BC Sessional Papers

Report of the Department of Agriculture British Columbia. Legislative Assembly 1975

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 To Colonel the Honourable
Walter Stewart Owen, 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 1974.
DAVID D. STUPICH
Minister of Agriculture
Department of Agriculture,
Victoria, B.C.
  A Message Front the Minister of Agriculture
From its earliest beginnings the
history of agriculture has been punctuated
by what were long ago expressed in
biblical terms as "fat" and "lean" years^
Such references reflected variations in
crop yields, commonly caused by the
vagaries of weather during the growing
season. Today, modern technology has
overcome many long-standing
production problems, but unfavourable
weather can still wreak havoc with crop
growth. The result can be severe,
particularly in areas heavily, dependent
upon one major crop.
In British Columbia we may count
ourselves fortunate in having so
diversified an agriculture and, in the
main, so moderate a climate that the risk
of severe loss from such causes is
minimal. We thus have never
encountered the crippling losses that
accompany such calamities as widespread
flooding or prolonged drought.
There is a third force, however, that
from time to time makes itself felt
not only in this Province but over other
parts of the world as well.   It is
essentially economic in nature and takes
many forms, which exert pressures
varying from unstable cost-price indices
to actual human deprivation.
Price inflation continued to be an
unsettling factor the world over in 1974.
It was reflected in the unprecedented
rise in basic energy and raw material
costs and the equally sharp increase
in agricultural commodity prices. These
forces produced repercussions on the
farm front everywhere, including
British Columbia.   In common with
farmers elsewhere, our operators
suddenly found that farm machinery and
equipment not only cost more to buy
but also to operate.   Livestock, poultry,
and egg producers learned that rising
feed costs brought lowered net returns,
and in some instances actual losses.
In addition there were other
disturbing developments, including both
higher costs and short supplies of
such items as seeds and fertilizers.
Fortunately, the diversity of
British Columbia's agriculture inhibited
the development of widespread
economic distress.   Nevertheless, for
some British Columbia farmers,
1974 was a year of reckoning, with
severe stresses beyond their control.
If there is a lesson to be learned from
this, it is that British Columbia is not
an island, instead it is a link in a
chain of interdependent causes and
effects that extends over many countries.
Within our boundaries similar links
bind all of us together in a common bond.
If our Province is to prosper, then
every sector of our economy, including
agriculture, must also prosper.
If our farmers are expected to continue
supplying food in the abundance and
variety to which we have become
accustomed, then society has a
responsibility to ensure that our
farmers' incomes rise in line with
incomes in other industries.   It must
always be remembered that agriculture
remains a basic industry, producing
food, a basic necessity.
DAVID D. STUPICH
Minister of Agriculture
 Report of the Deputy Minister of Agriculture
The Honourable David D. Stupich,
Minister of Agriculture.
Dear Sir: It is my pleasure to
present the Sixty-ninth Annual Report of
the British Columbia Department of
Agriculture for the 12 months ending
December 31, 1974.
The Report highlights the
Department's progress in implementing
and managing the wide range of policies
and programs within its jurisdiction.
I commend your attention to the
various branch reports for detailed
information on Department activities.
In many ways 1974 marked a high
point in the affairs of British Columbia
agriculture.   In economic terms the
industry performed at record levels.
Relations between the Department and
the agriculture community achieved new
levels of co-operation and
communication.
I am pleased to advise that several of
the newer legislative measures, including
the Land Commission Act, the
Farm Income Assurance Act, the
Agricultural Credit Act, and the
Farm Products Industry Improvement
Act, received nation-wide attention
in 1974.   Department officials hosted
several delegations from other provinces
wishing to learn more about these
legislative measures and there are
indications some provinces will
introduce similar measures.
The achievements of the Department
are accomplished through the dedication
and resourcefulness of the staff at all
levels throughout the Province working
as a team toward common objectives.
In order to provide an increasing level
of service to both producers and
consumers and to accomplish
implementation of new programs,
several changes were made in Department
organization and a number of new
staff members were appointed in 1974.
The Department's Executive
Committee, consisting of your Deputy
Minister, the Associate Deputy Minister,
and the Directors, met weekly throughout
the year to advance implementation
and administration of Department
policies and programs.   Executive
members also met many agricultural
organizations during the year for the   .
purpose of co-operatively resolving
problems and reducing constraints to
progress.
Early indications are that 1975
will present some unique challenges to
British Columbia agriculture.   Economic
forecasts indicate a slowing in the
rate of increase in farm product prices
coinciding with accelerating farm input
costs associated with continued
inflationary pressures throughout the
economy.   Farmers will need to be
especially cost-conscious in 1975 if
net farm income levels are to
be maintained.
Department activities in the coming
year will focus mainly on further refinement of programs already in effect.
Efforts will be sustained at providing further income stability measures to assist
farmers toward the longer term goal of
increased food production at the
same time as encouraging continued
improvements in production and
marketing efficiency.
All agricultural land reserves are
expected to be in place in 1975,
thereby preserving British Columbia
farmland for sustained food production.
A longer term challenge facing the
Department and the agricultural
community will concern the question of
how best to achieve full and efficient use
of these land resources while providing
for the economic and social needs
of the valuable human resources
assorted with the land.
I     )   a Respectfully submitted,
'/ S. B. PETERSON
Deputy Minister
 Report of the British Columbia
Department of Agriculture
REVIEW
In a broad sense the primary objective
of the Department of Agriculture
is to encourage and assist the people
engaged in the agricultural and
food industry to achieve their economic
and social goals, consistent with the
preservation of agricultural resources.
As part of this objective, Department
staff are continually working with farmers
to increase food production so that the
Province may continue to supply a high
proportion of its food needs.
Economic Performance
British Columbia farm cash receipts
increased by $46 million in 1974 to a
record $362 million.   This development
was in line with trends in other parts
of Canada reflecting the influence of
high agricultural commodity prices
associated with continuing international
food shortages.   Most sectors of British
Columbia agriculture recorded gains,
although cattle receipts were lower,
reflecting lower farm prices.   Chart I
illustrates the general commodity areas
in relation to each other and as a
percentage of the total cash receipts,
representing total production and
commodity prices during 1974.
CHART I
DistrilwtiM of Far* Cat* Receipt*, British Cotumbia, 1974
Source: Statistics Canada
 Farm operating costs escalated
sharply in 1974.   The Farm Input Price
Index for Western Canada stood at 190
(1961 = 100) in the third quarter of
1974—16.6 per cent higher than the
1973 average.   At the same time the
Farm Products Price Index for British
Columbia registered 191.6 (1961 = 100)
in September 1974—14.5 per cent
above the average for 1973.
240
220
200
o
o
<> 180
160
140
120
100
CHART II
Economic Trends Since 1961
Index of Annual
Average Weekly
Earnings—Industrial
Composite—B.C.
Consumer Price
Index—Food
Component—
Vancouver     .	
61
Index of Farm Prices
of Agricultura
Products—B.C
Farm Input
Price Index-
Western
Canada   ""
63
Source: Statistics Canada
 Inflationary pressure stimulated by
sharply higher international prices for
energy and raw materials continued to
filter through the economy in 1974,
affecting consumer prices and earnings.
The retail price of food as reflected in
the food component of the Consumer
Price Index for Vancouver was no
exception.   The Index registered 201.7
(1961 = 100) in September 1974-22.9
per cent higher than the average for
1973. (See Chart II.)
The Index of Annual Average Weekly
Earnings Industrial Composite for
British Columbia recorded 246.3
(1961 = 100) in September 1974—
17.4 per cent higher than the 1973
average.   Even though the rate of
increase in average earnings lagged
slightly behind the rate of increase
in food prices, the proportion of
personal disposable income spent on
food remained at about 16 per cent in
1974, having declined steadily from
18.6 per cent in 1961. The cost of
food relative to personal disposable
income is among the lowest in the world.
Legislation
The following legislative measures
concerning agriculture received
approval in 1974:
• The Farm Products Industry
Improvement Act was amended to
allow the Minister of Agriculture to
guarantee interest on a loan plus
the costs of servicing a loan; to limit
a loan, guarantee, or investment in
respect to any one agricultural
enterprise to a maximum of $100,000,
except with the prior approval of
the Lieutenant-Governor in Council;
and to allow the Minister of Agriculture
to authorize approved lending
agencies to process and administer
loan applications.
• The Agricultural Credit Act was
amended to increase the total amount
of loan guarantees from $5 million
to $ 15 million, and to allow loan
guarantees and reimbursement of
interest and (or) principal on existing
eligible agricultural loans.
• The Agricultural Rehabilitation and
Development Act was amended
to allow the Minister of Agriculture to
directly undertake and pay for
ARDA projects where satisfactory
agreements with the Federal
Government cannot be made, or
cannot be made at an opportune time.
• The Natural Products Marketing
(British Columbia) Act was repealed
and re-enacted to renew authority
contained in the original legislation to
provide for the establishment of
marketing commissions by Order
of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council
and to provide for the establishment
and appointment of a Provincial
Marketing Board to monitor the
operations of agricultural commodity
marketing boards and commissions and
to hear and decide on appeals filed
in regard to rulings of marketing
boards and commissions.
Program Highlights
During 1974, substantial progress
was achieved in the implementation and
management of Department programs and
activities.   Highlights include the
following:
• The Department undertook further
refinement of ongoing production,
marketing, extension, and special
service programs to serve better
the needs of farmers and consumers.
• The Allotment Garden and
Farm Vacation Programs were
implemented to provide urban residents
with greater opportunities for
participation in food production and
unique recreational experiences,
and to provide for greater contact and
communication between urban and
rural citizens.
 • The Farm Income Assurance Program
became operational with the
implementation of plans for dairy,
tree fruits, field crop tomatoes, and
hogs.   Plans for a number of
other commodities were in various
stages of development.
• The Agricultural Credit Program
became operational with the provision
of Government loan guarantees to
a number of farming enterprises and
reimbursement of interest to
producers on eligible agricultural
loans.
• The Agricultural Land Development
Program experienced a substantial
increase in popularity among
farmers through the provision of
4 per cent direct loans to encourage
land development and improvement,
including irrigation.
• The Farm Products Finance Program
accelerated its activities with a number
of agricultural enterprises
receiving assistance in the form of
direct loans, loan guarantees,
or investment as incentives to expanded
agricultural and food processing.
• The Agricultural Rehabilitation and
Development Program expanded
its activities with the initiation of plans
to develop several new community
pastures.
• The Program for the Demonstration
of Applied Technology and Economics
financed a wide range of projects
aimed at demonstrating new
and innovative techniques to the
farm community.
• The British Columbia Agricultural
Services Co-ordinating Committee and
its six Science Committees were
active in the co-ordination of research
efforts and communication of
research results among Government,
industry, and university personnel.
• The British Columbia Food Council
representing Government, producers,
processors, and consumers met
regularly throughout the year to deal
with a number of food issues of
common interest.
• The Land Commission continued with
its program of establishing
agricultural land reserves throughout
the Province and of developing
procedures to facilitate the preservation
of agricultural land.
• The Property Management Program
took on administration of the
Tranquille and Colony Institutional
Farms and initiated plans to administer
a development and leasing policy
respecting Provincial farms.
EXECUTIVE OFFICER
The Executive Officer is responsible
for the administration of fairs and
exhibitions, pound districts, and
Farmers' and Women's Institutes. The
number of fairs/exhibitions
totalled 58, and there were 271 pounds
and 88 Farmers' Institutes registered
in 1974.
A total of 125 Orders in Council
was processed, of which 50 pertained to
the Land Commission and the
establishment of agricultural land
reserves. Acts amended included the
Natural Products Marketing, Pharmacy,
Farm Products Industry Improvement,
Agricultural Credit, Contagious Diseases,
and Agricultural and Rural Development.
The Executive Officer sat on
eight committees, functioning as
Secretary for the B.C. Fairs Association,
B.C. Farmers' Institute Advisory Board,
and senior staff meetings, and attended
one short course and two seminars
and was instrumental in establishing a
Departmental reference library.
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    Agricultural and Rural Development Programs
GENERAL ARDA AND SPECIAL
ARDA 1974
The Agricultural and Rural
Development A ct is jointly sponsored
by the Federal and Provincial
Governments and provides for projects
for alternative land use, rural
development projects, and soil and
water conservation projects.
During 1974, 11 projects were
approved for a total cost of $8.1 million,
with a Provincial share of $2.6 million.
Six projects totalling $6.7 million
were for rehabilitation of irrigation and
farm water supply, the largest being
Summerland Irrigation District,
costing $5.1 million and rehabilitating
3,900 acres of agricultural land.
Community pastures have been
expanded in the Peace River and
Central British Columbia with
the addition of 15,140 acres.
Development and improvements are
continuing on 6,900 acres of pasture.
Ranchers will lease the pasture on an
animal-unit basis and co-operate with the
Government to provide a manager
to administer each pasture and
supervise the livestock.
The Provincial Agricultural
Rehabilitation and Development Act
was amended in June 1974, giving
the Branch much needed flexibility in
developing ARDA programs.   Several
large blocks of land for community
pasture have been purchased
under these new provisions.
Discussions were held with various
groups on all phases of ARDA; a
challenging project for the disposal of
chlorinated domestic sewage through an
irrigation system is proposed from
Vernon.
Special ARDA has provided 1,235 jobs
with an estimated capital expenditure
of $30 million. The Special
ARDA Program is designed primarily
for the social development of people of
Native ancestry, especially those living
in the more remote areas of the
Province.
Future planning of the Branch includes
introduction of programs for farm
drainage-outlet assistance, capital grants
for on-farm water management, farm
enlargement, and land consolidation
and rural mobility and adjustment.
Agricultural Credit
The Agricultural Credit Branch
was established during the year to
administer the Agricultural Credit Act
and to assume the responsibility for
the administration of the Agricultural
Land Development Act (ALDA),
formerly under the jurisdiction of the
Agricultural Engineering Branch.
A head for the Branch was appointed and
during the balance of the year staffing
was completed.   Regulations to the
Agricultural Credit Act were completed
and the Branch commenced processing
applications after July 1, 1974.
The Agricultural Credit Program provides
assistance in three distinct ways.
The first way is to provide a guarantee
for loans arranged by applicants
through chartered banks and credit
unions for applicants who are unable
to meet the guidelines of the
lending agency.
The second form of assistance
provides for a partial reimbursement of
the interest paid by an applicant on
a farm loan made through chartered
banks, credit unions, Industrial
Development Bank, Farm Credit
Corporation, and Veterans' Land Act.
In 1974, farm loans that were not:
guaranteed by the Province were
reimbursed to approximately
13
 8 per cent, while those receiving a
Provincial guarantee were reimbursed
to about 8Vi per cent effective
interest rate.
The third facet to the Agricultural
Credit Program provides an opportunity
to offer special credit assistance
programs to either alleviate a regional
hardship or to encourage the
development of a commodity.
In 1974 a special credit assistance
program was made available to livestock
producers in the Regional District of
Bulkley-Nechako who had suffered a
severe forage-crop loss. A special
credit incentive program was prepared
and offered to livestock producers in the
Peace River-Liard Regional District
to encourage a greater diversification
from grain production to livestock.
Slightly more than $2 million in loan
guarantees to 36 farm enterprises
were approved during 1974.
The amended Agricultural Land
Development Act stimulated activity,
resulting in 592 contracts valued
at $3.5 million issued for clearing or
improving 10,500 acres of land.
Crop Insurance
The Crop Insurance Branch continued
to administer four crop insurance
programs which offer insurance coverage
to tree fruit and grape-growers in the
Okanagan, berry-growers in the
Fraser Valley, and grain-farmers in the
Peace River District.   Some preliminary
study was given to the setting-up of
a program to insure stands of alfalfa
against winter injury.   It may
prove feasible to have this in operation
for next winter.
The period of transition started
in 1973, continued in 1974, when the
Crop Insurance Branch first took
over the administration of both the grain
and the berry programs.   In 1974
the tree-fruit and grape programs were
administered by the Branch for
the first time. These added programs,
plus additional coverages on
existing programs, necessitated more staff
and therefore more time to train
the new people.
The Crop Insurance Branch is a
sales-oriented organization requiring a
special level of training.   Our
personnel could not be fitted into
any appropriate classification and
therefore a reclassification of all our
personnel was undertaken early
in the year.
Participation in the tree-fruit program
increased in 1974 with a similar
increase indicated for the 1975 crop year.
The cold spring weather in 1974
provided poor conditions for fruit set.
This, coupled with the heavy crops
in 1973, reduced apple yields
considerably.   In addition, the frequent
showers during cherry harvest caused
considerable rain split on cherries.
As a result of these adverse factors,
14
 indemnities will considerably
exceed premium income.
Cranberry and blueberry crops
suffered from disease and poor set as a
result of the cold, wet spring weather and
indemnities for these two crops
exceeded premium income.   On the
other hand, losses for raspberries and
strawberries were at a low level.
The grape program enjoyed a good year
without any losses.
Spring was late in the Peace River
area and there was some doubt
as to whether much acreage
would be seeded by the various
deadlines.   Crops matured slowly,
but the fine harvest weather in the
fall enabled farmers to complete
harvesting without much hindrance.
For only the second time the grain
program had sufficient premium
income to cover the indemnities.
Farm Income Assurance
The Farm Income Assurance Branch
was formed during the year.
A branch head, an administrative officer,
and support staff were appointed
late in the summer.   Programs for dairy,
tree fruit, swine, and field tomato
producers are in place.   Programs for
producers of greenhouse vegetable crops,
eggs, broiler hatching eggs, and beef
are being negotiated.   Requests
for programs for sheep and blueberries
have been received.
Each commodity program is based
on the insurance principle.
Premiums are paid into a fund by the
producers and by Government.
Indemnities are paid out to participating
producers when market returns fall below
the basic cost of production as
calculated for an efficient and well-run
farm unit model.
Special incentive features are
incorporated into each program to
ensure that the producers strive for
continued efficiency and aggressive
marketing. The programs are expected
to have a stabilizing effect over the years
that should benefit both the producer
and consumer.
The benefits of the Dairy Income
Assurance Plan were clearly demonstrated
in 1974 with British Columbia
milk production increasing 3.8 per cent
over 1973. This performance is
contrasted with other provinces where
milk production fell in 1974.
Farm Products Finance
The Farm Products Finance Branch
was established April 1, 1974, to
administer the Farm Products Industry
Improvement Act. The purpose of this
Act, which was passed in the fall of 1973,
is to encourage and assist in the
continued development and expansion of
the agricultural industry of the Province.
15
 Some 40 specific proposals received
consideration and seven projects
involving approximately $10 million in
loan guarantees, direct loans, and
share acquisitions have been approved
by Orders in Council.   Projects
approved have included food processing,
poultry products processing, livestock
feed, tree-fruit storage, and fruit and
vegetable processing. Ten additional
projects have been recommended
for assistance and are awaiting approval
by Order in Council.   Six proposals
were rejected due to lack of financial
viability or indicated beneficial impact on
the agricultural industry.
Special programs were developed to
provide financial assistance for the
construction of veterinary clinics
in outling areas and for the construction
or upgrading of abattoirs.
Financial assistance was also provided
to a number of feasibility studies,
including a study of the marketing and
transportation of alfalfa pellets and
a proposal to restructure the tree-fruit
packing-house industry.
Information Branch
The year 1974 marked the first
completed year of existence of the Branch.
During the year the Branch continued
to broaden its scope in the areas of
printed material preparation and design.
In March an Agricultural
Communications Specialist was appointed
to co-ordinate and expedite the
publishing of Departmental technical
publications and information pieces.
Sixty-three agricultural publications,
brochures, or information packages
were processed and completed.
An additional 12 were prepared for
printing in late 1974 for completion in
early 1975.   Contemporary design
formats were stressed on publications and
advertisements, resulting in national
recognition given to a brochure
describing a new program initiated by
the Department in 1974.
A total of 135 press releases for
print and electronic media was issued
dealing with agricultural topics of
interest to the general public, production
information for farmers, and
background to legislation. A
Departmental fact sheet to dispense
timely production information to farmers
was designed and will be operable
early in 1975.   In this area of
communication the Branch recognizes
and emphasizes the importance of
16
effective dispensation of usable
information prepared by specialists for
the benefit of farmers and (or)
consumers alike.
The 1974 radio tape service known as
"Grassroots" was broadcast each week
from 18 radio stations and
26 satellite points throughout British
Columbia.   Each station received
three programs per week covering
agricultural subjects designed for farmers
and urban listeners. A number of
radio features were completed and
distributed to the stations during the year.
Consideration is being given to
expansion of this type of service in 1975.
The television unit at Kelowna
produced 16 television programs, each
of one-half hour length. The
programs are also called "Grassroots"
and were aired on 11 stations throughout
British Columbia.   During 1974
the staff filmed for the 1975 series which
it is hoped will be televised by the
CBC network beginning in June 1975.
This development will greatly expand
program coverage and will amplify
urban awareness of British Columbia
agriculture.
The acquisition of modern audio visual
equipment has enabled the Branch to
expand its services to field staff
for the preparation of educational
 material for meetings, projects, or
short courses.   During the summer of
1974, numerous photographs were taken
with the intention of establishing
an extensive photographic library for
the Department's use.
The Branch has and will
continue to accentuate its educational
role in disseminating agricultural
information to the food
producers and general public of
the Province.
Property Management
The Property Management Branch
was formed and the Provincial
Farms Branch amalgamated with it in
July 1974 with the Head of the Branch
and the administrative organization
located in Victoria.
The Assistant Head supervising the
field staff is located in a branch office in
Langley.   He also is responsible
for the operation of the Colony Farm
and Tranquille Farm.
The main responsibility of the
Property Management Branch will be to
select suitable lessees and to
administer all agricultural land, farms,
and orchards purchased by the
Land Commission. Agricultural land
acquired by other Provincial Government
agencies will also be managed by
this Branch.
A very close liaison will be maintained
with the Land Commission in order
to establish a co-ordinated management
plan for all agricultural land.
Both the Colony Farm near Essondale
and the Tranquille Farm near
Tranquille, B.C., are managed as
self-supporting entities using
contemporary farming practices. The
Colony Farm has 650 cultivated
acres and is primarily involved in
dairying and potato and vegetable
production.   The Tranquille Farm
has about 350 cultivated acres,
largely for forage production
to support the commercial beef
herd operation.   The B.C. Beef
Cattle Test Station is located on
the farm.
17
    Agricultural Development and Extension
In 1974 the Development and
Extension Branch, through its district
offices, responded to a heavy demand
upon its services.   District Agriculturists
continue to act as the key reference
points for the Department of Agriculture
in 17 agricultural districts located
throughout the Province. An increase in
the number of inquiries for information
and advice on production information
and Departmental programs and
policies was reported by all district
offices.
Regional extension programs were
developed, based on identified needs in
agriculture and were planned in
association with all segments of the
agricultural industry. A major emphasis
was placed on increasing the quality
and quantity of forage produced.
Specific projects were directed
toward the growing, management,
and utilization of alfalfa and
silage corn.
Programs were initiated to increase
productivity of native ranges,
pastures, and wet meadows. A
program was initiated to demonstrate
the handling and utilization of
alfalfa cubes in the dairy industry in the
Fraser Valley. A high priority was
placed on the development of community
pastures in the Peace River, Central
British Columbia, and the Kootenays.
Special extension programs were
directed toward the dairy industry
through the Fraser Valley Dairy
Education Committee and the newly
formed Dairy Extension Advisory
Committee in the Okanagan.
Fifteen students were hired under the
Careers '74 Program to carry out
special projects such as the collecting
of various native range grass species
throughout the Province to determine
their seasonal nutritional value and
to demonstrate the effects of
fertilizer application on forage crop
production.
The Branch worked co-operatively
on various programs with other
branches and Agriculture Canada. The
Farm Business Management Program
continued to receive high priority in
emphasizing the interpretations of
farm records and their application to
production-economic decisions.   Due to
many inquiries, the Branch provided
information on new Departmental
programs such as Farm Income
Assurance, Agricultural Credit,
Agricultural Land Development,
Agricultural Land Reserves, Hay
Freight Subsidy, and Land Use
Planning.
Numerous special projects were
undertaken during 1974, ranging from
community pasture development to
planning assistance in the event
of emergency floods.
21
 Apiary
Throughout all of the major
honey-producing areas of the Province,
cool wet weather was a factor in
reducing the 1974 honey crop.
In the Peace River district and the
fireweed areas of Vancouver Island,
the honey crop was reduced by as much
as 50 to 70 per cent.
Active beekeepers in the Province
number 2,802, a gain of 984 new
producers since 1973.   Number
of colonies increased from 33,030 in
1973 to 41,175 in 1974.
The total honey crop during 1974
was 3,274,500 pounds, 65,160 pounds
less than the 1973 crop of
3,339,660 pounds.
It is estimated the inclement weather
conditions resulted in a reduction
of the Provincial crop by at least
two million pounds of honey.
British Columbians consume
5,300,000 pounds of honey annually.
This means that during 1974 we
were 2,025,500 pounds of honey short
of our own requirements.
The wholesale market for honey
remained generally slow although
retail sales were generally good.
The price of No. 1 white honey in bulk
(660-pound barrels) has ranged
between 46 cents and 55 cents
per pound f.o.b.   Honey in bulk (barrels)
shipped to the co-operatives and other
packing plants in 1973 brought a
return to the producer of
46 cents per pound (final payment).
The on-farm price for honey has
ranged as high as $1 per pound,
with an average of 80 cents per pound.
The cost of new equipment and labour
to establish one complete hive has
increased from $68.45 in 1973 to
$75 in 1974.   Sugar, a very important
commodity used for bee feed, has
increased in wholesale price by
over 100 percent.
A new threat to bulk-honey
industrial markets is a recently developed
foreign patent for a synthetic product
having qualities similar to honey.
This appears to be eroding the
honey market in the bakery and
other trades.
Bee diseases were significantly lower
in 1974 compared with 1973.
Colonies inspected numbered 9,666,
compared with 7,980 during 1973. The
incidence of diseases such as
American Foulbrood, European
Foulbrood, and others were much
lower in 1974.
Producer demand continues strong
for honeybees to pollinate tree fruits,
small fruits, vegetable seed crops, and
white Dutch clover.   DATE funds
have been allocated to study the effects on
crop production of honeybee pollination
versus natural pollination and the
overwintering of honeybees in a
controlled environment.
The year 1974 saw a very large
increase in the number of beekeepers
throughout the Province.   Over
2,000 information packages were mailed
to interested persons requesting
beekeeping advice.
Farm Economics
During the year the Branch was
strengthened with the addition of two
regional farm economist positions
and six farm business management
technician positions.
22
Farm managers registered on the
Farm Business Management
record-keeping and business analysis
program in 1974 totalled 292,
compared to 280 in 1973. The number
 of participants in this program is
expected to climb substantially in 1975
as the impact of additional staff
becomes evident.
The publication Taxation and the
B.C. Farmer was finalized in late 1974
and will be released early in 1975
for farm use.
During 1974 the Farm Economics
Branch continued staff training with
opportunities in farm business
management. The following sessions
were held:
(1) Three-week course on
interpretation of farm records
attended by six District
Agriculturists, four Assistant
District Agriculturists, four
District Horticulturists, five
Small Farm Development
personnel, and one poultry
specialist.
(2) Two separate one-week sessions
for farm business management
technicians as an introduction
to the farm record systems
endorsed by the B.C.
Department of Agriculture.
(3) One-week session for Small
Farm Development officers to
assess job needs and outline
priorities in view of the
inactivity in the Land Transfer
Plan portion of the Small Farm
Development Program.
Response to the land transfer portion
of the Small Farm Development
Program remained limited. The
seconded staff under the program made
over 350 contacts with farm clients
during the year. At year-end about
75 clients were receiving continuing
counselling on credit, financial planning,
budgeting, accounting, retirement,
and other matters.
A study into the cost of producing
creeping red fescue seed in the
Peace River area was undertaken in
co-operation with the Alberta
Department of Agriculture. A number
of cost data sheets were compiled
in 1974.
The significance of well-kept farm
records is being realized by an increasing
number of farmers.
Interpretation of these data forms the
basis to assist farmers in making
sound management decisions.   It is the
role of the Farm Economics Branch
to provide farmers with accurate
interpretation and suggest productive
techniaues.
Field Crops
In contrast to 1973, forage yields
were much improved in most areas of
the Province. The late spring and the
wet, cool, early summer delayed planting
of annual crops such as cereals, corn,
and potatoes.   Fortunately, all areas of
British Columbia were favoured
with warm, dry conditions in the
late summer and fall, resulting in
very favourable harvesting conditions.
In the Peace River area, virtually
all cereals and oilseeds were harvested,
though in many instances with a
high moisture content.   In the southern
Interior, favourable soil moisture and
above-average temperatures in the
spring combined to provide good
grassland range production.   Further
north in the Cariboo-Chilcotin,
lower fall and winter precipitation and
low spring temperatures were
responsible for poor range production
this year.   In the Vanderhoof-Burns Lake
area, a severe hay shortage developed
for similar reasons.
Under the B.C. Forage Transportation
Assistance Policy, which applied to
hay of Canadian origin only, and
which was in effect from June 1, 1973,
to March 31, 1974, the sum of
23
 $1,461,360.59 was paid to farmers
and ranchers on 106,763 tons of hay.
Most of this hay originated in Alberta,
but 19,637 tons came from our
Peace River District.   In addition,
some 65,000 tons of alfalfa were
imported from the United States.
The importance of increasing forage
production in British Columbia cannot be
over-emphasized. The South Peace
Dehy Products plant at Dawson Creek
was completed during the year but,
due to delays in construction and
acquisition of equipment, production
did not start until late summer. The plant
produces bite-size alfalfa cubes from
locally grown alfalfa that is chopped and
trucked to the plant. The cubes are
easily transported to areas in the
Province where hay supplies are short
of maintaining livestock feed
requirements.
An alfalfa study, co-ordinated by
the Branch, has produced useful
information relative to production
problems.
Corn silage production increased
to approximately 19,000 acres in 1974.
In co-operation with District
Agriculturists and Agriculture Canada
research stations, variety trials and
demonstrations were conducted on
20 sites.
The new Weed Control Act has
generally been well received.   Regional
districts now have authority to raise
funds for weed control through
property taxation.   Our policy of
assisting municipalities and regional
districts on a 50:50 basis on approved
programs has led to a considerable
amount of interest.   Considerable testing
was carried out on the suitability of
various herbicides for weed control in
crops.   More than 50 herbicide efficacy
trials were conducted and evaluated.
The Soil, Feed, and Tissue Testing
Laboratory at Kelowna processed
9,325 soil samples with nine routine
determinations per sample, plus a
number of special tests for a total of
87,000 determinations.   In addition,
1,241 feed and forage samples and
904 tissue samples were processed
for a total of 11,556 determinations.
Total revenue was $21,290.
There was a very light movement of
lime in the areas eligible for subsidy.
Total unsubsidized movement of lime in
the Fraser Valley remained fairly
heavy despite the record consumption in
1972/73, the last year the subsidy
applied to the Fraser Valley.
A Fertilizer Review Panel consisting of
two representatives from each of the
four western provinces was formed
to monitor availability and prices
of fertilizer. The panel was successful
in establishing a working relationship with
the fertilizer industry. A record
1,543,830 tons of fertilizer have been
allocated to Western Canada for 1975.
Prices in Western Canada are
considerably lower than those
prevailing in the United States.
In the Peace River district, barley
and rapeseed acreages increased
substantially.   For the first time, rapeseed
acreage exceeded the wheat acreage.
Rapeseed is well adapted to the
area and the value of the crop this year
was estimated at nearly $6 million.
24
 Although creeping red fescue declined
both in yield and price, the total value
of field crop production in the
Peace River was close to $4 million.
Range-improvement projects received
a considerable amount of attention
again this year. The knapweed control
program was again carried on in
the Kamloops and Williams Lake districts
as in the East Kootenays.   Several
DATE projects concerned with range
management have produced very
promising results.
For example, a project demonstrating
control of knapweed showed that
aerial spraying ranges with the
herbicide Tordon 22K, and subsequent
reseeding with adapted grasses,
greatly improves otherwise poor areas.
In one case, a 22-fold increase in
grass production resulted.
Potato acreage increased from
7,500 acres in 1973 to 9,000 acres in
1974. The increase was mainly due
to a 1,000-acre increase at Creston where
a processing plant is being planned.
Movement of British Columbia potatoes
to the Vancouver market has been
very strong this year, accounting
for 57Vi per cent of the total fresh
market as compared to 42 per cent in
1973.   Regional variety trials and
fertility trials were conducted in
a number of districts.
Horticulture
It is unusual to begin a Branch report
with an account of urban horticulture,
but the allotment gardens were such
an outstanding success that they
should lead off this summary
of horticultural activities.
The Allotment Garden Program was
inaugurated in February 1974.   It
provided an opportunity for people in
apartments or homes without suitable land
to grow a large proportion of their own
vegetable requirements.   There were
378 plot-holders in the initial trial,
with 160 in Victoria and 218 in
the Vancouver area.   For the participants
it proved to be a pleasant experience to
grow their own food.   In some
instances it was their first endeavour
to do so.   Plans are well along to
expand substantially the number of
allotments available in 1975.
Growers in most of the commercial
horticulture sector encountered difficulty
in the marketing of their early crops.
The abnormally wet and cool spring
weather in 1974 delayed planting and
crop growth.   However, many of
those with fall crops experienced
improved economic conditions and
beautiful harvest weather.
In the tree-fruit industry there were
significant happenings in 1974. The
relaxation of the B.C. Fruit Board
regulations that controlled the movement
of tree fruits within the Province
changed the marketing picture somewhat.
The new Income Assurance Program
had a stabilizing effect on the returns
to the industry, giving a more optimistic
future for tree fruits.
Berry producers had a difficult year
with markets and weather.   Strawberries
from Mexico are landed below local
cost of production.   In addition,
sugar is reported to be much cheaper
to the foreign processors. The raspberry
and blueberry market deteriorated.
Along with market problems came wet
weather, which resulted in fruit rot and an
increasing scarcity of berry-pickers.
Mechanization within these crops
for harvesting and favourable weather
are needed for 1975 to provide greater
economic stability.
A record grape crop of excellent
vintage was produced in the Okanagan
and Similkameen in 1974. The value
of the crop exceeds $3 million on
a survey total of 3,066 acres.   Grape
prices were negotiated quickly and at a
25
 level comparable with similar varieties
in Ontario and New York. The
one mechanical harvester working in
Oliver was very successful and
further mechanization can be
expected.
Vegetable producers were hampered
by unfavourable weather in the
first half of 1974.   Land preparation and
seeding was difficult and late.   However,
the clear warm summer and fall averted
what could have been a disastrous
year.
Lettuce producers had their second
best year in terms of volume and price.
Beans were harvested by new multi-row
harvesters.   In the Interior, field
tomatoes came under Income Assurance,
a move that could be a great help
for the future.
In October a successful vegetable
seminar was conducted to identify the
constraints limiting vegetable
production. A report covering the
21 recommendations has been published.
Nursery stock demand is strong and
supplies are increasing.   Certification of
stocks of pines is under way, other
stock will follow.   Nursery certification
is getting closer.
There has been a rapid expansion of
the greenhouse vegetable industry
on the Lower Mainland.   Costs
of production are up sharply, particularly
heating-oil prices.   Some delay in
expansion may occur in this area unless
their economic picture improves.
Applied research programs on many
horticultural crops are under way
in the Province.   Extensive use of radio,
television, and meetings is being made
in the Branch extension programs.
The outlook is brighter for many
of the producers of horticultural crops.
International factors will be critical for a
number of producers, especially those in
berries, greenhouse, and nursery crops.
Livestock
Two new Acts, the Beef Grading Act
and the Domestic Animal Protection Act,
were proclaimed with regulations
during the year. Administration of
the Domestic Animal Protection Act
was facilitated by the appointment of a
new staff member.
The number of herds enrolled
under the Beef ROP Program increased,
but numbers of cattle were increased
only slightly.   In 1973 there were 170
herds with 8,289 cattle on test;
in 1974 there were 197 herds with 8,654
26
animals on test.   Entries to the Bull
Test Station at Tranquille were the largest
on record, with 33 contributors
consigning 138 bulls of seven different
breeds.
Beef cattlemen in British Columbia
are, along with those in the rest of
Canada, experiencing a year of
low prices and high costs. The most
significant development to come from the
industry within British Columbia was
their request for establishment of
an Income Assurance Program.
 The Dairy Herd Improvement Division
continues to expand. At the year-end
there were 34,496 cows in 626 herds
being tested under the scheme, an
increase of 3,036 cows over a year ago.
The British Columbia Federation
of Agriculture has requested that the
British Columbia Department of
Agriculture expedite the effort to have the
DHIA records made acceptable under
the ROP Program.
The dairy industry in the Province
is in good condition.   British Columbia
was the only province in Canada
reporting an increase in cows milked
during 1974 as compared to the
year previous. The Dairy Income
Assurance Program has been instrumental
in creating this optimism.
Sheep flocks continue a slow decline
within the Province. The most
encouraging development occurred
late in the year when an industry
consensus was reached to form a Sheep
Industry Council. The B.C. Federation
of Agriculture is assisting the industry
in organizing to meet its new objectives,
among which is the establishment of
an Income Assurance Program.
Statistics also indicate a slight drop in
numbers enrolled in the ROP Program
during the year, with 11 flocks and
611 lambs on test, as compared to 13
producers with 774 lambs in 1973.
The hog industry has embarked on an
expansionary production program
in response to the newly established Swine
Income Assurance Program.   Producer
optimism is evident with further
requests for increased services from
the Department being received from the
B.C. Swine Breeders' Association.
The beef industry is concerned
not only with the current short-term price
problem but also with the longer term
question of Crown land tenure.
Generally, however, there is a measure
of optimism in the livestock industry
in the Province, generated to a degree by
favourable legislation proclaimed
during the past two years.
Markets and Statistics
The year 1974 was marked by the
emergence of two significant
developments in the marketing sector
—the extensive amending of the Natural
Products Marketing (British Columbia)
Act, and the difficulties encountered
by the egg and turkey industries, which
led to their serving of notices of
withdrawal from their respective national
marketing plans.
The Natural Products Marketing
(British Columbia) Act was amended
to produce far-reaching changes to
certain aspects of the application of the
original orderly marketing concept.
Chief among these was the provision for
a widely expanded role for the British
Columbia Marketing Board, to
include close supervision of all commodity
marketing boards and the authority
to hear appeals against their orders or
other actions.   Provision was also made
for the establishment of marketing
commissions.
There was renewed interest in
marketing regulation on the part of
the beef, hog, sheep, and forage-seed
producers. The Branch's involvement in
studies on export market potentials for
a number of farm products combined
with this renewed interest to stimulate new
avenues of activity during the year.
As in all areas of the economy, the
issue of continuing monetary inflation
exerted an overshadowing effect on every
facet of the production and marketing
pattern. While such factors as the
introduction of income assurance for
certain crops tended to offset to a degree
the full impact of inflationary pressures,
the over-all effect was not overcome.
This, in turn, brought into sharper
27
 focus the demand for current statistical
data for use in the framing of new
programs designed to sustain and
strengthen the industry.
With the acquisition of a Public
Information Officer and a second
food-demonstration trailer, the Branch's
Food Promotion Program was placed
in a better balanced position. The
former made possible a more efficient
administrative function, while the second
trailer enabled coverage of 65
communities throughout the Province.
The program embodied continued use of
press, radio, and television facilities as
well as display and point-of-sale material.
On the balance then, the general trend
of events might be said to have placed
the Branch's main activities in a
holding pattern, since any tangible
results of the shifts in legislative and
administrative measures will not become
apparent until 1975 and later.
The Branch played a minor advisory
role in the formulation of this amending
legislation and in the provision of the
order required to authorize the
B.C. Egg Marketing Board to fulfil its
obligations under the national egg
marketing plan. A similar order
on behalf of the B.C. Turkey Marketing
Board was drawn up in its entirety by
the Branch, as was the provision
for celery to be added to those vegetables
subject to marketing regulation by
the B.C. Coast Vegetable Marketing
Board.
In co-operation with Statistics
Canada, statistical data were provided
again during the year, some of which
were developed in consultation with the
Branch.   In return, the Branch provided
regular telegraphic reports to Ottawa
on general crop conditions during
the growing season.
Poultry
The year 1974 was notable for the
problems and difficulties that plagued all
sections of the industry, mainly in the
marketing area. The issues were
largely related to the involvement of
*R8»KiK '
... .........,
A,'.    '   .'J|H
•1
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~
-~J<5
■
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i ■   ■«"■"' -Us
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" i       ll
....
the Egg and Turkey Marketing Boards
under the national plan.   Egg marketing
was particularly contentious under
the Canadian Egg Marketing Agency
(CEMA) and received very wide
publicity in the national press.
Producers of eggs, chicken, and turkey
meat encountered sharply increased
costs of production during the year. Feed
costs in particular remained high.   In
order to remain profitable, the consumer
price also rose sharply and probably
caused some market resistance,
resulting in lower sales volume.   Egg
prices to producers advanced about
14 cents per dozen in 1974 over 1973,
and broiler prices rose about 5 cents
per pound. Turkey prices remained at
about 1973 levels.
The staff of the Poultry Branch planned
and supervised many projects at the
Poultry Test Station to demonstrate and
obtain information pertinent to poultry
production in British Columbia.
28
 Commercial feeds produced by several
companies in British Columbia
were compared to a known formulated
ration.   Strain tests of broilers and
turkeys were conducted to ensure that
British Columbia producers were using
the most satisfactory strains obtainable.
Heated concrete floors were installed
to test their suitability for broiler
and pullet production.   Several other
projects were conducted.
The Poultry Test Station has proved
to be a valuable asset to the work of the
extension staff of the Poultry Branch.
It provides a means for the examination
of problems associated with the
industry without excessive cost to
Government. The Test Station, in the
period December 1, 1973, to
December 1, 1974, returned $84,437,
less operating costs to general revenue.
The Poultry Branch staff organized
a B.C. Poultry Conference in October as
in past years.   Over 225 poultry
producers and representatives of the
industry heard speakers discuss various
subjects of interest to all phases of
the industry.
Disease problems of commercial
poultry are always a major production
factor in the Lower Mainland because of
the high concentration of poultry farms
in the relatively small area. The
Poultry Branch staff worked closely with
the Veterinary Laboratory in establishing
programs for combating disease
outbreaks.   Infectious laryngotracheitis,
a troublesome respiratory disease,
was brought under some control by the
development of new vaccination
procedures.
The Poultry Branch staff attends
meetings of producer organizations and
works with various committees on
problems within the industry. They
also attempt to maintain a liaison
with the various boards in order
that the staff is aware at all times
of developments within the
industry.
29
  SPECIAL
SERVICES
 ***
^P   -„■►
*       - ,
■■  4 *^^ £.ia£'..
"
 Agricultural Engineering
The Engineering Branch continued
to provide an advisory service to
British Columbia ranchers and farmers
on most aspects of engineering related to
agricultural production.   Requests
for engineering services increased
substantially in all categories in 1974,
particularly in farm structures, due
to establishment of farm income
assurance programs.
Farm drainage plans were completed
for 2,460 acres during 1974.   Major
construction and installation of
equipment was completed at the four
Fraser Valley sites of the $174,000
ARDA Drainage Research Project,
designed to improve farm drainage
techniques and cost-benefit information.
Irrigation feasibility studies were
carried out for 87 individual farmers and
167 plans for funding under the
ALDA Program were reviewed.
Irrigation instruction sessions were
attended by 18 farmers representing
9,330 acres of land and equipment
expenditures of $1,360,000.
The Farm Structures Planning Service
handled over 300 designs in 1974 at
a potential value of $7,000,000. Three
of these designs were for 300-cow
dairy operations, each representing an
expenditure of over $200,000.   Plans
and guidelines were prepared for
upgrading animal-waste management
systems.
Considerable time was devoted to
the problems of farm machinery spare
parts, service, and development and
to several demonstration projects designed
to encourage producers to adopt more
efficient techniques.
Dairy
While total Canadian milk production
in 1974 was down by an estimated
1.5 per cent, the dairy farmers of
British Columbia increased production
by 4.8 per cent, which topped for the
first time the one-billion-pound mark at
1,024,318,000 pounds.   Production
of cheddar cheese and butter increased
by 9.2 and 5.5 per cent respectively,
while ice cream mix was up 7.6 per cent
at 3,914,000 gallons.   Increases were
attributed to the implementation of
the B.C. Dairy Income Assurance
Program.
Significantly higher production costs
were evident in all sectors of the
industry.   Farm cash gross receipts
were estimated at just over $92.1
million compared to $68.7 million
in 1973. The Provincial dairy herd
increased by 3,000 cows to a total of
83,000.
Less milk was available for powder
and condensed milk, in view of
increased fluid milk sales, resulting in
operating problems in that sector of the
industry.
33
 5-year Production and Fluid Utilization
Summary
Production
Fluid Sales
Year
(Approximate
(Approximate
Million Pounds)
Million Pounds)
1970	
949.4
562.91
1971	
972.2
579.7
1972	
976.9
603.1
1973  -	
986.1
626.1
1974 (est.)
1,024.32
657.43 *
1 59 per cent of production.
- 8 per cent increase over 1970 production figure.
;; 17 per cent increase over 1970 fluid sales figure.
1 64 per cent of production.
Dairy farm and dairy plant
inspections contributed to the high
standards of milk quality. The Provincial
dairy plant inspection program was
centralized and the Federal industrial
milk standards were adopted to
provide a uniform nation-wide
inspection service.
Dairy Laboratory service was
improved to assist producers with quality
problems. There were only 17
suspensions resulting from noncompliance
with bacterial standards. The suspension
period was reduced from seven to
four days.
The Infra-red Milk Analysis Program
at the laboratory continued to provide
information for milk payments and
for over-all herd improvement purposes.
DATE Program
In 1973 the B.C. Department of
Agriculture initiated a program
to stimulate staff-supervised projects
aimed at increasing the net income
of farmers in British Columbia.
This program, called DATE
(Demonstration of Applied Technology
and Economics), produced dramatic
results in 1974.
In a province where there are hundreds
of thousands of acres of rangeland,
an Agricultural Land Development Act
for financing range improvement,
range-management expertise, and a
market for ranch finished beef, the
800-per-cent increase in grass production
demonstrated in one project was viewed
as the starting point for a major
range-improvement program.   In another
project, significant increases in legume
production were obtained in the
Interior through the application of
sulphur.
Frost, long recognized as a hazard
to tree-fruit production, was controlled
through the use of a wind-machine
installation in the Okanagan.
In Creston, new fungicides were
found for controlling apple scab
and information was collected that will
minimize the amount of spraying required
for codling moth control.
Another DATE project reported
that apples and pears from the
Okanagan should not be restricted by
the export market for fireblight
disease reasons.
In the Peace River area, an
investigation was funded to
document those areas growing high-
quality grain.
To answer the many questions
asked by farmers relative to taxation, a
special study was funded to investigate
impacts on income for farmers
considering incorporation. Two
publications will be available from this
study early in 1975.
For nurserymen, a technique for
propagating woody ornamentals was
demonstrated, thus reducing the need for
importing stock from outside the
Province.
In the Cariboo, ranchers were shown
how to utilize sawdust to regulate the
grain supplement intake by cattle.
34
 In the Fraser Valley, a study
use of cubes on dairy farms in anticipation
concluded that the most economic
of reducing the dependence of farmers
method of transporting alfalfa hay cubes
on hay supplies coming from south
from the Peace River was by piggyback
of the border.
rail transport. At the same time, trials
In summary, 32 projects were
were planned to demonstrate the
funded under the DATE Program.
Entomology
The Branch provided advisory services
in the area of insect and pest control
and continued to enforce policies designed
1
to curtail any irresponsible sale or
9ES
application of pesticides.   Branch
pFl
personnel provided the Royal
Br^^Zf
Commission of Inquiry into the Use of
mt         ^«ffl            n
Pesticides and Herbicides with
WmL ' "       -;»•■
considerable information concerned with
■k                Ji.
the safe use of pesticides. Also, service
■■/"d
was provided to the Interdepartmental
. • JJKm-i-
Pesticide Committee that handled
...            :.                                ...
189 proposed pesticide applications.
'. :                                                .            "                 ;                      '                              :                                     .
Six licences for handling pesticides
were suspended and 32 fines were
i <          ■  /5:1*fc  ::- *;>*:*■•■■■■ -:"":3!iJ*|fei:?fS        :
imposed for violations as a result of
■  -'•:':.■ :iMiiMlff|33|M,
over 2,500 inspections. A record number
.  M'         ',                   "                               '    - -   -nr.
of residue samples were analysed at
the Pesticide Laboratory.
No unusual outbreaks of tree-fruit
The mosquito problem was severe in
insects occurred in 1974.   Integrated
many areas due to high water. A
mite control using commercial
full-time agrologist was hired to handle
mite-counting services proved popular.
mosquito advisory and applied
Experiments with sex pheromones
research work.
for controlling codling moths were not
Numerous requests for insect
as productive as in 1972. The foundation
identification and control were handled
was laid for a major program of
routinely.   Many courses were presented
insect biological control for codling
throughout the Province for those
moths.
engaged in the sale and use of pesticides.
Farm Vacation Program
The Department introduced a
urban vacationers. A promotional
"Family Farm Vacation" Program in
brochure was published and distributed
1974. The Youth Development
to travel centres, creating public
Branch was given the co-ordinating
awareness of the program.   From
responsibility.
inquiries received near the end of the
Eighteen farm and ranches throughout
season a large number of farm
the Province participated as hosts to
vacationers are expected in 1975.
35
 Plant Pathology
There were an abundance of
moisture-associated diseases in the
spring and early summer of 1974
connected with the wet, cool temperatures
which prevailed earlier in the year.
In excess of 1,000 plant disease
specimens were examined and diagnosed.
A wide array of plant diseases
occurred in 1974, including two new
diseases for British Columbia—these were
anthracnose of ash and anthracnose
of the common privet hedge (a widely
used ornamental).   Field and vegetable
crop diseases were at a moderate level
during the cool, wet spring weather
but tapered off as the summer became
warmer and drier.
A total of 627 cherry trees, infected
with little cherry disease, was removed to
control the spread of a disease that
could have ended the Okanagan cherry
industry. There was a significant increase
in the number of cherry trees infected
with a relatively new disease called
target spot.
Fourteen research and extension
projects were undertaken in a wide variety
of field, vegetable, and fruit crops.
Soils
Reconnaissance surveys, to provide
information for resource planning
and management, continued with special
emphasis centred on the Omineca-Parsnip,
Vancouver Island, and Northwest
Project areas.   In 1974, 12,269,000
acres were surveyed for use in resource
planning and management.   Capability
for agriculture ratings were applied to
12,484,000 acres and forestry ratings to
11,999,000 acres during the year.
Assistance was provided to the B.C.
Land Commission in the production of
agricultural land reserve maps, the processing of appeals, and on-site inspections.
Requests for advisory assistance in
soils, irrigation, drainage, and related
problems continued to increase in 1974.
Major publications produced were
Illustrated Key to the Gymnospers of B.C.
and the Nechako-Frangois Lake
Soils Report.
36
 Veterinary
The general incidence of disease
continued low in the livestock population
in British Columbia.
A historic event occurred when the
distribution of brucella strain 19
vaccine was turned over to the Health of
Animals Branch, Agriculture Canada,
on July 1, 1974, as this ended the
Federal-Provincial Brucellosis Control
Program which commenced July 15,
1950.   Calves inoculated under
the program totalled 812,882.
This calfhood vaccination program was
the foundation on which the Province was
finally declared free of brucellosis
in 1970.   Eradication of this disease
removed a serious financial burden
from farmers and the potential threat of
undulant fever to humans.
Veterinary inspection of livestock was
provided at public sale yards in the
Lower Fraser Valley area.   In the fall
months, veterinary inspection commenced
at sale yards located at Cranbrook,
Vernon, Merritt, Kamloops, Okanagan
Falls, Williams Lake, Salmon Arm, and
PrinceGeorge. A total of 232,271
livestock went through all sale yards,
4,198 head fewer than the previous year.
The Veterinary Laboratory continued
to provide a vital service to the livestock
and poultry industry.
Brand inspection service, to curtail
rustling, continued. The B.C. Cattlemen's
Association expressed some interest
in accepting responsibility for this
service in the future.
 Youth Development
4-H is an informal educational
and recreational program which has
as its over-all objective the personal
development of young people.
Membership in 4-H is open to young
people from 9 to 19 years of age.   Clubs
are formed around a wide variety of
projects, with leadership provided by
volunteer adults. The Youth
Development Branch enrolled 4,284
members and 771 leaders in 269 4-H
Clubs in 1974.
Members participated in a wide variety
of travel and exchange programs and
experienced an increased awareness
of Canada and the Federal Government,
the Canadian legal system, the
environment, and 4-H on a national
and international level.
A three-day Provincial 4-H Leaders
Conference was initiated in 1974.
Twenty-four volunteer leaders
participated in the event, which was
held at Naramata, B.C.. The conference
focused on leadership skills and working
with young people. This innovative
program proved very successful and
will be continued as an annual event.
The approval of four new professional
positions for the Youth Development
Branch in 1974 will greatly improve the
level of service provided to the 4-H leaders
and members throughout the Province.
Through activities such as camps,
conferences, activities at fairs, travel
programs, and club and project work,
the 4-H program is helping to produce
top-quality young people with positive
attitudes and definite goals.
Printed by K. M. MacDonald, Printer to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty
in right of the Province of British Columbia.
1975
38
  ,'G:
I  i   !
LITHOGRAPHED IN CANADA BY K. M. MacDONALD. QUEEN'S PRINTER. VICTORIA. BRITISH COLUMBIA !  /\   ■

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