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Department of Agriculture SIXTY-SIXTH ANNUAL REPORT 1971 British Columbia. Legislative Assembly 1972

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Department of Agriculture
Printed by K. M. MacDonald, Printer to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty
in right of the Province of British Columbia.
  To Colonel the Honourable John R. Nicholson, P.C, O.B.E., Q.C., LL.D.,
Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of 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 1971.
Minister of Agriculture
Department of Agriculture,
Victoria, British Columbia.
    A. H. Turner, B.Comm., M.S., Deputy Minister of Agriculture.
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  Report of the Department of Agriculture
It has long since been established that one of the underlying strengths of British
Columbia agriculture stems from its diversified nature, and this basic fact was amply
demonstrated in 1971.
There were setbacks sustained in some sectors, but these were largely offset by
gains in others to the extent that, on balance, the industry continued to make an
increasingly useful contribution to the Provincial economy.
In economic terms, another all-time record was established as cash receipts
from the sale of farm products reached a total of $220,822,000 for the calendar year.
This was achieved through higher returns for live stock and dairy products, poultry,
and cereal grains, which together more than compensated for the declines recorded
for fruit, potatoes, and eggs.
The actual collective unit-price gains as measured by the farm prices index
(1961=100) ranged from a low of 121.8 in August to a high of 127.7 late in the
year. While the higher figure indicated a degree of price recovery, the average over
the 12-month period was only fractionally above that of the preceding year.
Among the commodity groups, the dairy industry recorded a moderate upward
trend of 1.2 per cent as total milk production exceeded 959 million pounds. Returns
to producers increased by an average of 26 cents per hundred pounds, while sales
of fluid milk rose to the point where they accounted for just over 60 per cent of total
product utilization. The total Provincial dairy herd remained unchanged at 81,000
In the beef sector, continued firm demand produced higher price levels in all
steer classes. Choice slaughter steers increased by $2 per hundred pounds on average during the year, while good feeders were about $1 higher. Veal prices were
generally unchanged from 1970 levels, but slaughter cows were fractionally lower.
There was an active outward movement of feeder stock again in 1971 as 97,994
head were shipped eastward and a further 6,759 to United States points. Slaughterings of cattle in Federally inspected plants declined sharply to less than 40,000 head.
This represented a drop of 36 per cent from the 1970 total.
Although the sheep industry remained small in size, there were indications
during the year that the steady downward trend had been halted as numbers in the
Province's farm flocks recorded a modest increase. Average prices were down
slightly, however, as was the total kill for the year.
The swine population also increased, as in the rest of the country, but tended
to decline significantly as slaughter prices weakened, averaging $7 per hundred
pounds below the comparable 1970 figure. For some producers this meant selling
at or below the cost of production.
 CC 12
Improved returns for broiler chicken was a highlight of the poultry industry's
performance as marketings increased by nearly 2 million birds at prices averaging
about 2 cents per pound more to the producer than in 1970. Retail marketings
reached a total of 47.8 million pounds, a gain of 6 million pounds over the immediate preceding 12-month period and more than double the volume turned out 10
years ago.
Turkey production increased by 8 per cent, mainly in heavy-type birds. Prices
were maintained at or near 1970 levels. Fowl prices were down, however, in the
face of heavy offerings.
Egg prices retained a steady tone throughout the year, trending slightly upward
in the later weeks. The average weighted producer price was 35.8 cents per dozen
for all grades, a fractional gain over the previous years. Gradings at registered
stations were up 2 per cent at 1,503,000 cases.
The relative stability of the poultry industry in British Columbia has been due
in no small measure to the carefully regulated supply-management policies administered by producer marketing boards. By keeping marketings within reasonable
balance with consumer demand, these bodies have established a relatively healthy
economic position for all segments of the industry.
Conditions in the horticultural field varied widely, from improvements among
some crops to declines in others. To some extent the latter resulted from unfavourable weather during much of the growing season, coupled with the depressed market
conditions arising generally from over-production in many areas of the world.
Among the tree fruits, the 1971 apple crop was below average in quality generally, and well below average in yield, being the smallest since 1961. Returns per
unit were up slightly, but the market remained in a depressed state.
Peaches and pears were both adversely affected by late maturity and a lack of
sizing, particularly in the Bartlett variety of pears. Peach prices held reasonably
firm for the largest crop since 1964, but the pear market fell off sharply.
Developments among other tree fruits saw a large, 9.5 million-pound prune
crop and a 12 million-pound sweet cherry crop both cut down in quality, with resultant decreases in returns. Similarly, sour cherries suffered from weather conditions,
but the yield was up and prices held relatively firm at 15 cents per pound.
Grape-growers harvested a crop of slightly more than 9,000 tons, the bulk of
which was sold to wineries at prices somewhat above those established in 1970.
The berry-crop picture was also a variable one, ranging from a record yield of
cranberries to a reduction of some 30 per cent in loganberries. Prices were reasonably well maintained except for strawberries, which declined sharply to 161/.. cents
per pound for processing under the impact of low prices elsewhere.
Vegetable production was heavily influenced by weather, with a resultant reduction in total output. Despite this, demand was strong and total returns were up
from the preceding year.
It was a disappointing year for potato-growers as a large-than-average crop
met with a slow market from the outset. This situation continued without improvement up to the end of the year.
A brighter picture emerged with mushrooms as a crop of over 4 million pounds
found a ready market.   The average return to the producer was 53 cents per pound.
On the whole, the best performance of the year in horticulture was achieved in
greenhouse and nursery lines. Demand continued firm for a number of items in
these categories, exceeding supply in some instances. In many respects their potential remains among the most encouraging of all horticultural pursuits in British
CC 13
After a slow start, cereal grain crops matured satisfactorily to bring total yields
up from those of the previous year. Wheat and oats produced a harvest total 80
per cent greater, while barley rose by 15 per cent. Unfortunately, the market returns
did not keep pace, sales of barley in particular being very slow in spite of lowered
There was a significant rise in acreage seeded to forage crops, with most of the
increase in creeping red fescue, alsike, and red clover. Yields per acre were reduced
by poor blossom set in the legumes and disease in the fescue.
Despite inclement weather, honey production this year amounted to nearly
4.2 million pounds, an increase of 16 per cent over 1970, and one of the larger crops
of recent years. Prices also climbed, rising 50 per cent over the 14 to 15-cent level
which had prevailed for several years.
As indicated by this brief summary, the year 1971 was not an outstanding one
for the British Columbia farm community. However, in view of economic conditions on the agricultural scene elsewhere, primary producers in this Province may
be said to have acquitted themselves in creditable fashion.
There were a few minor changes made in the general administrative framework
of the Department during 1971, but the established work pattern remained virtually
the same as formerly.
Only one new position was created and filled, that of a live-stock specialist to
handle the anticipated additional work load resulting from the inclusion of horses
in the Provincial 4-H Clubs programme. Preliminary projections point to the addition of several hundred youngsters as horse clubs are organized.
In the Veterinary Branch there were two changes in position titles as the Chief
Veterinary Inspector became known henceforth as the Provincial Veterinarian, and
Veterinary Inspectors assumed the new title of Field Veterinarians.
Since there was no agricultural task force or similar report to be considered
this year, the Department reverted to the outlook-type schedule of meetings with
farm groups in various centres. The name was changed from Agricultural Outlook
to "Agricultural Forum," and the format altered to encourage greater participation
on the part of those in attendance. Forums were staged at Dawson Creek, Vanderhoof, and Terrace.
While the Soils Branch continued its programme of reconnaissance soil surveys
and its co-ordinating activities related to the Canada Land Inventory, personnel
conducting basic surveys incorporated forest-capability ratings and vegetation data
for the first time this year. This made possible broader interpretations and recommendations embracing the forestry and wildlife disciplines as well as agriculture.
As a result, demands upon the Branch for advisory assistance increased over a
wide range of activities throughout the Province. These included specialized advice
in such diverse fields as drainage and irrigation, soil-stability ratings, and sewage-
effluent application potentials.
Drainage surveys and the monitoring of groundwater levels were centred mainly
in coastal areas, and revolved around irrigation workshops and the determination of
irrigation requirements of organic soils.
Work on irrigation techniques was continued, with particular reference to both
overhead and trickle methods. Estimates of available water-storage capacities were
made on close to 1,000 submitted soil samples.
Surveys were completed and preliminary capability ratings for agriculture applied in the Nelson and North Thompson areas this year. The South Okanagan
survey was continued and work commenced in the Lardeau and North Okanagan
A forest-capability survey was carried out in the Cariboo-Chilcotin region, following an earlier soil survey conducted by the Canada Department of Agriculture.
Drafting of capability maps was continued and 52 forestry and 20 agriculture
maps were completed during the year. In addition, 13 forestry and three agriculture
capability maps on a 2-mile scale were submitted to Ottawa with relevant narratives.
Altogether, the Branch carried out reconnaissance soil surveys covering
8,823,000 acres and detailed soil surveys on 35,000 acres. Capability for agriculture and forestry ratings was applied to 7,848,000 and 22,226,000 acres respectively.
Among disease problems affecting the Province's live stock and poultry populations this year, the most serious was an outbreak of infectious laryngotracheitis
(I.L.T.) in the latter. Quarantine areas were quickly established and movement of
chickens strictly limited while an intensive vaccination programme was launched.
The disease was most prevalent among Fraser Valley broiler flocks.
In all, the Veterinary Laboratory and seven commercial hatcheries together
distributed a total of 5,345,000 doses of I.L.T. vaccine (ocular), which proved most
effective in checking the ravages of this disease. The same hatcheries disbursed
984,500 doses of Marek's disease vaccine, which also effectively eliminated losses
from what had been a major disease in poultry.
Veterinary practitioners vaccinated a total of 6,100 horses in combating an outbreak of western equine encephalomyelitis (W.E.E.) in the Okanagan-Similkameen
area. The damp weather conditions of early summer in that area, followed by
extreme heat, favoured the propagation of swarms of mosquitoes, the dominant
vectors for the infecting virus.
Of the 60 animals infected, 12 died while 43 appeared to have made normal
recovery. A sidelight of this outbreak was one human fatality from sleeping sickness,
caused by similarly infected mosquitoes. This was the first such fatality ever recorded in this Province.
Elsewhere, disease outbreaks affecting live stock and poultry appeared to be
largely of a sporadic nature. The Salmonella typhimurium endemic that occurred in
Fraser Valley calves in 1970 was greatly reduced this year, but steps were taken to
study all aspects of Salmonella zoonoses for the purpose of establishing a programme
to deal with its occurrence among animals, birds, and humans.
A serological survey of all blood samples submitted to the Veterinary Laboratory and a programme of testing and treatment on farms were established to deal
with leptospirosis in cattle, horses, swine, and dogs.
Infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (I.B.R.), bovine virus diarrhoea (B.V.D.) and
vibriosis continued to occur in various localities, but cattle so affected responded well
to the preventive properties of the recommended vaccine.
Calfhood vaccinations against brucellosis up to mid-year involved only 1,350
heifer calves, and only one herd was found to have an infected animal.
Under provisions of the Live-stock Public Sales Act, Field Veterinarians made
a total of 374 visits to the 17 licensed public sale yards in the Province during the
year, where 214,783 head of stock were inspected. Of this number, 178,721 were
cattle. Other inspections included the checking of only 1,390 head of sheep for
foot-rot prior to their being permitted to graze on Crown lands.
Licences issued under authority of the Pharmacy Act included 92 for medicated
feed, 89 for veterinary drugs, and 10 for limited medicated feed. Also issued were
licences covering one marten, 137 mink, and 253 chinchilla farms under provisions
of the Fur-farm Act.
Meat inspection was carried out in nine licensed abattoirs in 1971, but by the
end of the year this number had declined to only six as two ceased operations and
the other transferred to Federal inspection. Inspections totalled 61,371 head of
live stock and 248,139 of poultry.
The diagnostic case load at the Veterinary Laboratory during the first 11
months of the year consisted of 5,644 submissions, which provided 8,406 results
made up of 4,256 specific diagnoses and 4,105 laboratory findings. The diagnostic
procedures through which these findings were reached included 2,876 bacteriology
and 2,298 histopathology.
The Brands Division reported 2,272 brands recorded in 1971, of which 613
were new. Total shipments outward amounted to 104,753 head of cattle, a decline
of 13,424 from the number recorded in 1970. Exports to United States points were
down 328 head at only 6,759 for the year.
The total of all shipments, both outward and within the Province, reached
201,238, of which 13,304 were horned.
The termination of the Veterinary Service District Policy agreement for veterinary service at Fort St. John this year left only three centres—Quesnel, Smithers,
and Vanderhoof—now receiving such service at the maximum grant of $4,000 per
Increased interest in artificial insemination for cattle was evident this year as
the number of licenced A.I. technicians rose by 21 to a total of 93. In this same
period two new A.I. centres were established to bring the Provincial total to 26.
In co-operation with Canada Manpower and the British Columbia Artificial
Insemination Centre, the Branch presented five-day inseminator-training courses at
five centres. These attracted a total of 85 students.
The main purpose of these courses was to train cattlemen to conduct their own
artificial-insemination work. Some degree of success appeared to have been achieved
as the number of first services reported by all A.I. centres showed a slight decline for
the first time in some years at 74,909. However, disbursements by the Department
under terms of Artificial Insemination Policy 14, which provide for rebates and incentive payments to those A.I. centres engaged solely in the purchase and distribution
of semen, showed a modest increase.
Under provisions of the Sheep Protection Act, compensation was paid for the
loss of 184 head of sheep and 1,078 poultry during the year. Further assistance to
the sheep industry included the coverage of 1,356 ewes through the Sheep Transportation Assistance Policy and the acceptance of 19 claims pursuant to the Pure-bred
Ram Purchase Premium Policy.
Assistance to cattle, sheep, and swine breeders exhibiting at Toronto, Calgary,
and Edmonton totalled $8,309, covering 238 head. Showings were highly successful, and included 27 first-place winnings. The Department's share of transportation
costs to the Royal Winter Fair at Toronto amounted to $3,220.
Enrolment of herds in this year's Beef Record of Performance Programme increased in 1971 to 121, a gain of 38 per cent over the preceding year. In all, there
were 4,894 calves on test.
In the Swine R.O.P. Programme this year only 40 boars and 38 gilts were
backfat-probed, but the quality of the animals showed substantial improvement over
 CC 16
that of previous tests, with an average backfat measurement of 0.73 inch and 159
days, adjusted to 200 pounds weight.
The Branch's feed analysis service handled 540 submitted samples during the
year, and for the first time introduced an in vitro method for energy determination
of feedstuffs. Also introduced was an analytical service on feeds used in the random
poultry feed testing programme.
Dairy Herd Improvement Services records showed a total of 28,285 dairy cows
in 596 herds on test following the introduction of the sampler data processing programme. These figures represent gains of 100 in the number of herds and 5,377 in
animals for an average of 47.3 head per herd.
Average production on 19,512 completed milking periods reached a new high
of 13,244 pounds of milk. Fat production averaged 502 pounds. The top producing
herd averaged 19,512 pounds of milk and 758 pounds of fat.
The introduction of the infra-red milk-analyser method, combined with computer calculation, has enabled the enrolment of more than 150 new herds in the
D.H.I.A. Services programme. The waiting list of those wishing to enrol has thus
been sharply reduced, and this group will be fully accommodated in the near future.
In furtherance of its horticultural extension programme, the Horticultural
Branch again this year made wide use of radio and television facilities, principally
in the Okanagan Valley. Close to 200 radio programmes were broadcast in that
area and in the Creston Valley, while staff members were increasingly involved in
television work over the Kelowna outlet.
The usual Fruit Growers Sunrise Chautauqua was televised during the first
week of February and was again well received. At Victoria the Provincial Horticulturist and the District Horticulturist for Vancouver Island carried out a series of
television programmes over cable facilities which proved useful to the urban population.
District Horticulturists were active in major forum programmes in the Okanagan for tree fruit, vegetable, and grape producers, as well as two-day vegetable
and berry crop conferences at the Coast. Staff personnel were also involved with
training courses for tree fruit, berry, and greenhouse growers, presented under the
auspices of Canada Manpower.
Investigations were carried out on the relatively heavy breakdown in apples
of the Spartan variety and on the problem of die-back in the lateral roots of carrots,
the latter condition being attributed mainly to unfavourable weather conditions during the growing period.
Recommendations for formulations for sawdust-based container nursery-stock
mixes were established at a 25 per cent peat, 75 per cent sawdust, or 100 per cent
sawdust-based mixtures which produce one season's growth without supplementary
The Dairy Branch devoted increased attention this year to further improvements in milk-quality standards, at both the farm and distribution levels. Dairy-
farm inspection was maintained at a high level, resulting in a significant increase in
the general calibre of premises in all areas. Associated with this was an increased
concern with bulk-milk tanks and their capacity for the cooling of milk to acceptable
standards. During the year, 169 tanks were given five-year rechecking and calibration tests.
Following considerable study, a manual covering the installation and operation
of milking equipment was prepared for general distribution in the coming year.
Beyond the farm level, tank trucks underwent thorough sanitary inspections,
and trucking permits were revised and updated. In all, 70 vehicles were licensed in
In co-operation with the Canada Department of Agriculture, a joint programme
of inspection for dairy manufacturing plants was drawn up and successfully carried
out in all such premises.
Twenty-five students were enrolled this year in the Dairy Short Course conducted by the Branch in conjunction with the British Columbia Institute of Technology.
The long-term downward trend in numbers of dairy-farm units continued
further this year as only 1,557 were licensed to produce for the fluid market. Thirty-
four dairy plants and two margarine manufacturers were also licensed.
Amendments to the Milk Industry Act in 1971 provided for the inclusion of
five more school districts in the Province as pasteurized milk areas, and for the
packaging and distribution of fluid milk in 8-ounce cartons.
The Dairy Laboratory completed a total of 18,258 tests during the year in its
bacteriological section, while the infra-red milk analyser (IRMA) and chemical
sections carried out 246,248. Both figures represented significant gains over the
1970 output.
With two data processing units in operation and some changes in operating
techniques, the Laboratory more than doubled its sampling output to the point
where samples are now received and processed, and findings forwarded to Victoria,
within 48 hours.
Much of the work of the Field Crops Branch during 1971 centred around range
management and weed control in the Interior. This involved surveys of weed infestation, development of spray schedules, and the establishment of range demonstration
plots for knapweed control. Also undertaken was a survey to determine the extent
of the species Potentilla and Hypericum in the North Okanagan-Shuswap region.
Testing of new herbicides was continued and a considerable mileage of roadside areas was covered under the spray programme conducted in co-operation with
the Department of Highways.
At the new laboratory established at Kelowna, the Branch this year combined
its regular soil-analysis service with that of forage analysis formerly conducted by
the Canada Department of Agriculture. In addition, the tree-fruit tissue and the
grape-petiole testing services were also moved to the same centre, with support from
the British Columbia Fruit Growers and the British Columbia Grape Growers' Associations respectively.
In all, 46,500 soil samples were analysed, while the tissue and petiole services
attracted 496 samples.
Sponsored jointly by the Department and the British Columbia Cattlemen's
Association, the feed-analysis programme saw 402 forage samples submitted. Analysis of poultry-feed samples for the Random Sample Poultry Test Station was conducted for the first time this year.
The Branch reported the issuance of 12 permits in 1971 for the removal of
refuse screenings and two feeder's permits, all under provisions of the Noxious
Weeds Act.   Domestic consumption of screenings totalled 64,267 tons.
A total of 850 applications was approved during the year under the lime subsidy policy. These represented the use of 32,250 tons for soil-amendment purposes.
The trend toward increased emphasis on the economic aspects of agricultural
production was further developed by the Agricultural Development and Extension
Branch this year. Because of the broad diversity of agriculture in the Province,
programmes aimed at improving the lot of the primary producer have been applied
on both a regional and an area basis within the basic framework of the Branch's
working policies.
This approach to the basic needs at the farm level has been found most effective
in establishing meaningful dialogue between staff personnel and the farm community.
Growing out of this has come an increasing degree of specialization to meet specific
demands. As a result, this year's activities involved closer liaison with all disciplines
to achieve the desired objectives.
Priority was again given to the Department's farm business management programme, in which all Branch personnel have achieved training. In addition to direct
participation, the staff also contributed to the catalogue of cost information assembled
in respect of crop production.
Participation also extended to those programmes established in such fields as
irrigation, forage and live-stock improvement, soil-analysis work, and in the upgrading courses sponsored by Canada Manpower, to name a few.
As usual, considerable time and effort were expended on 4-H Club activities,
which were enlarged this year.
The effectiveness of such involvement was heightened by the use of radio and
television facilities, and by the preparation and distribution of publications expressly
designed for farm intelligence. Farm newsletters were disseminated from 10 district
offices during the year.
A large proportion of the major projects undertaken in 1971 by the Agricultural Engineering Branch involved drainage and irrigation techniques. As more
primary producers each year become aware of the advantages to be derived from
the application of efficient water-handling methods, the demand for additional information and instruction accelerates.
To meet this demand, the Branch drew up and published a design data manual
for irrigation, which already has attracted wide attention, not only in British Columbia but elsewhere as well.
This year the first "trickle irrigation" system for raspberry plantings was designed and introduced in the Fraser Valley, with encouraging results. Also brought
into operation was an irrigation installation at Vernon in which sewage effluent was
applied to an 80-acre field of alfalfa, again with favourable results.
In the Vanderhoof area an irrigation project set up in co-operation with the
Canada Department of Agriculture saw a definite improvement achieved in forage-
crop yield there.
Such tangible demonstrations stimulated increased interest this year, as evidenced by the more than 800 farmers who turned out for the Branch's irrigation
workshop programme.
Among the individual drainage-system designs produced in recent years, that
accomplished in 1971 for the Cowichan Indian Reserve near Duncan was the largest
of its kind. This embraced an 800-acre tract which will be brought into full production shortly.
Another record was established this year with the staging of the largest forage-
harvesting field-day in British Columbia history at Cache Creek. Some 1,500
attended to view the demonstration of farm machinery valued at close to $1 million.
In the field of animal-waste disposal, work proceeded on three projects to the
point where useful criteria could be established. Two of these, a Pasveer oxidation
ditch for the treatment of swine wastes, and the installation of an above-ground liquid
manure storage incorporating a pump and sprinkler irrigation facility provided the
subject-matter for two scientific papers presented to the International Symposium
on Livestock Wastes at Columbus, Ohio.
The third, incorporating a plan for deep-pit poultry cage-laying house construction, was accepted as a "Quick Release" plan by the Canadian Farm Building Plan
Service in Ottawa.
Working drawings for farm structures were made available in the Branch's
offices at Abbotsford, Vernon, and Dawson Creek, as well as at Victoria. Leaflets
to describe the plans are now conveniently bound in catalogue form.
The Poultry Branch reported a year's activity in which the approach to production problems again required the combined attention of a number of agencies. This
was especially evident in respect of poultry diseases as well as in routine procedures
followed in such fields as nutrition and housing projects.
The five-year special project to develop a cross-strain Leghorn suitable for use
in commercial premises was concluded this year. As there had been a marked reduction in the numbers of chicks placed for testing, the project was abandoned.
Considerable interest was again generated in the biological feed test, in which
commercial poultry feeds marketed by six major manufacturers were tested for the
third consecutive year. Two popular strains of Leghorn-type birds were used, and
by replication there were 240 on each of the six feeds.
Results of the main traits of pounds of feed required per dozen eggs laid, the
percentage of hen-day production, percentage of large eggs, and realized net income
were produced by the Department of Poultry Science at the University of British
Columbia. These showed a significant difference in only one feed in respect of
weight of feed required, while the percentage of large eggs ranged from 58.9 to 67.2
on average.
Feed Test 4 was started this year and all pullets were fed a special ration formulated at the university, having a lower protein content than those commonly used.
In comparison with results obtained in the third test, the feeding cost per bird was
reduced by 10 cents.
A test to evaluate the Marek's Disease vaccine developed at the Connaught
Laboratories, in co-operation with the Canada Department of Agriculture, was
carried out during the year. The vaccine was applied to two strains, and was found
to provide a high degree of protection.
Following three months' egg production, 60 fertile eggs from each strain and
treatment were incubated, the hatched chicks bled, and the sera forwarded to the
laboratories for vaccine-antibody determination.
A project to determine the effect of incorporating dehydrated poultry waste in
laying rations revealed that this would provide for sustained egg production when
substituted for protein concentrates, but would be uneconomical at present cost
In a test to find the effect of limited watering-time for caged laying birds on
both egg production and fresh-manure water content, results showed no significant
differences, but limited drinking periods did affect the Haugh units. Further in
regard to the problem of moisture content of manure in deep-pit cage-houses, a
trial was set up this year using fans to draw air downward across the manure in the
pit. This will be continued into 1972.
Blood-testing under the Poultry Flock Approval Programme revealed no
reactors to the pullorum-typhoid test, but pullorum testing was discontinued with
the outbreak of infectious laryngotracheitis in May. Registration of all chicks and
poults to be used as breeders was continued.
There were several tests carried out with broiler chickens, to evaluate feed
rations and to determine the value of Marek's vaccination. In the former the
variability in broiler performance on different samples of wheat screenings was
tested and showed no significant differences between these and a straight-feed wheat
ration. The Marek's vaccination test revealed that birds reacted equally well to
four different dosage levels.
A biological evaluation of six brands of available commercial broiler feeds was
also conducted and the results indicated some degree of difference among them.
Actual tabulations are contained in the full report of the Branch.
A test carried out in co-operation with the Canada Department of Agriculture
to determine the effect of continuous and intermittent light on broiler performance
showed that birds perform better under the latter, provided that the premises are
As with broilers, an evaluation of commercial feed rations fed to broiler turkeys
showed a statistical variation among all feeds at the 5-per-cent level. Detailed findings are also included in the Branch's full report.
In a further test, broiler turkeys of the Fl generation of birds used in a 1970
test to determine the effect of cooling turkey embryos on body-weight gains and
subsequent hatchability were checked under different light treatments and revealed
no differences in grade, cost of production, or returns. Birds whose parents had
been subjected to cold stress were heavier and showed a lower mortality than those
from nonstressed parents.
Finally, a turkey test to compare five broiler-feeding programmes and two
lighting regimes indicated no significant differences in the feeds used, with one
exception, and no measurable difference between the two light treatments.
There were increased demands upon the Branch again this year arising from
marketing problems affecting a broad range of products, particularly those subject
to marketing regulation. These ranged from the difficulties encountered by commercial strawberry-growers in the face of low-priced imports to market-control
matters in the poultry industry.
A brief in support of the processing strawberry industry was prepared and
presented before the Tariff Board in Ottawa in co-operation with the processing
industry, but by the year's end no decision had been handed down.
Problems in the field of poultry and poultry products were associated in the
main with attempts to stabilize intraprovincial marketings while at the same time
developing sustained market promotions. The Branch's role in such matters was
chiefly of an advisory nature, consisting of continuous consultation throughout the
year with the commodity marketing boards concerned, as well as processors and
the distributive trades.
Interest in marketing board regulation remained high in several areas, and
definite moves to adopt these were made by the commercial celery-growers of the
Lower Mainland and the tree-fruit growers of Vancouver Island, acting under advice
and assistance from the Branch.
As usual, demands for statistical information continued at a brisk pace, both
from Statistics Canada at Ottawa and from commercial concerns, as well as the
general public. The latter involved collaboration with the Department of Industrial
Development, Trade, and Commerce.
The food-consultant service enlarged its television programming this year as
the popular "Pots 'N' Panels" show was beamed over five outlets, promoting British
Columbia food products to an increasing audience.
A promotional highlight this year was the organization of a "Honey Queen"
cooking contest in home economics classes throughout the Province. Further promotional effort involved the Branch in an enlarged market-development programme
for British Columbia tree fruits over all of western Canada.
The television service established at Kelowna was enlarged and improved during the year in response to increasing demand. This service has continued to maintain a degree of popularity in spite of the difficulties encountered through having to
rely on a limited number of competent personnel available to take part in the weekly
The Branch again provided support to the "Acres of Food" show at the Pacific
National Exhibition, in which a number of British Columbia farm products was
actively promoted.
Rounding out the year's activities was the continued preparation of the weekly
Markets Bulletin dealing with the broader sphere of developments in agriculture, with
particular reference to the marketing sector.
While the patient population at the mental health institutions declined, farm
production was maintained and in some instances increased in 1971. Output for the
fiscal year included over 380,000 gallons of milk, 240 tons of meat, and 370 of
vegetables, including potatoes. In addition, some 25,000 gallons of fruit and vegetables were canned. Altogether, these represented a value of close to $850,000
with the inclusion of returns from the sale of breeding-stock.
At Colony Farm the Holstein herd continued to set a high record of production
performance, with a rolling-herd standing of 138—135 per cent Breed Class Average. Two more cows in the herd this year achieved gold medal status by completing
lifetime production records of more than 200,000 pounds of milk. This brought to
eight the number of such superior producing animals, a record unequalled by any
herd in Canada.
Sales of stock from this herd included export shipments to the United States
and Cuba, while entries again captured top honours in competition with outstanding
stock at the Pacific National Exhibition. The winning of trophies at this show has
become an established Colony Farm tradition.
Similar high honours were won by entries from the swine herd, which remained
in the official Record of Performance programme. Also continued in performance
testing was the Farm's Dorset sheep flock.
The Holstein herd at Tranquille also continued to maintain high production
records, which in turn attracted attention from breeders interested in improving the
calibre of their herds.
The 240 4-H Clubs enrolled in the Province this year again responded to a
challenging programme supported and co-ordinated by Builders' Clubs, local Senior
Councils, and the British Columbia 4-H Advisory Council. As usual, District
Agriculturists were also active in this work with rural young people.
The Division reported a total membership of 3,576 youngsters, a slight decline
from the 1970 figure. Of this number, more than half lived on farms and nearly 80
per cent were under 15 years of age. The average tenure of membership was just
over 2Vz years.
Club rallies and field-days were conducted in all parts of the Province, and
members were active in a number of fairs and exhibitions. One of the highlights
of any year, the public-speaking competition was held this year at Oliver.
Under the annual exchange programme, members travelled to Hawaii, while
four from that state visited British Columbia. Other exchanges saw delegates going
to every province and hosting delegates from each. A feature of this year's activities
was a special British Columbia Centennial travel programme involving 70 Club
members from across Canada, who were brought to this Province as a part of the
festivities marking the occasion.
Nine delegates attended the Western 4-H Seminar at Brandon, Man., and 14
made up the Provincial delegation to the National 4-H Conference. On the international scene, the 4-H Club Congress at Chicago and the United States Conference
at Washington each drew one British Columbia member.
Apart from such social-oriented activities, 4-H Clubs took part in home arts
clinics and leadership training workshops. For the first time, volunteer 4-H leaders
were awarded official pins in recognition of their efforts in these endeavours.
This year also marked the entry for the first time of Horse Clubs to 4-H membership in this Province.   Clubs will be established during the coming year.
The Provincial 4-H Club Week at Vernon was considered a most successful
affair as 79 senior members took part in the programmes designed to increase awareness of the potential to be derived from training in leadership and citizenship.
Personnel of the Farm Economics Division were active during the year in workshops for interested farmers as well as in training sessions for Departmental staff
members involved in the Farm Business Management Programme.
In all, there were 324 farm operators registered, of which 95 were also registered in the Canfarm programme. Most of those taking part were drawn from dairying and beef enterprises.
The Division took part in two-week farmers' upgrading courses at three centres,
and contributed as well to dairy seminars and a beef field-day. Cost-data analysis
of alfalfa production in the Peace River District was collected and prepared.
A farmer's manual was compiled as a supplement to the Farm Account Book
and forwarded to all enrolled programme members for use in the coming year.
Economic guidelines were again prepared for application to dairy, beef, and grain
operations in selected areas of the Province.
Among the highlights of the Division's activities was the production of a one-
hour video tape dealing with the revisions to the official Farm Accounts Book, and
a half-hour tape covering general points of the Canfarm programme. Both of these
will be used for farmer-training purposes.
A series of workshops covering Canfarm year-end procedures was conducted
at eight centres, while meetings designed to acquaint accountants and bank man-
CC 23
agers with the over-all programme attracted a considerable amount of attention from
both disciplines.
Four crop-insurance programmes were administered by the Branch in 1971,
offering coverage on 21 crops or plants. Policies were written in all of these with
the exception of loganberries, to a total of 1,978. There were 806 producers involved.
Total coverage amounted to $8,040,708, and the premium income totalled
$636,053.84.   Slightly more than $900,000 was paid out in claims.
Probably because of the relatively high risk-factor involved, tree-fruit crops
continued to attract the largest single group of policy-holders, 509 in all. A total
estimated at $700,000 was paid in claims submitted by fruit-growers during the
year, about double the premium income from this sector.
Berry and grape crop insurance revealed a comparatively bright picture, with
only some $15,000 in claims against a premium income of over $133,000.
Finally, 180 grain-growers took out coverage totalling $1,271,866 on the
1971 crops, paying over $151,000 in premiums. They collected nearly $195,000 in
The Plant Pathology Branch reported no major plant disease outbreaks, but a
number were identified for the first time in the Province. The most serious of these
was a cucumber root rot (Phomopsis schlerotioides), which caused severe crop
losses in several greenhouses.
Two unusual greenhouse tomato diseases, buckeye rot (Phytophthora parasitica) and a bacterial wilt suspected of being caused by Pseudomonas spp. were
also found. Others affected cherries, grapes, and apples in the Okanagan Valley,
but were not of a particularly serious nature.
A turf disease new to British Columbia was discovered in the Fraser Valley
and tentatively identified as blast (Spermopora subulata) in a stand of fescue grass.
The Branch's disease diagnosis and control service examined more than 600
specimens during the year, most of which were ornamentals and tree fruits.
The annual little cherry virus survey in the Okanagan revealed five trees in
the Penticton area infected and a further six suspected. The five were destroyed and
the remainder will be reindexed by the Canada Department of Agriculture.
A small outbreak of pear trellis rust (pear juniper rust) was confirmed in the
Fraser Valley, and eradication is still considered possible. In the Victoria area,
however, the Branch reported that this disease is now well established and eradication impossible. The original outbreak, the first in North America when first
discovered in Oak Bay in 1961, has since been found throughout the capital city
Continued this year was the survey of apple rootstocks for susceptibility to
crown rot, and the Branch took part in crown rot control experiments set up by the
Canada Department of Agriculture. Also, in co-operation with Federal personnel,
was a fungicide test for the control of peach leaf curl.
Other projects included the setting-up of a strawberry-virus indexing programme, a nematode survey of Okanagan soils, a spray test on lophodermium
needle cast of Scots pine, and on mummyberry of blueberry.
Control plots were set out for onion smut and apple scab pesticide projects,
and a seed and soil treatment plot was established as a part of the continuing work
on the problem of lateral root dieback of carrot.
Once again the Entomology Branch reported no large-scale unusual insect outbreaks in 1971, although an increase in grasshopper numbers was noted in the East
Kootenay District and there was a severe infestation of leather jackets in the Chilliwack area.
For the first time, the presence of the insect, grape phylloxera, was determined
in Okanagan vineyards. A total of 805 acres of leaf-susceptible varieties of grapes
was surveyed, which revealed about 5 acres of infestation. Grapes grown on the
latter were either fumigated before removal or left on the vines and sprayed with
Thiodan to control crawlers. A subsequent root survey covering 2,000 acres revealed infestations in about 50 acres and indications that this insect has been present
for many years in the area.
An assessment of grasshopper-control techniques made in co-operation with
Canada Department of Agriculture personnel showed that sprayers were poorly
maintained and operators ill-equipped for this work.
Also in co-operation with Federal staff members, a tuber flea beetle project
was initiated to provide training for the pest-control unit in field experimenting and
to examine new control recommendations. While complete results are not yet available, the project was judged a success.
The Branch's Pesticide Laboratory carried out C.C.P.U.A. analyses on standards, feeds, foods, and soil during the year and reported that some results were
excellent. The programme has provided a useful means of developing new techniques and improving old ones. In addition it showed the need for caution in the
adoption of the former.
Laboratory tests on Okanagan fish showed that DDT levels were declining and
that metallic residues, with the exception of zinc, were relatively low. The first
positive results for polychlorinated biphenyls were obtained in tests made on migratory sea birds.
A total of 293 firms was licensed or authorized under permit to operate as
pest-control services this year, the great majority in the landscape-garden category.
Pesticide applicator certificates are now in force for 1,288 persons, of which
number about 60 per cent are employed in private industry, the remainder in various
government agencies. A number of permits authorizing the purchase and use of
chlordane, heptachlor, and DDT during the year were issued, and 450 inspections
were carried out to ensure that licence and permit holders were complying with
pesticide regulations.
Under the Rodent Control Programme there was instituted this year a new
policy of levying a full charge against users of all control services. Total acreage
treated was only 22,605, compared with nearly 40,000 acres in 1970. Gophacide
was used in all pocket gopher control work, 1080-treated oats for ground squirrels
and 1080-treated wheat mouse control.
TThere were 2,710 inspections covering licensed pesticide dealers and certified
The elimination and control of bee diseases continued as a top priority in the
work of the Apiary Branch, which reported a decline in the incidence of American
Foulbrood infection to only 1.18 per cent of the 8,275 colonies inspected during
1971. Also reported, for the first time in this Province, was an outbreak of the
fungus disease chalkbrood.
Colonies were placed under Branch supervision among fields of seed vegetables
again this year, with satisfactory results. In co-operation with the Entomology
Branch, a new wasp trap was tested with promising results in the Okanagan Valley.
The Branch also co-operated with the Canada Department of Agriculture in
the overwintering of colonies and the production of bees for packages and, wherever
possible, with all facets of the industry to promote market sales. Field-days were
held in all major producing areas.
Commodity purchases by 78 Farmers' Institutes in 1971, amounting to more
than $2 million, were reported by the Farmers' Institutes Branch. Institute membership was placed at a total of 5,032. Also reported were 54 exhibitions and fall
Information services included the preparation of press releases and feature
articles for the Department, as well as a bimonthly inservice newsletter and coverage
of research topics through abstracts.
The Publications Branch distributed 110,000 copies of all types of Government literature during 1971, and reported a total mimeograph sheet consumption
of 948,664, a record high for such material.
There was a substantial decline this year in the number and financial commitment of projects approved pursuant to the Federal-Provincial Agricultural Rehabilitation and Development Act (ARDA). In all, 13 were approved at a total
expenditure of $1.4 million, as compared with 22 involving expenditure of $6.7
million in 1970.
This year's undertakings brought the aggregate total to nearly $38 million for
186 projects since 1963.
The establishment of the North Coast and Bulkley-Nechako as rural development regions was approved during the year, and negotiations were commenced to
introduce a supplement to the third ARDA Agreement to provide for a special
programme of economic assistance to the Province's native people.
Printed by K. M. MacDonald, Printer to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty
in right of the Province of British Columbia.


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