Open Collections

BC Sessional Papers

Department of Agriculture SIXTY-SEVENTH ANNUAL REPORT 1972 British Columbia. Legislative Assembly 1973

Item Metadata

Download

Media
bcsessional-1.0375905.pdf
Metadata
JSON: bcsessional-1.0375905.json
JSON-LD: bcsessional-1.0375905-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): bcsessional-1.0375905-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: bcsessional-1.0375905-rdf.json
Turtle: bcsessional-1.0375905-turtle.txt
N-Triples: bcsessional-1.0375905-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: bcsessional-1.0375905-source.json
Full Text
bcsessional-1.0375905-fulltext.txt
Citation
bcsessional-1.0375905.ris

Full Text

 PROVINCE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
Department of Agriculture
SIXTY-SEVENTH
ANNUAL REPORT
1972
Printed by K. M. MacDonald, Printer to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty
in right of the Province of British Columbia.
1973
  i *        iii«
:
The Honourable David D. Stupich, B.S.A., C.A., Minister of Agriculture.
  S. B. Peterson, B.S.A., Deputy Minister of Agriculture.
  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 1972.
Department of Agriculture,
Victoria, B.C.
DAVID D. STUPICH
Minister of Agriculture
  A Message From the Minister of Agriculture
There are those among us who tend to assume that British Columbia is a
land of boundless resources to be freely exploited under the guise of "progress."
We can forgive those early settlers who subscribed to this view, but today we know
that is patently untrue.
Nowhere is this more evident than in our agriculture. It has become firmly
established that there are very definite limits to the extent of land area in this Province that can be profitably devoted to agricultural pursuits.
Because of this it is essential that every effort be made to ensure that such land
be preserved, not only in the interests of our agricultural industry itself but for the
common good as well.
History has shown that those civilizations that failed to husband their resources
wisely themselves failed to survive. Thus falls to us the responsibility to foster and
to maintain a sound agriculture as an integral part of a balanced economy.
While the achievement of this objective requires that the wholesale alienation
of farming lands to other usage be prevented, it also requires that conditions be
so created as to make possible the development of such lands in the manner to
which they are best suited. This in turn can only be realized successfully when
the demands of economic feasibility have been met.
Accordingly, it will be my intention as a basic policy to pursue positive programmes designed to maximize net returns in all sectors of the industry, from the
primary level through to the market place. This will involve measures to permit
conversion of production units into other lines of endeavour wherever this is practical, and the provision of efficient facilities for the handling and processing of farm
products where necessary.
All of these will be predicated upon the tenets of comparative advantage, in
keeping with the best interests of the community at large.
This is the challenge that now faces us in agriculture. To meet it will require
the fullest application of all of our present knowledge and skills. The degree to
which we may succeed will depend on the co-operation and devotion of everyone
concerned with the building of a better society through a stronger agricultural
industry.
DAVID D. STUPICH
 DD 10
BRITISH COLUMBIA
fa
3
D
5
u
2
o
^
fa
o
H
Z
1 -
H
PS
•<
fa
fa
Q
^
i—i
pa
S
3
o
u
a
PS
pa
w
H
on
fa
H
OO
PS
H
00
H
3
.§ _^
H
Ph
W
Q
W
P
H
Z
00
►—(
00
00
<
5
o
60
o
-60-
s
s
- c
_o
a
U
to
. c
.0
Si   Q
3
"5
3
a)
^
anagemt
Clubs
"3
O
3
8       b
■ eo—
_6_
"3
—a—f—
<
"a
2
E
0
1 £
E        4
3
3
5
Ph
-31-
neering
Clearing
1
1
mology
oils
1
1
iterinary
Pathology
'5fl            »rt
0            CO
E
5
<
W
w
Ah
*s_
■a
<
-rt
u
o
•§
o
 Report of the Department of Agriculture
REVIEW
A generally firm market tone and rising prices for farm products were the
dominant features of British Columbia's agricultural industry during 1972. While
there were some severe crop losses sustained during both the spring and autumn
months as a result of unfavourable weather conditions, these were offset in the
total picture by the upward pricing trend that prevailed over a wide front.
Reflecting these conditions, the index of farm prices of agricultural products
(1961=100) rose sharply by nearly nine points above the average figure of 123.7
established in 1971. This represented a new higher-price plateau on the farm
scene.
Total cash receipts from sales of farm products reached an all-time high estimated at $245 million, a gain of 10 per cent over the record set in the preceding year.
Much of these developments, however, can be attributed to those pressures
exerted by monetary inflation and not to any significant increase in total farm
output. These same pressures were also evident in the rising costs of inputs—
labour, supplies, and equipment all showing an upward tendency during the year.
In the light of such developments the net income gain for the industry was of rather
modest proportions.
A substantial percentage of the real income gains achieved this year stemmed
from the live stock and five-stock products sector.
As market demand firmed, beef prices responded with an increase of close to
$3 per hundredweight over 1971 levels. Hog prices, which had been declining
earlier, rebounded sharply in the latter six months, and by the year's end were up
by more than 35 per cent for good butcher hogs.
Such increases had an immediate effect upon retail prices, reflected in the
substantial rise of the consumer price index at Vancouver from the 1971 reading
of 133.1 to a record 143.2.
Again, however, these higher returns to the primary producer did not represent
net income gains of the same dimensions. During this same period, wholesale
prices of feed grains also rose significantly. Feed wheat, for example, increased
44 per cent in price, feed oats 59 per cent.
The dairy industry, which accounts for one-quarter of the Province's total
farm income, recorded moderate gains as sales of fluid milk rose by slightly more
than 4 per cent this year. While the total dairy cow population declined fractionally,
milk production increased to an all-time record of more than 979 million pounds.
Cash returns from sales of poultry meat were up about 10 per cent, highlighted by a sharp increase in broiler-chicken production. Returns from egg production increased by 6 per cent.
The orchard industry saw an average crop of apples and a higher-than-average
yield of pears during the 1972 crop-year, but other items were below those realized
in the preceding year. Prices for soft fruits and pears were the highest in the past
three years. A feature of the apple-marketing sector was the movement of some
281,000 boxes to offshore markets by the year's end, more than double the volume
recorded in the same period in 1971.
11
 DD 12 BRITISH COLUMBIA
Berry crops were down in total this year, but prices were firmer, led by a
sharp upswing to 39 cents per pound to the grower for raspberries. Vegetables and
potatoes were also down in volume, but again this was largely offset by price increases. Potato prices at the end of the year exceeded $100 per ton to the wholesale trade for the top grade, while onions reached $140 and rutabagas $160 per ton.
Although grain-growers in the Peace River District sustained losses through
inclement weather, price returns to those who were able to salvage some of the crop
displayed a firm upward trend. Unfortunately for the bulk of the producers, much
of the harvested grain was of lower-than-average grade, which in turn brought
correspondingly lower prices. Following a survey conducted by the Department,
arrangements were made for financial aid to farmers in the area as a measure of
compensation for crop losses.
Other sectors of the agricultural industry recorded generally satisfactory performance. The mushroom crop, for example, again exceeded 4 million pounds.
Growers of greenhouse and nursery crops also achieved encouraging returns, the
former in particular as prices for tomatoes and cucumbers increased significantly
over 1971 levels.
The 1972 honey crop was down somewhat, but the producer price escalated
by 40 per cent during the year to 33.5 cents per pound by late December. This
was more than double the average producer price realized as recently as two years
ago.
This brief summary once again confirms the basic soundness of the agricultural
economy in this Province. Restricted by topographic conditions to a very small
part of British Columbia's total land area, it nevertheless has a degree of diversity
to overcome most of the vagaries of weather and a reputation for quality production
that is a source of pride to those engaged in this field of endeavour.
It is a renewable basic resource, and continues to make a useful contribution
to the welfare of the Provincial economy.
ADMINISTRATION
There were no major changes in the Department's administrative structure in
1972. In the latter months the office of Assistant Deputy Minister was created,
and tentative plans were completed to transfer the office of the Poultry Commissioner
from Victoria to Abbotsford.
By December 31 the total staff personnel stood at 360 (permanent) and 159
(temporary, including ARDA staff).
DAIRYING
Reflecting the continuing rate of change in the industry, the Dairy Branch
issued licences to only 31 dairy plants this year, down three from the 1971 figure.
This decline was accompanied by a drop in the number of licensed plant personnel
to a total of 341. Dairy plant inspections were stepped up during the year, resulting
in a marked improvement in both facilities and the quality of product handled. An
information bulletin for tank-milk receivers was introduced for the first time this
year as a means of further improving handling techniques.
Eighteen persons were enrolled in the annual dairy short course conducted by
the Branch, and a further eight were enrolled in the associated correspondence
course.
A total of 1,895 dairy farm inspections was completed during the year.
Coupled with 345 dairy plant visits, these represented a thorough coverage of in-
 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE DD  13
dustry premises. In addition, 7,757 raw product and 3,953 finished product samples
were picked up for testing.
The Branch's dairy laboratory carried out grading tests on 18,539 milk samples,
which again revealed the high quality of production in the Province. To assist
producers in identifying and controlling outbreaks of mastitis, a Milk Gel Index
Programme was initiated this year. The analytical work volume resulting from
this brought a sharp increase in the number of analyses, up 42 per cent to a total
of 25,894.
While the number of composite samples handled by the infra-red milk-analyser
(IRMA) declined as a result of the reduction in the number of dairy herds in the
Province, sampling under the Dairy Herd Improvement Associations (DHIA) Programme showed a significant increase of 30 per cent over the preceding year.
EXTENSION
The Agricultural Development and Extension Branch continued its programming of increased specialization in specific fields of agriculture throughout the Province this year in keeping with technological advances in all areas. This was again
particularly evident in the more remote areas where expanded and improved lines
of communication are making possible a steady growth pattern in a number of fields.
Typical of this trend was the increasing interest shown by farm operators in the
national CANFARM Programme, as well as those programmes designed to improve
crop and live-stock husbandry. While the actual numbers of primary producers
enrolling in these remain relatively small, there was ample evidence this year that
interest is growing to the point where the Branch's personnel is having to devote
increasing attention to demands for more information and advice on these and
related subjects.
District Agriculturists again played an important role in fostering greater Provincial involvement in the CANFARM Programme and in soil and forage analysis
projects, live-stock and crop improvement, and the development of expanded market
opportunities for farm products. As more herds and flocks are entered in test programmes and demand for soil and forage analysis increases, the field staff has been
altering its work schedules to accommodate the resulting requirements. To meet
these needs, increased use of communication media was again made in 1972.
Particular attention was given to the preparation of radio and video tapes as a
means of reaching a broader audience than would otherwise be possible. These
media have proved particularly effective in the more remote areas.
The expansion of the 4-H Club programme this year to include horses meant
an increase in district staff work load, already heavy in some districts. Added to
this was the increased emphasis on extended club membership, the success of which
depends to a large extent upon the efforts of the District Agriculturist.
As new lands are opened and existing farming areas become subject to increasing urban pressures, the Branch is faced with broadened responsibilities, now extending beyond routine land-clearing assistance work into the field of technical
planning in those areas where regional district administrations have been established.
Of particular interest this year were a number of specialized projects undertaken by field staff. Among these was a steer-feeding demonstration utilizing high-
moisture content barley at Dawson Creek, in co-operation with the vocational
school at that point. Another was an irrigation demonstration at Vanderhoof to
illustrate the potential for increased forage yields on the soils of that area. The
Branch co-operated with the Canada Department of Agriculture in this project.
 DD 14 BRITISH COLUMBIA
Other projects included the completion of the knapweed control programme
in the East Kootenay, the corn silage study to explore the potential for growing and
feeding corn to cattle in the Kamloops area, and a series of irrigation field days in
co-operation with B.C. Hydro and Power Authority.
SOILS
Reconnaissance soil surveys and associated capability ratings for both agriculture and forestry were once again the dominant features of the Soils Division's 1972
work schedule. Surveys were commenced in the Adams Lake-Revelstoke and the
Kamloops-Ashcroft areas this year, while work was continued in the Okanagan,
West Kootenay, and Prince George Districts. Soil-capability maps were completed
in the first and second of these districts, as were forestry plots.
The detailed survey of the Okanagan Valley and the resurvey of the lowlands
in the vicinity of Chiiliwack were carried forward, and will provide useful information related to the many aspects of land-use planning in these areas.
Of immediate interest in the Okanagan was the Spartan Apple Study to determine whether soil nutrients might be the causal agent in storage breakdown of this
variety.
With the completion of capability analyses, drafting of capability maps for the
West Kootenay analyses area was also accomplished, as was a preliminary draft
report on the soil resources of the Smithers-Hazelton sector.
Advisory assistance on irrigation and soils problems was increased this year,
but there was a modest decline in demand for drainage surveys. Laboratory analyses
carried out by the Division totalled 16,338 during the year. In addition, there were
679 physical analyses completed.
The installation of a data-acquisition system in the laboratory, along with an
increase in personnel, made possible the sharp increase in analytical output.
VETERINARY
The Veterinary Branch reported no serious outbreaks of disease among the
Province's live-stock population during 1972, apart from a total of 17 cases of
western equine encephalomyelitis (WEE) identified among horses in the Okanagan
area. Calfhood diseases, notably those accociated with scours and pneumonia,
continued to pose a problem in a number of herds.
Also causing concern was infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR) and bovine
virus diarrhoea (BVD).
On the other hand, the Province continued as a tuberculosis accredited and a
brucellosis-free area. The Branch reported only three cases of tuberculosis and
brucellosis in cattle this year. Regulations requiring the vaccination of all chickens
sold in the Lower Mainland against infectious laryngotracheitis went into effect on
January 1, and, in the ensuing six months, 2,635,000 doses of vaccine were administered in that area.
Field veterinarians again provided such routine services as inspection of sheep
for foot-rot, swine herds on ROP, bulls and steers at the Beef Cattle Test Station
at Kamloops, and participated in the usual round of field days, seminars, and workshops, etc., provided for the education of live-stock producers.
Licences were issued to 61 live-stock auctioneers, 17 public sale yards, and
14 public sale yard operators this year, and 30 feed lots were approved. In all,
229,697 head of stock were inspected.
 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE DD  15
Ninety-one licences were issued for the distribution and sale of medicated feeds
and 95 for veterinary drugs.
Under the Branch's meat inspection service, 17,978 head of cattle and 28,221
hogs were inspected in the six abattoirs covered by provisions of the Meat Inspection
Act.
A total of 5,158 submissions was made to the Veterinary Laboratory during
the year, including 1,249 chicken, 825 cattle, and 612 horse for diagnostic services.
The laboratory findings amounted in all to 8,758, of which 3,475 were established
through histopathology procedures, 2,735 bacteriology, and 1,345 toxicology.
Actual specimens submitted amounted to 19,125.
A number of investigational projects were initiated by the microbiology section,
and included evaluation of current disease-preventive techniques in both live-stock
and poultry husbandry.
The Brands Division reported the issuance of 2,134 brands in the Province
during the year and the licensing of 217 stock-dealers. Stock shipments totalled
214,211 head of cattle from the area prescribed under the Stock Brands Act, plus
an additional 20,594 head from the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island.
Exports of cattle to United States points amounted to 8,001 head, while shipments eastward accounted for 100,718.
Slaughter-house records revealed a total of 11,805 head of cattle handled during
the year, as well as 10,652 head of swine and 1,078 sheep and lambs. Slaughtered
for animal food only were 6,127 head of cattle, 1,874 hogs, 160 sheep and lambs,
and 394 horses.
LIVE STOCK
The Live Stock Branch reported 156 herds enrolled in the Record of Performance Programme for beef cattle, representing a total of 5,582 animals on test during
the year. Complementing this was the sixth test period for bulls conducted at the
Department's Test Station at Tranquille. In the latter, those animals having a 365-
day yearling weight index of 100 or better by breed, and which also passed visual
inspection, qualified for the sale of bulls after completing test. Eighteen of these
were sold at prices ranging as high as $1,800 per head, with an average price of
$820.
An amendment to the station's entry requirements for bulls on test in 1972
permitted producers to nominate five bulls from the same number of sires instead
of from a single sire as had been required earlier. This was done in recognition of
the performance rather than the progeny-testing role of such tests.
However, the steer progeny test was continued, with 90 steers from eight
different sires, representing four breeds entered.
Under the ROP Programme for swine, 35 boars and 47 gilts were probed, the
majority being of the Yorkshire breed. The over-all index attained was 108 and
the average back fat was 0.8. The ROP Programme for sheep saw 323 purebred
ewes producing 520 lambs for a figure of 161 per cent.
The Branch's Feed Analysis Service handled samples totalling in excess of
1,110, more than double the number received in 1971. In co-operation with Field
Crops and Extension staff, a demonstration to illustrate the effects of regular feeding
of a salt-mineral feed mix to cattle produced an increase of 16 per cent in the calf
crop.
The Dairy Herd Improvement Services reported a total of 30,270 cows in 626
herds on test by the end of the year, representing a gain of nearly 2,000 head and
30 herds over the 12-month period. The average herd size on test now stands at
48.2 cows.
 DD 16 BRITISH COLUMBIA
Average milk production per cow has continued to show an increase, reaching
13,440 pounds of milk and 505 pounds of fat, based upon milking periods of 184
to 305 days.   These totalled 20,617.
HORTICULTURE
In common with horticultural enterprises elsewhere, the British Columbia industry is constantly confronted with problems associated with either the threat or
the actual presence of pests and diseases. Because of this, much of the Horticultural
Branch activities were again focused on both preventive and control measures over
virtually all sectors. Many were carried out in co-operation with the Entomology
and Plant Pathology Branches, as well as branches of the Canada Department of
Agriculture and the University of British Columbia.
Among the many projects conducted this year was a pH survey of orchard
soils in the Okanagan. Since occasional checks in past years had revealed pH
readings as low as 4.5, this survey was launched to determine whether there might
be a general trend toward increased acidity generally. Of the samples analysed,
11 per cent registered readings of 5.5 or lower, but as the bulk were obtained from
the drip-line area of the trees, it was concluded that the acidity factor is primarily
due to the application of chemical fertilizers.
Tissue analysis of fruit-trees, introduced in the early 1960's, was extended this
year to include blueberries and cranberries. The analyses involved close to 2,000
determinations. Also continued was the pear mite counting project, commenced
in 1971. This was expanded into a mite and pear psylla monitoring service to
complement the established service covering apples.
The nematode diagnostic service again provided a valuable source of information to growers, particularly in strawberries and raspberries. Root lesion and dagger
nematodes were found to be the principal factors affecting crop yields of both fruits.
A campylomma bug monitoring programme was organized this year after a
number of orchards had sustained losses from depredations of the insect in 1971.
In those instances where sample counts exceeded an arbitrarily established level,
sprays of Diazinon or Guthion were recommended. As matters turned out, however, there was a significant decrease in the bug population and a consequent reduction in crop damage from this source in 1972.
To help reduce escalating labour costs involved in thinning for Bartlett pears,
a trial recommendation for the use of naphthalene acetamide as a postbloom thinner
in dilute sprays was made for the first time in 1972. This treatment appears to
reduce cullage and may improve sizing.
In the field of general extension, the Branch took part in more than 200 radio
broadcasts to growers during the year and again organized the popular "Sunrise
Chautauqua" on television. Active participation in the staging of the 1972 Horticultural Forum was another feature of the year's programming.
FIELD CROPS
An increase in staff permitted the Field Crops Branch to undertake an increased
work programme in 1972. This included a broadened approach to weed-control
measures throughout the Province as well as the introduction of a number of testing
projects involving soil and field husbandry.
Twelve fertilizer plots were established on seeded range in the southern Interior
of the Province, and forage production was measured on a number of dry-range
fertilized plots.    Observations were made on range seedings and a 40-acre range
 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE DD  17
rehabilitation plot was fertilized in the latter part of the year. A weed-control plot
was established on cinquefoil on range in the North Okanagan.
Trials were continued to determine the adaptability of the Adzuki bean to
British Columbia conditions, and types of white navy and red kidney beans were
also tested. Thus far, results with the Adzuki bean have been disappointing, but
the others are showing some promise for seed-growing.
The Branch reported increasing interest in the Elite Seed Programme for
potatoes as field results have indicated that the use of Elite III seed produces significant gains in crop yields.
The Branch's Soil Testing Laboratory processed a record 10,300 samples this
year, from which a total of 61,650 determinations was made. A preliminary survey
of alfalfa fields was commenced in which 60 soil and 30 plant samples were obtained.
In addition, analytical work was carried out on the pH survey of Okanagan orchards,
involving 4,000 soil samples.
Sponsored jointly by the Department, cattlemen, and horticultural organizations, the Feed and Tissue Testing Laboratory expanded its operations this year to
the point where 18 different chemical determinations can be obtained.
Eleven permits for the removal of feed screenings were issued in 1972 in
addition to four feeders' permits. The total dockage exceeded 641 million pounds,
of which some 96 million pounds were moved under permit for devitalizing. Over
4 million pounds were moved to feed lots.
The Branch reported a total of 2,580 tons of grain shipped from the Creston
area under provisions of the Feed Grain Assistance Policy, while subsidies were
also paid on 27,324 tons of lime for agricultural purposes.
ENGINEERING
This year saw a further expansion of the Engineering Branch's work load in
the field of pollution control, ranging from an advisory role on sewage disposal to
the reduction of odour problems in commercial poultry operations. The former
involved the sewage-effluent system at Vernon and the sewage-utilization trials projected for the treatment plant on Iona Island near Vancouver.
In co-operation with the Poultry Branch, preliminary plans were drawn up
for a hot-water floor-heating system for broiler houses, aimed at the elimination of
bedding while significantly reducing undesirable odours by drying the droppings.
Additional work was carried out to develop improvements in ventilation systems
for deep-pit cage laying-houses, the basic plan for which was developed by the
Branch.
Publications arising from the findings of the Canada and the British Columbia
Animal Waste Management Guide Committees, in which the Branch took an active
part, are now available.
Planning assistance for farmers building or remodelling barns was continued
this year following revision of the Farm Building Plan Service. In all there were
over 100 inquiries processed during the year, all involving substantial expenditures.
A complaint programme covering all types of farm equipment was introduced
this year, under which complaints by farmers are directed to the Branch, which in
turn contacts the manufacturer's distributor. Eight manufacturing firms are cooperating in the programme.
The first trickle irrigation system for raspberries, installed in 1971, proved its
worth this year as yields of berries were sharply increased over those realized under
 DD  18 BRITISH COLUMBIA
conventional systems. Gross returns were estimated at about $1,000 more per acre.
Trickle systems have also been introduced on sloped orchard lands in the North
Okanagan.
A strong demand for detailed farm drainage systems continued in 1972, resulting in an estimated total installation cost well in excess of $100,000.
As a result of numerous tests which revealed that farmers operating equipment
are at times exposed to noise well above accepted exposure levels, several trials
were carried out in the Peace River District. It is anticipated that further investigations will permit the development of a sound-hazard classification.
Also in the Peace, a major grain-drying project was initiated following the
severe harvest losses resulting from inclement weather conditions.
POULTRY
As the trend toward fewer but larger commercial poultry enterprises continues,
the staff of the Poultry Branch has been called upon to direct increased attention
to the development of improved husbandry techniques. Thus in 1972 greater
emphasis was placed upon such subjects as tests of commercial feeds and problems
related to housing of birds.
Continued from 1971 was a feeding trial to determine whether satisfactory
results could be achieved with starter and grower rations having a lower protein
content than has been commonly recommended for pullet chicks. Results indicated
that rations of 13 per cent protein or 12 per cent protein, with added lysine, produced birds showing lighter body weight but equally good or better laying performance than those fed 17 to 20 per cent starter and 13 to 18 per cent grower
rations, all containing a wheat base.
A similar test on broiler breeding stock showed that birds fed a starter ration
of 15 per cent protein for six weeks, followed by a 13-per-cent grower ration, performed satisfactorily. However, there were indications that higher protein feeds
may be necessary in the early growth stages.
Repeated again were tests of commercial broiler chicken and turkey rations,
using samples from five feed manufacturers. The feeds were found to be of uniformly
good quality.
For the second year a trial comparison of broiler production efficiency under
conditions of continuous and intermittent lighting indicated that the latter gave
generally better results in both body weight and feed efficiency. A somewhat similar
experiment to determine the performance efficiency in caged layers under limited
watering-time showed that some savings may be realized by this means. Further
investigation is scheduled for the coming year.
A trial to determine the value of recycling air in a deep-pit cage house to hasten
the drying of manure revealed that while there was some increase in dust deposits
on walkways, there was a significant increase in the drying process and a consequent
reduction in obnoxious odours, as well as a possible reduction in the fly population.
With the elimination of pollorum testing, except upon request, there has been
a marked reduction in the numbers of birds approved for egg and meat production.
This year there were 34,335 for the former and 226,400 for meat, and only
3,800 heavy turkeys.
PLANT PATHOLOGY
While some considerable progress was made during 1972 in controlling and
containing the numerous plant diseases occurring in British Columbia, it also became
increasingly evident that the rate of incidence in respect of a number of these is
 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE DD  19
associated with the rapid growth rate in the Province's population. As a result, the
percentage of diseased plant specimens submitted by home-owners continues to
outrank those from farmers.
Typical of these are pear trellis (juniper) rust and cypress root rot in Lawson
cypress and other ornamentals. The former is a source of concern to commercial
pear-growers, and a vigorous effort is being made to prevent its movement into the
Okanagan area.
The Branch reported that for the first time since 1969 no new little cherry
disease infections were found in the Okanagan, and a primary source was eliminated
there with the removal of several dozen flowering cherry-trees, either known to be or
suspected of being symptomless carriers of the little cherry virus.
A continuous problem in 1972 was the incidence of Godronia canker in susceptible varieties of young blueberry plantings. Mummy berry also contributed
again to a reduction in blueberry crop yields. No new methods have as yet been
devised to control the former, but tests conducted in co-operation with the Canada
Department of Agriculture indicated that applications of Cela W524 and Benlate
are effective in the prevention of primary and secondary mummy berry infections
respectively.
Benlate and Dithane M-45 both appeared effective as a treatment for needle
cast in Scots Pine Christmas trees, while Terrazole showed promise in increasing
yields in plantings of carrots affected by lateral root dieback.
The Branch this year commenced publication of a monthly newsletter Plant
Pathology Notes, which has met with favourable reception by those concerned with
plant disease problems.
ENTOMOLOGY
No unusual insect outbreaks were reported by the Entomology Branch this
year, but the mosquito population in some areas was higher than normal as a result
of the extended period of high-water levels arising from the heavy snowfall of the
1971/72 winter.
In the Okanagan area the incidence of cherry fruit-fly continued to increase
and is now general throughout all districts with the exception of the immediate area
around Oliver and Osoyoos. The Branch again carried out a survey, using sticky-
board traps and reporting emergence dates.
In co-operation with the Canada Department of Agriculture, insect sex pher-
mones were used as both a survey tool and as a control factor for codling moth this
year, and gave promise of effective results. Initial results indicated that first brood
sprays may be unnecessary when this method is applied.
Results from the third year of the cranberry pollination project again showed
that caging of plants reduces crop yield substantially, but this year two-thirds of
the caged berries had seeds, whereas the 1971 crop showed only a few. Since no
pollen grains were found on glass slides within the cages, the presence of seeds
remains unexplained.
A survey to determine the insects and diseases creating problems for berry-
growers was begun this year in the Fraser Valley, where some losses have been
sustained. It appeared that those due to root weevil infestation occurred on untreated acreages, due in part to restrictions on the use of certain insecticides.
After several years of testing, the alfalfa seed project at Kamloops was abandoned. It appeared that the principal cause of failure was not in the handling of
leaf cutter bees but the inability to produce alfalfa in this area.
The Pesticide Laboratory tested fewer samples for insecticide and herbicide
residues this year.   All samples of fruit and vegetables were found to have either
 DD 20 BRITISH COLUMBIA
no detectable residues or to have slight traces within established tolerances. Tank-
truck milk samples revealed an insignificant amount of DDT analogue and no traces
of Dieldrin or other chlorinated hydrocarbons.
A total of 476 pesticide dealers was licensed in 1972, while certified dispensers
numbered 1,050. There were 288 firms licensed as pesticide applicators, and
applicator certificates were issued to 1,772 persons.
Under the rodent-control programme this year, 6,450 acres were treated for
pocket gopher and 4,751 acres for ground-squirrel control. Total acreage treated,
not including that handled by the BCFGA, amounted to 22,605. Because the supply
of 1080 treatment wheat was shut off, there were no mouse-control measures undertaken during 1972, apart from an experimental use of zinc phosphide for orchard-
mice control.
MARKETS AND STATISTICS
Problems arising from attempts by commodity marketing boards to stabilize
the Provincial market for a number of farm products occupied much of the time
and attention of the Markets and Statistics Branch during 1972. Coupled with these
were difficulties associated with steadily rising costs throughout the entire marketing
system, most of which were related to the general inflationary trend affecting all
sectors of the economy.
In an effort to strengthen the position of a number of the producer groups concerned, several amendments were made to marketing schemes. In the main these
were only partially effective, since many of the contributory factors stemmed from
external forces.
A move by the British Columbia Egg Marketing Board toward joint action
with similar boards elsewhere in the formation of a national egg marketing plan was
made this year, but with some distinct reservations as to the possible unfavourable
pressures that might ensue on the industry. In this the Board was fully supported
by the Branch. Similar preliminary moves by other commodity marketing boards
were also fostered in the hope of achieving some degree of protection against
measures which might not coincide with British Columbia's best interests.
Interest in the formation of a marketing board for greenhouse tomatoes and
cucumbers was revived this year, and the swine industry moved to a close investigation of the possible benefits that might be obtained from such a course of action.
In neither case was a firm decision reached by the year's end, but the Branch continued to be consulted by both groups.
The Branch was involved in an advertising and promotional campaign for
British Columbia farm products during the major part of the growing season for
most crops, and continued to produce and place advertising material in a number
of publications.   As usual, the farm press was used most extensively.
Following publication of the 1971 Census of Canada and the resulting adjustments in basic statistical information this year, there was an increased demand for
such data from such agencies as banks, agri-business firms, and educational institutions.
On a broader plane the Branch was actively involved in an examination of the
export market potential for all Canadian agricultural products. This was approached
both from a national and a regional basis, and brought forth a number of useful
analyses and subsequent recommendations. Following upon this was the preparation of a position paper on behalf of the vegetable industry for submission as a part
of a national industry brief to be presented at the international trade and tariff
negotiations scheduled for 1973.
 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
DD 21
At the close of the year the Branch's weekly publication, the Markets Bulletin,
was withdrawn from circulation.
The Food Consultant service developed a new set of 102 recipes to conform
to a standard style this year, and in co-operation with the Canadian Restaurant
Association produced a "B.C. Breakfast-Brunch Menu." A further highlight was
the preparation of food items and appropriate props for 14 colour photographs
featuring British Columbia products.
Nine producer groups participated in the "Acres of Food" display area at the
1972 Pacific National Exhibition, where the consultant supervised the redesigned
show and installation and removal of display materials.
A total of 530 home economics students took part in the British Columbia
Honey Producer Cooking Contest this year, and a honey leaflet and teacher kit
were produced and distributed to home economics teachers.
INSTITUTIONAL FARMS
Productivity was maintained at satisfactory levels at both Colony Farm and
Tranquille during 1972. Dairy herds on the two farms produced a combined total
of close to 400,000 gallons of milk, while the output of red meats totalled some
433,000 pounds. Potato and vegetable production amounted to more than 426
tons, and 3,818 cases of fruit and vegetables were canned.
The Colony dairy herd continued to perform well with the five-year rolling
herd average on 224 completed records being 138 and 130 per cent of breed-class
average. With the achievement of another Gold Ribbon record this year, the herd
has now obtained nine of these, a record unmatched anywhere in Canada.
Show-ring honours included the Premier Breeder and Exhibition award at the
Pacific National Exhibition and a third placing for Breeders Herd at the Royal
Winter Fair in Toronto. The latter also achieved the Honourable Mention category
in the All-Canadian competition.
Exhibits of swine were entered at the Royal Winter Fair and the PNE, while
the usual exhibit of sheep at the latter show won champion awards in the market
lamb section.
At Tranquille, the dairy herd increased its production to the five-year rolling
herd average of 143 and 144 per cent of BCA on 62 records. The commercial beef
herd was maintained with 150 breeding cows.
In spite of minor losses resulting from a heavy spring run-off, crop production
was generally satisfactory this year.
4-H CLUBS
This year the number of 4-H Clubs established in the Province reached 277,
involving 783 leaders and a total membership of 4,552. As in other years, members
participated in a full programme of judging rallies, field days, fairs, and exhibitions.
Over 1,000 members attended the Pacific National Exhibition, where the highlights
of the 4-H Show included educational displays, judging demonstrations, and food
and dress displays.
The annual public-speaking competitions were completed at the finals, held
this year at Vanderhoof, with Kathy Beaton, of Surrey, the winner. As usual there
were a number of interprovincial and international exchange visits, which have
proved highly popular with members.
Forty senior 4-H members from various parts of Western Canada attended the
Western Provinces 4-H Seminar at Vancouver during July. Fourteen 4-H members
from British Columbia travelled to the national conference in Ottawa and Toronto
 DD 22 BRITISH COLUMBIA
in November. The Province was also represented by one member each at the 4-H
Club Congress in Chicago and the U.S. national gathering at Washington, D.C.
Leadership certificates were awarded to six leaders completing 15 years' service
and to a larger number in recognition of 10 and 5-year leadership tenures.
Seventy delegates took part in the Provincial 4-H Club Week exercises at
Naramata.   This week-long event was deemed a complete success by staff personnel.
OTHER SERVICES
The Farmer's Institutes Branch reported that a number of institutes failed to
file reports this year, and two district institutes did not hold annual meetings. Eight
of the latter were represented at the BCFI Advisory Board meetings at Victoria
and New Westminster. The Board did not meet with the Provincial Cabinet this
year.
Branch records revealed a total of 55 exhibitions and fall fairs recognized in
1972, for which grants for prize money and judges amounted to $73,755.
An increased amount of the Branch's activities this year was centred on general
information services, which now cover a mailing-list of 600 across the Province.
Sixty-two press releases were prepared in addition to 22 issues of In-service News
and four research abstracts.
A total premium income of $593,452 and an estimated $1,046,320 in claims
paid were recorded by the Crop Insurance Branch. Altogether there were 1,772
insured units, a decline of 206 from the preceding year. Of the claims paid under
the four insurance programmes, the grain sector accounted for $474,000, tree fruits
$350,000, and berry crops the remainder.   There were no claims payable on grapes.
Premium rates were increased by 5 per cent on cherries and 10 per cent on
other tree fruits.
Increased interest in honey production was reflected in the Apiary Branch's
report of more than 2,000 beekeepers operating close to 33,000 colonies this year.
An increase in the incidence of disease was noted, American foulbrood in particular.
The Branch conducted short courses on beekeeping at three centres, and seven
field days in various areas during the year.
Nineteen projects involving expenditures of $3,900,000 were approved under
the Agricultural and Rural Development Act in 1972. More than one-half of this
sum was appropriated for the rehabilitation of irrigation storage and distribution
systems. Since the inception of this programme in 1963, expenditures have amounted
to a cumulative total of close to $42 million.
The Communications Unit's television programming was extended in 1972 to
cablevision outlets in Vancouver and Victoria, and to a station in Lethbridge.
Thrice-weekly radio broadcasts were heard over 12 stations and nine satellite units,
giving coverage to most agricultural areas except the Lower Mainland and Vancouver
Island.
The Publications Branch turned out mimeographed material in excess of one
million sheets this year, along with a total of 133,229 individual publications.
A total of 335 farm managers was registered in the Farm Business Management programmes administered by the Farm Economics Branch. Of this number,
110 were in the CANFARM Programme and the remainder in the Provincial Ajohn
Programme.
The Branch published economic guidelines based upon averages of specific
enterprises at varying investment levels. Training workshops for staff personnel
were held at eight centres throughout the Province, and Manpower courses included
Branch participation at four locations.
 Printed by K. M. MacDonald, Printer to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty
in right of the Province of British Columbia.
1973
1,53(M73-3251
 

Cite

Citation Scheme:

        

Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics

Share

Embed

Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                        
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            src="{[{embed.src}]}"
                            data-item="{[{embed.item}]}"
                            data-collection="{[{embed.collection}]}"
                            data-metadata="{[{embed.showMetadata}]}"
                            data-width="{[{embed.width}]}"
                            data-media="{[{embed.selectedMedia}]}"
                            async >
                            </script>
                            </div>
                        
                    
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:
https://iiif.library.ubc.ca/presentation/cdm.bcsessional.1-0375905/manifest

Comment

Related Items