovine pulmonary emphysema, all of which are considered to
result from faulty management, was continued. A live vaccine for the prevention
of the first two of these was successfully introduced this year.
Four new brucellosis-free areas were declared officially in 1967, including the
Queen Charlotte Islands, Prince Rupert, the West Kootenay, and Clinton. This
leaves 15 areas in the Province still to be cleared by the scheduled completion date
of 1971.
With the entire Province now a brucellosis-control area, calfhood vaccination
continued to be de-emphasized. This was reflected in the sharp drop in vaccinations
to only 20,356 from the 53,631 recorded in the preceding year.
Veterinary Inspectors made a total of 659 visits to public sales yards, of which
there were 18 licensed to operate in the Province, and 122 visits to slaughter-houses
and farms to ensure that the animals consigned to these were destined for slaughter
only.   Altogether a total of 179,634 head of stock was inspected.
Close-up view of two pens at the British Columbia Beef Cattle Test Station
at Tranquille, near Kamloops.
Three new bull-control areas were formed, to bring the total to 20 in the main
beef-growing districts of the Province. In addition, 9 bulls were acquired under
provisions of the purebred sires purchase assistance policy for Farmers' Institutes.
The feed test established at the British Columbia Beef Cattle Test Station at
Tranquille was enlarged for the 1967/68 feeding period to include 75 bulls in prog-
CC 15
eny groups of 5 head each. These were tested in addition to some 1,000 head of
male and female calves of all the major beef breeds on the " home test " programme.
Initial results of the station test revealed an average daily weight gain of 2.19 pounds.
The average total gain for the 140-day test period amounted to 307 pounds.
In the dairy sector, 103 heifers and heifer calves were selected from D.H.I.A.
herds for sale to Okanagan dairy-farmers as replacement stock.
The number of dairy cows on test under supervision of the Department's dairy
herd improvement services showed a further increase of 1,731 to a new high total
of 22,591 head in 558 herds, for an average of 40 animals per herd.
The average production for all cows on test this year reached 12,050 pounds
of milk and 470 pounds of butterfat.
Compared to the records established as recently as 10 years ago, the past year's
showing represented a gain of 27 per cent in average milk output and 45 per cent
in average herd size.
The Recorder of Brands reported a total of 2,009 individual stock brands and
196,857 brand inspections, including 14,496 hides. Fees collected under provisions
of the Horned Cattle Purchases Act declined $1,288 to $13,898.
The Veterinary Laboratory reported 3,242 submissions, involving 27,232
specimens for processing. Included were 17,573 serology and 8,931 miscellaneous
The British Columbia artificial insemination centre at Milner recorded 43,746
first services, more than one-half the Provincial total of 76,625 provided through 24
outlets.   This was a slight increase over the number reported in the previous year.
Dairy-plant licences issued by the Dairy Branch totalled 44, but of this number
5 ceased operations during the year, continuing the downward trend in the number
of such establishments in this Province. Ten years earlier there were 97 plants in
Of the 39 plants remaining at the year's end, 32 were pasteurizing milk, 15
were making ice-cream, and 8 were making cottage cheese. Eight were turning out
creamery butter, while the number manufacturing Cheddar cheese, evaporated and
powdered milk remained unchanged. In addition, there were 4 establishments
licensed to manufacture margarine.
Further improvements in the already high quality of milk produced here were
revealed when the results of the milk-grading programme showed 86 per cent of the
23,676 samples submitted had bacterial counts of less than 30,000 per ml. Seventy-
five producers were suspended for failure to meet required quality standards.
The Dairy Branch laboratory carried out 43,343 separate analyses during the
year, of which 33,052 were associated with regulatory control analyses. In addition,
special investigational work was conducted on a broad range of dairy products and
fruit drinks.
A far-reaching change in British Columbia's dairy industry was launched in
1967 with the introduction of the infra-red milk analyser (IRMA) programme.
Under this new system the solids-not-fat content of milk can be accurately measured,
which opens the way for a departure from the long-standing practice of evaluating
milk on butterfat content.
Initially, the D.H.I.A. services were extended to those outlying areas of the
Province where herd numbers were too small or too scattered to warrant them, and
diverted to IRMA analysis. Work was commenced at the same time on the testing
of producer composite milk samples, with 424 analysed in addition to 2,131
samples from individual animals. Eventually all composite samples will be IRMA-
tested at the laboratory. As enlarged laboratory facilities become available, the
D.H.I.A. services with centralized IRMA testing will be extended to all herds now
on the waiting list and to those presently served on an owner-sampler basis and
finally to those already on D.H.I.A.
Once again the number of soil samples submitted for analysis by the Field
Crops Branch laboratory showed a significant increase to a total of 4,800 for the
year. Seven determinations were performed on each sample. Included were some
270 processed for research purposes associated with correlation and fertility studies
in various parts of the Province. A further 66 samples were submitted by other
departments of the Government.
Soil correlation investigations on forage crops were continued, revealing a high
correlation between fertilizer recommendations and forage yields.
Two Weed Inspectors were appointed for summer work in the Peace River
District and two part-time Inspectors at Pemberton and on Vancouver Island. The
Branch also provided supervision for roadside spray programmes in several areas
of the Province.
The freight assistance policy on feed grain originating in Creston and moving
out by rail to other parts of British Columbia for live-stock and poultry feeding purposes was revised this year, with the subsidy being increased from $5 to $6.40 per
ton in line with the general increase in rail freight rates. Some 3,700 tons were
moved under this subsidy.
Thirteen permits for the removal of grain screenings from elevators and nine
feeder permits were issued during the year. A total of 51,957 tons of No. 1 feed
was consumed, in addition to 6,660 tons of raw refuse and a further 2,959 tons
of pelleted refuse. Exports amounted to 38,912 tons of raw and 65,028 tons of
As the numbers of poultry and egg producers decline, leading to fewer but
larger production units, the Poultry Branch has found that more rather than less
attention must be paid to production problems. One result has been a steady
increase in the number and variety of tests carried out by the Branch in the fields
of genetics and nutrition.
At the Random Sample Poultry Test Station this year, birds entered in the
annual egg-laying test were housed for the first time in five-bird 16- by 20-inch
laying-cages. This permitted four replicates per entry in place of two as in previous
tests. With an average of 226.8 eggs per bird, the production was the highest ever
recorded in these tests.
As a part of a national programme to develop a cross-strain Leghorn for
commercial egg production, the station this year raised 3,500 chicks from 16 individual two-way cross female and 8 pure-line male strains. After wing-banding,
these were distributed to commercial poultrymen, who will keep accurate performance records. From these it is anticipated that an acceptable strain or strains will
be developed.
Further tests on egg-shell strength were carried out in the continuing programme aimed at improving the handling quality of the product. Similar testing
was undertaken to determine interior quality in relation to commercial feed rations.
A broiler-breeder project to determine the effects of brooding and rearing
management on subsequent performance was also carried out this year.
As a result of numerous complaints of relatively high percentages of undergrade broiler turkeys being marketed, the Branch conducted a test to determine the
relative values of commercial feed rations being offered. Results thus far indicate
that while commercial rations are generally satisfactory, there is room for improved
levels of nutrition. Coupled with these findings was a clear indication that further
development of strains bred specifically to meet the required grade standards is
In another test, to determine the optimum age at which broiler-type turkeys
should be marketed, it was found that under those conditions that applied at the
time of the test such birds are best shipped at 14 weeks.
A large number of demonstration projects were conducted by the Horticultural
Branch again this year, some in co-operation with the Canada Department of
Agriculture. These covered many of the basic problems associated with production
and, for the most part, were of a continuing nature.
Of particular interest was the work involving watering devices in greenhouses,
in which water was applied on an individual plant basis and through a holding-tank
with fertilizer added after initial trials using an automatic watering system had shown
the latter to be impractical on a large-scale commercial basis.
Further trials on the use of sawdust mulch as a growing medium for greenhouse
tomatoes were introduced, including the use of sawdust spread over plastic sheeting
at ground level. An alternative test embodied the mixing of a balanced fertilizer
to the sawdust prior to planting.
Variety trials on a number of fruits and vegetables were continued but revealed
no new varieties having significant advantages over those currentiy in production,
although one tomato and two cucumbers showed enough promise to wararnt further
Trials on fertilizer applications, insecticides, and herbicides produced useful
information, although as usual a number of the findings were inconclusive and thus
will require further investigation.
The winter storage trial for strawberry plants demonstrated that these can be
stored and replanted without apparent loss. Although the Northwest variety proved
rather difficult to handle, results thus far show that winter storage of all varieties
under proper conditions is feasible as a means of avoiding winter injury.
Surveys of both the orchard and the nursery industries were concluded this
year, the latter indicating that nursery production has increased in value by more
than 145 per cent during the past five years.
The tree-fruit nursery-stock certification and colour coding programme, a joint
venture of the Branch with the Canada Department of Agriculture, the British Columbia Fruit Growers' Association, and individual nursery operators was continued
for the third successive year to provide the best possible disease-free and variety-true
stock to the orchard industry. This year 237,000 nursery trees were covered, an
increase of 33,000 over the 1966 total. In an extension of the colour coding principle, budwood of all spur varieties of applies was colour-marked to differentiate
between spur and standard varieties.
The transition of much of the general work load of District Agriculturists into
more specialized channels in those parts of the Province where farming practices
permit such shifts was continued this year. Thus far this change in extension programming has been confined largely to live-stock enterprises, but the introduction
of a forage-crop improvement programme represented a substantial broadening of
interest to round out this new approach to some basic farm management practices.
This was a joint effort in which the Field Crops Branch and the Canada Department
of Agriculture co-operated with the Agricultural Development and Extension
Similar co-operation was achieved in the continuing campaign aimed at controlling noxious-weed infestations throughout the major agricultural areas.
The 4-H Clubs Division reported a slight gain in membership, to a total of
3,440 in 246 clubs. Under the exchange programmes, British Columbia again sent
one club delegate to each of the nine other Provinces and hosted the same number
in return. Other exchanges were made with Ontario and Saskatchewan. In addition,
12 club members attended a Centennial seminar in Quebec.
Engineered irrigation and drainage schemes, detailed farmstead planning, and
improvements in harvesting and handling equipment were among the principal activities of the Agricultural Engineering Division. Of particular interest was the continuing work on the raspberry-harvester project, in co-operation with the Horticultural
Branch, the Canada Department of Agriculture, and the University of British Columbia, along with interested growers and processors.
The Division's main concern was involved with the development and testing
of three shaking devices. Of these, a pneumatic shaker appeared to offer the best
potential for commercial application. Fruit harvested by this type of shaker represented a crop recovery of 87 per cent, of which nearly 77 per cent met No. 1 grade
Following two years of intensive study, the Division was able this year to report
the successful installation of an automatic filling device for use in the packing of
apples in the familiar " handi-pak " container.
Studies and tests on the artificial drying of chopped hay in the Fraser Valley
were brought to a successful conclusion with the recommendation that this practice
be widely promoted as an efficient method of handling animal forage supplies.
In drainage work the Division completed 17 plans and surveyed 19, with a total
area of some 860 acres. The drainage study on the clay soils of the Ladner area
revealed that under the very distinct problems associated with these soils it is difficult
to arrive at a basis for useful modern drainage design in that part of the Fraser
Through electronic data-processing techniques applied to findings of the Division in its testing programme of irrigation system design, some of the most complete
detailed distribution data to be found anywhere have been developed. Through
the facilities of the computer centre at the University of Victoria, a programme was
developed to calculate the most economical size of aluminum irrigation pipe for
any particular purpose, based on the required water flow, power type, and availability and hours of system operation per season.
Irrigation workshops were held at eight centres in the Province during the
year, with a combined attendance of 234. Distribution of farm building service
and agricultural engineering plans amounted to a total of 5,107.
CC  19
The Land Clearing Division reported that 350 individual contracts, valued at
$630,000, were approved in the 1966/67 fiscal year. These involved 9,922 acres
cleared and 6,641 broken. Since this land-clearing programme was first instituted
in 1946, a total of 167,018 acres of land have been cleared and 80,164 broken,
at a total cost of $7,165,000.
Areas surveyed by the Soils Branch in 1967 included 3,430,000 acres for
capability for agriculture ratings, 3,250,000 in reconnaissance, 75,000 in detailed
reconnaissance, and 32,500 in detailed surveys.
High priority continued to be given to the Canada Land Inventory projects
under the ARDA programme, rating soils for agricultural and forestry capability.
Soil capability for agricultural ratings was applied in the eastern sector of the
Fraser Valley and to parts of the East Kootenay and Okanagan-Kettle Valleys, as
well as to the newly surveyed area north of the Prince George special sales area.
A start was made this year in applying a newly developed biophysical land
classification for application in forest and wild lands not covered in the land
inventory projects.
Watershed studies under the auspices of the International Hydrologic Decade
brought requests for detailed soil surveys at Carrs Landing and Trapping Creek.
A detailed survey in the Blaeberry River area to obtain estimates of potential tree
growth formed part of the studies of the British Columbia Forest Service to determine the economic factors involved in rehabilitating decadent stands of cedar and
The Branch's soils laboratory at Kelowna reported 8,500 chemical analyses
of soil samples collected by field parties in the Prince George, Vanderhoof, and
Chilcotin areas. This was an increase of 80 per cent in the number of such analyses,
made possible through the aquisition of an atomic absorption spectrophotometer.
While there were no large-scale insect outbreaks reported by the Entomology
Branch this year, mosquitoes were more troublesome than usual in many areas.
Infestation of the tuber flea beetle was somewhat heavier than in recent years
because of the lack of suitable soil insecticides to replace aldrin and dieldrin.
Residue studies of diazinon in carrots revealed that the use of this material
to control the carrot rust fly does not produce excess residues, provided dosages
are made at recommended rates.
The alfalfa-seed project was continued at Kamloops with leaf cutter and alkaline bees for pollination. Among the problems yet to be overcome in this project
is that of improper field management, which has contributed to lower yields.
The pesticide laboratory carried out pesticide residue analyses of milk, human
and beef fat, strawberries, and wildlife. In milk analyses, only one case of significant DDT residues was found out of 235 samples submitted. Results of the survey
of pesticide residues in beef fat in the Fraser Valley showed these to be much the
same as in milk, with only a very few showing significant levels. In strawberries the
incidence of residues was usually found to be insignificant.
Pesticide regulations have been generally accepted by the majority of pesticide
dealers in the Province and have been instrumental in halting the practice of food
retailers storing and selling these products along with food items. Approximately
3,500 retail stores were inspected during the year by the nine Inspectors appointed
'for this purpose.
At present there are 1,258 persons qualified as pesticide dispensers.
The Branch took over the rodent-control programme this year from the Fish
and Wildlife Branch of the Department of Recreation and Conservation. This programme embraces control measures for pocket gophers, groundsquirrels, and mice.
Eight control officers were employed in the Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys, as
well as in the East Kootenay and the areas around 100 Mile House and Kamloops.
A total of nearly 60,000 acres was treated for control of these pests.
The incidence of plant diseases was lower than usual in 1967 as a result of the
warm dry summer. Bacterial ring rot of potatoes was found on 18 farms as well as
in three car-lots of potatoes originating in Alberta. Dwarf bunt and tall bunt of
wheat were discovered in slight amounts in the Ridit variety grown in the Okanagan
Mineral deficiencies of fruit-trees were observed in all parts of the Okanagan
Valley, the most important being boron, zinc, magnesium, and iron. Tests have
shown that urea incorporated with minor element sprays results in greater foliar
absorption of elements.
Investigations into the incidence of root rot, smut, and pink and white root in
Okanagan onion plantings revealed that these were at a level to significantly reduce
yields. Control measures are hampered by the lack of sufficient acreage in many
instances to permit the necessary crop rotations.
Perennial canker continued to be of significance in apple-growing areas. While
the majority of varieties recommended for planting are resistant, a close watch is
being maintained for incidence of this disease in high-density plantings where overhead sprinklers are employed.
The Apiary Branch reported a total of 1,950 registered beekeepers this year,
with some 38,000 colonies in operation. While incidence of disease was relatively
low, occurring in less than 2 per cent of the colonies inspected, concerted efforts
have been made by the Branch to overcome the resulting losses, most of which have
been attributed to inefficient management and carelessness on the part of a small
number of beekeepers.
Improved over-wintering methods have reduced winter losses in colonies, as
shown by this year's performance in which the total loss was less than 3 per cent
from all causes.
The Markets and Statistics Branch was active in market promotion work, with
particular emphasis this year on export possibilities for British Columbia canned and
frozen fruits and vegetables in the United Kingdom and West Germany. The Markets Commissioner accompanied the Minister of Agriculture on an official mission
to these countries, made up of representatives of eight companies interested in these
products. These were, for the most part, relatively small firms, only two of which
had ever before been represented directly in these markets. The mission was quite
successful, securing firm orders with excellent prospects for increased business in the
Advisory services during the year included assistance to commercial egg-producers in their plebiscite leading to the establishment of the British Columbia Egg
Marketing Board. This new board brings to eight the number of such boards operating in the Province under provisions of the Natural Products Marketing (British
Columbia) Act.
CC 21
The Branch's food consultant took part in a number of promotional and educational projects, including a most successful egg promotion designed for press, radio,
and television projections.
With a total of 318 farmers participating in the farm business-management programme, the Farm Economics Division extended its computer processing system to
speed up the manipulation of pertinent data. This year the programme was enlarged
to include commercial egg-producers, and plans were formulated to offer the same
service to poultry-meat producers and orchardists.
Eight Farmers' Institutes were dissolved in 1967, reducing the number of active
institutes in the Province to 100 with a combined membership of 4,709, according
to reports of the Farmers' Institutes Branch. Purchases made by these on behalf of
members amounted to $1,611,284, a gain of some $160,000 over the 1966 total.
The Branch also reported 57 recognized exhibitions and fall fairs, to which
grants were made in the amount of $104,000.
Production at the Province's two institution farms continued to be well maintained and included 389,549 gallons of milk, 233 tons of meat, and 376 tons of
vegetables, including potatoes. In addition, nearly 4,000 cases of canned fruits and
vegetables were put up. Installation of a new milk-packaging machine at Colony
Farm provided for more efficient distribution of fluid milk.
The high calibre of the farm's live stock was again demonstrated as entries at
the Pacific National Exhibition and the Royal Winter Fair captured a number of
first-place awards.
During this first year in which crop insurance was made available to orchardists,
346 policies were written, covering some 6,400 acres, and 133 claims were initiated,
a number of which will receive indemnities, in that period. Some fall-off in numbers
of insured growers was indicated for the second year of the tree-fruit crop insurance
programme. British Columbia is the only Province in Canada offering coverage for
tree fruits, berry crops, and grapes. In the case of berry crops there is no other
known programme of crop insurance in the world. Tree-fruit plans are under consideration in Ontario and Nova Scotia but have not been introduced to date.
The British Columbia Government provided a $5,000,000 reserve fund to
be used in the case of an excessive loss in the early testing years for any of the
programmes until such time as their contributions from premiums had built up
satisfactory reserve funds.
Although a special annual report for ARDA is prepared, it should be noted
that continued capital expenditures were made on many soil and water projects.
Land inventory work which will eventually provide a best typical-use classification
for all land in populated areas of British Columbia was also continued.
New projects were started as a result of the Bulkley Rural Development Area
extending from approximately Burns Lake to Cedarvale. Roughly 100 projects,
with estimated expenditures of some $24,000,000 when completed, have now been
initiated or are completed since the operational start on ARDA programmes in 1963.
Other new developments of significance were the infra-red milk analysis programme, mentioned earlier in the Dairying section of this Report, and a joint
Industry-Federal-Provincial forage analysis laboratory service at Summerland Research Station associated with the leaf-tissue analysis service, which is also handled
on a co-operative basis by the three groups.
The Publications Branch reported distribution of published material amounting
to 136,887 units, as well as the processing of 4,352 individual stencils.
 Printed by A. Sutton, Printer to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty
in right of the Province of British Columbia.


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