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 To the Honourable
Walter Stewart Owen, Q.C., LL.D.,
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 1973.
Minister of Agriculture
Department of Agriculture,
Victoria, B.C.
 The Honourable David D. Stupich, B.S.A., C.A.
Minister of Agriculture
 S. B. Peterson, B.S.A.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture
 a message from the minister of agriculture
In many respects the year 1973 will be remembered as a turning point in the history of agriculture in British Columbia. This was brought about
by a combination of forces, most of which resulted
from developments somewhat removed from the
routine operations of the farming community.
Indeed, there was little, in terms of physical farm
output, to distinguish 1973 from any other year.
During the early months it became evident that
far-reaching changes were already under way in
the social and economic fabric of the industry.
These were underlined by measures designed to
preserve the basic resource, agricultural land,
which led to the establishment of the British Columbia Land Commission. This, in turn, focused
public attention on the need for prudent husbandry, not only of land, but of all other resources
as well.
Coupled with these were a number of changes
in the approach to the long-standing economic
problems of the man on the land. It was recognized that, in addition to the preservation of the
land itself, provision must also be made for the
economic well-being of those who derive their
livelihood directly from it. Among the tangible
steps taken to achieve this goal in 1973 was the
establishment, in consultation with those directly
concerned, of a plan to strengthen and stabilize
the dairy industry at the producer level. This plan
was implemented in December of 19*73. Plans
for similar measures were commenced during the
year in respect of other sectors of agriculture.
At the secondary level, a long-term policy aimed
at stimulating the growth of the processing phase
of the industry in co-operation with organized
primary producer groups was initiated. Din
Governmental participation in the acquisition ol
producer-controlled poultry processing pig
marked the initial step in this direction.
While these developments hold far-reachi
implications not only for agriculture but for sock
at large, they were overshadowed in the pub
mind by significant increases in the prices of foo<
As price levels continued steadily upward, t
public, after years of relative neglect of the subje
became acutely aware of the vital role of agrici
ture in sustaining the economy.
This may be said to have marked the end of
era in which the availability of abundant food su
plies at relatively low prices had come to be tak
for granted. In its place, there came into bei
a clearer understanding of agriculture and
greater appreciation of its importance in the to
scheme of things. This, in turn, led to a realizati<
of the interdependence of all basic industries ai
all segments of society.
To those among us directly concerned, the
discernible trends in 1973 were recognized, sor
even welcomed. At the same time, it becar
abundantly clear during the year that these devi
opments carried with them a sharp challenge, i
quiring sound thinking and resolute action. T
challenge has been accepted.
idr^e. ^^^/^
Minister of Agriculture
port of the department of agriculture
In 1973, British Columbia's agricultural indus-
was marked with rising prices for farm prod-
s coupled with rising production costs stemming
m world shortages.   British Columbia shared in
upward trends in prices and stronger markets
most agricultural commodities. Total gross in-
ne to farmers of $381,428,000, less total oper-
lg expenses and depreciation of $250,289,000,
: a net income to farmers of $131,139,000.  The
in the index of farm prices for agricultural
iducts reflected the changing picture. The index
ved up 25.6 points over the previous year to
1.4, with 1961 = 100. Part of the increase in
urns was caused by monetary inflation rather
n an increase in total productivity.
The Land Commission Act was passed during
Spring Session of the Legislature. The Land
mmission and local government authorities
rked co-operatively to establish land-use re-
ves for agriculture and acquired some land for
en belts, land banks, and parks.
The    Agricultural    Land    Development    Act
DA) replaced the Farmers' Land-clearing As-
nce Act. Between April 1, when it was intro-
ed, and the year-end, contracts totalling $2
ion were approved. This was a fourfold in-
ase over the previous programme.
ourteen pieces of agricultural legislation were
sed  in the  Fall Session of the Legislature.
ong these, the Agricultural Credit Act, the
m Income Assurance Act, and the Farm Prod-
Industry Improvement Act were key illusions of how action was taken to ensure that
ners receive a fair return on their investment,
jur, and other costs of production. Farmers
entitled to incomes and living standards at least
al to the levels enjoyed by other workers in the
^ cost-sharing agreement between the Federal
Provincial Governments provided assistance to
Peace River grain producers for 1972 crop losses.
Early in 1973 the Province paid $2.50 per eligible seeded acre of wheat, barley, oats, rapeseed,
and legumes up to a maximum of 400 acres per
Under Phase II of this programme, the Province
provided interest-free, guaranteed loans so farmers
could be assured of having enough operating capital to seed their 1973 crops. Loans of $10 per
acre were available to farm operators up to a maximum of 500 acres each.
Drought conditions, following a severe winterkill, greatly reduced forage production throughout
the Interior of the Province. The severity of the
drought, from February to September, is illustrated
in the Kamloops records where precipitation was
only 35 per cent of average. Alfalfa fields suffered
most. The Province implemented a Forage Transportation Assistance Policy with Federal support
to alleviate stress on live-stock producers.
Dairying accounted for one-quarter of the total
farm income. An estimated 979,867,000 pounds
of milk were produced. This is an increase of only
0.3 per cent over 1972. In November a Milk
Market Sharing Quota Agreement was signed with
the Federal Government. It was expected to provide an additional $1,200,000 for dairy farmers.
This additional income, coupled with an increase
in production, was expected to help the industry
meet the increasing demand for fluid milk.
The Dairy Income Assurance Programme,
under the Farm Income Assurance Act, became
effective December 1, 1973. Participating dairymen are guaranteed recovery of their basic cost of
producing quota milk. The programme was designed to encourage dairy producers to stay in
business to ensure that adequate supplies of fluid
milk and dairy products will be available in the
With new legislation developed and approved
during the year, it is expected that the poultry and
live-stock industries will be encouraged to accelerate toward a stable pattern of growth.    British
 Columbia cattlemen sought security of tenure in
grazing leases, action in developing feedlot finishing of beef cattle in the Province, and an approach
to improved marketing systems and facilities. The
cattle industry also expressed its growing concern
over the problem of predators. Each of these
requests is being pursued by the Department of
Early in the year, firm market demand raised
the prices of live stock. During fall delivery
months, the cattle market weakened.
A proposed poultry-processing plant for the
southern Interior will help fill an industry need for
that area.
Nearly all horticultural crops reached high price
levels. At IV2 million bushels, the apple crop was
one of the best in many years. Sixteen million
pounds of cherries were harvested. Peach, pear,
apricot, and prune production and market returns
were above 1972 levels. Winter injury to grape
vines was estimated to have caused a 50-per-cent
reduction in grape production.
The honey industry received a much needed lift
from increased producer returns. Number one
white honey went as high as 53 cents per pound,
compared with 33Vi cents in 1972.
The Demonstration of Agricultural Technology
and Economics (DATE) Programme was introduced to assist and encourage the adoption of new
practices at farm level. This $100,000 programme
resulted in the initiation of 19 demonstrations of
new technology in various areas of the Province.
The Department continued its research support
programme by funding 13 special investigations at
the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences at the University of British Columbia. All projects were
approved by the Science Lead Committees of
the British Columbia Agricultural Services Coordinating Committee.
The administrative structure of the Department
was reorganized. Branches were organized into
five main sections—General Services, Special Services, Production and Marketing Services, Administrative Services, and Policy Development and
Planning. The Information Services Branch was
established during the year. The title of the 4-H
Division was changed to "Youth Development
Branch" in order to cover its expanded role.
The Agricultural Development and Extensii
Branch continued its up-to-date advisory servic
to farmers through a multiplicity of educatior
and service programmes. While the effectives
of extension programmes cannot always be read
measured, adoption of improved technology
improved practices leads ultimately to an increa
in production. Service to the agricultural indusl
has been made more effective through a team z
proach in extension programme development.
The Farm Business Management Programi
undertaken in co-operation with the Farm Ec
nomics Branch received high priority in the exte
sion programme. Enrolment remained at the sai
level as 1972. The National CANFARM Pi
gramme enrolment increased; enrolment in 1
Provincial programme declined. During the ye
various workshops and courses for staff streng
ened the farm management service.
Loss of forage stands in the Cariboo and sou
ern Interior during the 1972/73 winter resulted
many requests for advice on cropping alternativ
seed-bed preparation, and fertility. Numerc
field crop improvement programmes were c<
ducted in all regions in co-operation with the Fi
Crops Branch. Field days provided answers
many farmers on questions of forage variety sel
tion and management.
Both the soil analysis and the forage anal}
programmes   continued   to   gain   acceptance
farmers.   Fertilizer and forage shortages and c
increases strengthened appreciation of these p
Severe infestations and widespread populate
of grasshoppers were evident in mid-summer
most range areas. Grasshopper Control Cc
mittees received advisory service from Dist
District Agriculturists co-operated with the L
Stock and Veterinary Branches in carrying out
Live Stock Programme. Performance testing
purebred and commercial live stock, bull insp
tions, calf loss surveys, and fertility studies w
the main activities of this programme.
The Branch offered agricultural advisory 1
vices  to  British  Columbia  residents   of  na
The Branch continued to use the mass media as
n extension tool. Radio, newspaper articles, and
istrict newsletters have been effective as an in-
irmative service.
Studies of water, climate, plant species, soils,
ildlife, vegetation, and trees were continued under
le Maxan Lake Multi Land Use Project.
Guided by the Department's Christmas Tree
pecialist, the plantation tree industry, centred in
juthwestern British Columbia, continued to ex-
and, with new plantings exceeding 200,000 trees
nd a harvest of about 45,000 trees in 1973.
In 1973 a total of 1,784 beekeepers operated
3,000 colonies of bees. The honey crop in British
olumbia was 3,384,150 pounds, compared with
339,660 pounds in 1972, an increase of 44,490
There was a sharp increase in the demand for
sney. The price of number one white honey
inged between 50 to 55 cents per pound f.o.b.
le producer's plant, a significant increase over the
972 price of 33Vi cents per pound, and a sub-
antial rise from the low point of 14 cents in 1971.
eekeepers who had been able to hang on through
le recent poor years were able to recoup a por-
on of their losses. However, production cost in-
eases offset price increases. For example, the
)st of package bees went up 15 per cent in 1973
id at year-end the 1974 price was expected to be
Duble the 1973 level. The cost of hive equipment
is also risen sharply in the past two years.
The severe drought of the British Columbia In-
rior adversely affected production. Honey pro-
ucers in the Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys
irvested only 113,050 pounds of honey, com-
ired with the 500,000-pound average for the
:gion. In the Lillooet, Merritt, Thompson, and
luswap Valleys the harvest was only 80,000
aunds, compared with the normal harvest of
30,000 pounds.
In 7,980 colonies inspected for disease, 4.72 per
:nt were found to be infected with American foul-
•ood (AFB). The increase in brood diseases is
irtially attributed to a corresponding increase in
the numbers of beginner beekeepers, and the use
of previously stored beehive equipment.
In total, 4,657 colonies were rented to growers
of tree fruits, small fruits, white dutch clover, and
certain vegetable crops for seed. Beekeepers received a total of $52,136 for pollination services.
Because of the predicted high cost of package
bees for 1974, 19 Alberta beekeepers overwintered
5,000 colonies in southern British Columbia.
Beekeepers from the Peace River area of British
Columbia moved 1,000 colonies south for overwintering.
In 1973 the General ARDA Programme completed 10 years of activity in British Columbia
under the Agricultural and Rural Development
Act. During the year, 20 projects with a total estimated cost of $8.3 million and financial assistance
of $4.8 million were approved. Six projects were
for irrigation and farm water systems. The British
Columbia Land Inventory had five continuing projects approved, and other approved projects were
for community pastures and rural development.
In the Bulkley-Nechako Rural Development
Region, two sawmill operators received approval
for grants totalling $530,000 to help them modernize facilities, provide new jobs, and increase their
output of logs and rough lumber for farmers in
the area.
The ARDA Programme continued to operate
under the Third Federal/Provincial Rural Development Agreement. The agreement provides for
joint project participation, with the Federal and
Provincial Governments sharing the cost equally.
The Special ARDA Programme, supplementing
the General Programme, contains economic and
social adjustment measures primarily for people
of native ancestry. Under the programme, financial assistance was approved for 12 projects, varying from feedlot enterprises to fish-processing
At year-end, 86 maps had been printed under
the British Columbia Land Inventory (BCLI) Programme. Various committees, such as those operating under ARDA and the Environment and Land
Use Act and the Land Commission Act. made
 "The Land Commission Act was passed during the Spring Session of the Legislature.
The Land Commission and local government authorities worked co-operatively to establish
land-use reserves for agriculture and acquired some land for green belts, land banks, and
 ular use of BCLI data in preparing recommen-
tions on land use.
The Crop Insurance Branch continued to ad-
inister four programmes offering insurance cov-
age to tree-fruit growers, grape producers, berry
owers, and grain farmers. Under a new Federal/
ovincial agreement, the Federal Government of-
■ed to pay 50 per cent of the premium cost,
uble the previous contribution of 25 per cent,
return, the Provincial Government paid the full
st of programme administration.
During the year the Branch undertook the
eration of its own grain, grape, berry, and tree-
tit crop insurance programmes, formerly admin-
sred by private agencies. Crops were insured by
146 growers for the total sum of $9,290,636.
ital premium income was $837,948. The amount
id for claims is estimated at $374,422.
There was a 12-per-cent increase in the number
participants in the tree-fruit programme. This
is a reversal of a recent declining trend. The
inge in the cost-sharing formula increased fall
es of policies for the following crop-year (1974).
The number of participants in both the berry
)gramme and the grape programme decreased.
The number of farmers using the grain insurance
igramme was more than four times greater than
the year previous; 540 compared with 133 in
72. The increase stemmed largely from the
ly implementation of the Federal/Provincial
eement, with reduced premium costs to growers,
^.apeseed became eligible for coverage under
grain crop insurance programme for the first
arm cash receipts from all dairy products plus
ipts from cull cows and unneeded calves are
mated at $60.8 million for 1973.
istimated total milk production of 979,867,000
nds is 0.3 per cent above 1972.    Fluid sales
ed on the first nine months are up 3.5 per cent,
butter production dropped 15 per cent and
ddar cheese dropped 4.7 per cent. Producer
es rose substantially. Class I milk in the
ser Valley was $8.38 per cwt. in January and
62 in December.
The British Columbia Dairy Council, consisting of dairy plant representatives, was incorporated under the Societies Act. The Council will
work with Government on standards, packaging,
metric conversion, etc., and in the area of product
promotion, with the producer Dairy Products Promotion Fund Committee.
During the year, cost of production increases
caused a levelling-off in milk production. If the
trend developing late in the year continues, there
is a definite possibility that the supply of fresh fluid
milk will be inadequate to meet Provincial needs.
At year-end a new plan to stabilize dairy farm incomes was implemented under the British Columbia Dairy Income Assurance Programme.
Dairy farm and dairy plant inspections were
maintained. The number of fluid milk dairy farms
dropped to 1,364 from 1,466. Equipment installations received increased attention. At dairy
plants, finished product quality held at a high level.
The Dairy Branch, in conjunction with the British Columbia Institute of Technology, offered a
general dairy course to industry workers in the
Greater Vancouver area. A correspondence course
was offered for workers in outside areas.
The number of bacteriological, IRMA, and
chemical analyses performed by the Dairy Laboratory was approximately the same as the previous
year. In the bacteriological section, there was a
9-per-cent decrease in the number of analyses.
This was largely the result of reduced sampling on
the soft ice cream programme. The usual high
standards of milk quality were maintained. There
were only 17 suspensions from 16,864 samples.
A drop in the number of producers caused a slight
reduction in the number of IRMA composite
analyses. Dairy Herd Improvement Association
(DHIA) samples increased slightly because of an
increase in average herd size, with 624 herds on
test in 1973 compared with 626 in 1972.
Official requests for services of the Engineering
Branch were more numerous and the potential expenditure by farmers was greater for 1973 than in
any of the past four years.
The forage shortage brought a marked increase
 "The Dairy Income Assurance Programme, under the Farm Income Assurance Act,
became effective December 1, 1973. Participating dairymen are guaranteed recovery of
their basic cost of producing quota milk."
 requests for assistance in designing irrigation
stems. In nine locations, irrigation workshops
ere attended by 159 farmers, whose total of
early 12,000 acres had a potential equipment ex-
enditure of $1,750,000. To further improve the
inction of "trickle" irrigation, trials for tree fruits
nd row crops continued to operate in the Okan-
gan and Fraser Valley.
Detailed design plans for farm drainage systems
ere prepared for areas totalling nearly 1,400
:res. ARDA funds of $174,000 made possible a
search project which will determine yield com-
irisons of four major soil types in the Fraser Val-
y. Preliminary results are expected by the end
! 1974.
Assistance in remodelling or building new live-
ock housing was requested by 179 individuals
hose expenditures would range from $5,000 to
100,000. Catalogues of modern agricultural en-
neering plans are located in all district offices.
The Farmers' Land-clearing Assistance Act was
placed by the Agricultural Land Development
ct (ALDA). This brought significant changes and
newed vitality to this function. The changeover
ite was April 1, 1973. In the first nine months
ider ALDA, $2 million in contracts were issued,
proximately a fourfold increase. Under these
ogrammes, over 200,000 acres of land have been
;ared in British Columbia.
Functions of the Entomology Branch continued
include advisory services on entomology prob-
tns, the operation of the British Columbia
sticide Laboratory, administration of pesticide
gulations, and the rodent and starling control
The Branch submitted a brief to the Royal Com-
ission on the Use of Pesticides and Herbicides.
There were no serious large-scale insect out-
eaks in 1973. However, unusually large num-
rs of grasshoppers were evident in many areas,
ivourable weather brought a sharp increase, par-
ularly in the drier areas. Ideal egg-laying con-
ions left the prospect of increased grasshopper
pulations in 1974.
No unusual outbreaks of tree-fruit insects oc-
rred in 1973.   Mite control on apples continued
to improve under the integrated control programmes. No increase in the spread of cherry
fruit fly appeared. Experiments with sex phero-
mone attractants showed further promise for codling moth control for individual grower's situations.
At Kamloops and Creston, leaf cutter bees were
used in successful demonstrations of alfalfa seed
production. Yields of 400 and 470 pounds per
acre were obtained in the demonstration.
The Provincial Pesticide Laboratory continued
to analyse a large range of vegetable, animal, and
water samples for pesticide and herbicide residues
throughout the year.
As in previous years, information on pest control was provided to agricultural producers, pesticide applicators and dispensers, home gardeners,
and personnel of Government agencies. Numerous
requests for the identification and control of hundreds of different species of insects were received
and processed routinely. Forty courses of one to
two days each were held throughout the Province
for those engaged in the commercial application of
While the analysis of input data for individual
farm managers remained a prime function of the
Farm Economics Branch, there was an increasing
emphasis on data relevant to entire enterprises and
industry as well. This became pronounced with
the implementation of the Dairy Income Assurance Programme under the Farm Income Assurance Act. As other commodity groups seek
benefits under the Act, the need for basic cost
information will increase. The Branch remained
responsible for securing original cost data as well
as the monthly updating of these data.
As a result of requests by farm managers for
information beyond economic data, the Branch
arranged to produce a booklet on Farmers and the
Tax Laws.
During the year the Federal/Provincial Small
Farm Development Programme was initiated. The
Branch became responsible for the administration
of this programme. Response to the programme
was minimal, possibly due to criteria restrictions.
At year-end, the terms of the agreement were
being renegotiated with the Federal Government.
 In total, 276 farm managers were registered on
the Farm Business Management Programme in
1973 as compared with 335 in 1972. Although
fewer farmers joined the programme, the informal
demand for services of this Branch reached new
heights over the past year. There is a growing
recognition of the necessity for well-kept farm
records and cost data. These items are essential
for farm decisions and Government policy formulation.
Forage crops held the spotlight in 1973 because
of disaster conditions for some live-stock producers. Abnormally low temperatures and a lack
of snow cover led to the destruction of large acreages of forage crops. Also, new seedlings were
injured by one of the severest droughts on record.
Irrigation water was often in short supply and
drought resulted in abnormally low yields of forage stands, particularly in the southern Interior.
As a result of this, the British Columbia Government approved a Forage Transportation Assistance
Policy to live-stock producers located south of the
55th parallel. The policy was instrumental in
halting the disposal of a large number of beef and
dairy cattle. By year-end, claims for 22,486 tons
of forage had been received.
Despite difficulties with spring harvest, seeding,
early frost, and box car shortages, 1973 was a
much better year than 1972 in the main grain-
producing area. Unprecedented high prices for
cereal grains increased the value of these crops to
$24,889,219, including the spring harvest, compared with $6,325,550 in 1972.
The heavy demand for feed grains, coupled
with transportation difficulties, resulted in serious
shortages of supply in the Lower Mainland and
Vancouver Island. Emergency measures had to
be taken. The unprecedented world demand for
protein continued to cause prices of concentrate
supplements to rise far beyond expectation.
Construction of an alfalfa dehydration and cubing plant at Dawson Creek began during the year.
Range production was reduced in 1973 because
of drought and cool weather, but above-normal
precipitation toward the end of the year improved
the outlook for 1974.   Many acres of leased and
deeded range were in urgent need of reseeding
allow for better management of native grasslanc
Seed production was generally good for 197
There was some decline in acreage, particular
alsike clover. Good crops of fescue were ha
vested, making a large total production.
Changes in the Soil Test Programme included
revised report form, a nitrate test for all sample
sulphur tests for Interior soils, and boron determ
nations on request. In total, 82,300 determin
tions were made during the year, compared wi
61,650 in 1972.
The Department assumed full responsibility ft
the Feed and Tissue Testing Laboratory in 197
This facility was formerly on a shared sponsorsh
basis with the tree fruit and cattle industries. Tot
revenue of the combined soil, feed, and tissue te;
ing services was $19,859.
Growers  in  most  sectors  were  optimistic
prices for their products increased and the Provi
cial and Federal Governments moved to assist
providing economic betterment.
The apple crop was estimated at IV2 millii
bushels; Wi million bushels more than the 19'
crop. The fruit size exceeded early estimates 1
as much as 20 per cent. A direct diversion pr
gramme to obtain peelers and juice offered $H
per ton for peelers and $45 per ton for jui
apples. Response to the programme was goc
For the first time, Spartan apples topped the
million bushel mark, while Golden and R
Delicious also reached record highs.
Under ideal weather conditions, the cherry h;
vest produced a record crop averaging 20.5 cei
a pound. About 25 per cent of the crop w
A return to larger peach and apricot crops w
seen in 1973, along with a welcome rise in pric
An increased peach acreage has more than ma
up for the removal of many old trees.
The pear crop was IV2 million pounds larj
than the previous year. Prices for Anjou pe;
were one dollar per box higher than last year.
Low temperatures during fall and winter da
aged grape vines.  As a result, 1973's grape cr
 as reduced by about 50 per cent. Interest in
w grape plantings continued.
Yields of strawberries were extremely variable,
nging in excess of 5 tons per acre to as little as
4 tons. For the first time in four years, the
ice of processing berries (20 to 23 cents per
mnd) exceeded the cost of production.
Prices for processing raspberries exceeded 40
nts per pound, eclipsing the record price of 36
nts in 1972. Over 300 acres of raspberries were
inted last year.
The highbush blueberry industry produced 5.9
llion pounds, its highest on record. The cran-
rry industry had a record crop of 11.5 million
unds and the mushroom growers produced an
imated high figure of 5.8 million pounds.
frhe Information Services Branch was formed
ing the year. A Director was appointed; the
wmation Officer position in Victoria was dis-
ntinued. The Branch took on and expanded the
ictions previously handled by the Information
ficer, the Publications Committee, and the Com-
inications Committee. Functions such as ad-
nistration of the Department's advertising pro-
imme and the production of Department reports
re transferred from the Markets and Statistics
inch to become the responsibility of the Infor-
tion Services Branch. The television and radio
ts at Kelowna became part of the new Branch.
t Colony Farm and Tranquille, the 1973 value
produce supplied to the various institutions
ched an all-time high of $939,403. The quants of milk, cream, meat, potatoes, vegetables,
canned fruit distributed to the various institu-
is under the Departments of Health and Attor-
■-General met normal requirements.
The dairy cattle units at both farms performed
!l. The Colony herd won the junior and female
mpionships at the Pacific National Exhibition.
; senior champion Colony Vrouka Colantha
xime was named the Grand Champion.
Beef herd numbers at Tranquille remained
hanged.    Selections were based on results of
the home test programme designed for commercial
herds. Cattle from the Tranquille herd were used
for controlled grazing trials on the Game Branch
High pork prices early in the year created a
heavy demand for breeding stock. Breeding-age
boars were imported from Alberta and Ontario.
Selection of breeding stock will be further aided
by the fat-probe programme initiated in the Colony
herd in co-operation with Agriculture Canada.
The complete Pacific National Exhibition exhibit
brought out major winners in the market classes
and the champion boar in the Yorkshire breed
Several new Acts directly related to Live Stock
Branch activities were approved during the year.
The Live-stock Production Act replaced the Animals Act; the Domestic Animal Protection Act
replaced the Sheep Protection Act; and the Cattle
Industry Development Act replaced the British
Columbia Beef Cattle Producers' Assistance Act.
The Beef Grading Act was instituted in response
to a request by the British Columbia Cattlemen's
Association. The Stock Brands Act was changed
to include sheep and swine in the definition of
Enrolment in the Beef R.O.P. Herd Test Programme continued to increase in 1973. The
Branch reported 171 herds, representing a total of
8,289 animals on test, compared with 156 herds
and 5,582 animals in 1972. Complementing this
was the seventh Bull Test Station run at Tranquille, with 35 cattlemen contributing a total of
116 bulls.
This was the 60th year that the Provincial Milk
Recording Programme had been operated by the
Department. At year-end, there were 31,433 cows
in 624 herds being tested under the Provincial
Dairy Herd Improvement (DHI) Programme, an
increase of 1,163 cows over the same date a year
ago. Average herd size is now 50.4 cows, continuing the trend toward more cows per herd.
Numbers of sheep remained fairly stable within
the Province in 1973. Prices for lamb and wool
improved considerably, but rising feed costs offset
some of the gains.   The Peace River area con-
 tinued to promote sheep production.
In 1973, 35 boars were probed under the British
Columbia Swine R.O.P. Programme, the same
number as in 1972. Interest in the programme is
decreasing; some producers have primarily used
it to qualify animals for show purposes.
The British Columbia Swine Breeders submitted
a brief to the Department outlining certain improvements for the industry. Some of the suggestions were acted upon by Government and
The Feed Analysis Service handled a 7-per-cent
increase in samples submitted and a 51-per-cent
increase in requested ration recommendations over
the previous year. Transfer of the Animal Nutritionist to Kelowna enabled the Department to
increase the efficiency of the service during 1973.
The Markets and Statistics Branch established a
branch office in Burnaby as the centre of the
Department's British Columbia Food Products
Promotion Programme. Designated the Food Information Service, its basic purpose is to acquaint
the public with the quality and availability of
British Columbia-grown food products. Part of
the programme was built around the theme "The
Freshest Foods in Town," and coupled with this
was the stylized dogwood emblem worded "Home
Grown B.C. Quality" designed for easy recognition of featured products. Press, radio, and television were utilized as part of the promotional
A mobile trailer kitchen was used to display
"B.C. Home Grown" food in 31 communities.
The Branch represented the Department on a
committee engaged in a detailed study of Canadian
agricultural export trade, and its potential for
increases in volume. A comprehensive report was
compiled and released in mid-year.
There were two developments of note in marketing during the year. The first event was a
plebiscite held for commercial growers of greenhouse tomatoes and cucumbers to determine
whether a majority would have their products
made subject to regulations under the British Columbia Coast Vegetable Scheme. The resulting
vote revealed 72 per cent were in favour and the
scheme was amended to incorporate these proc
ucts. The second event involved violations o
British Columbia Fruit Board regulations by I
group of dissident growers. A plebiscite was take
in December to ascertain whether the system (
one-desk selling under terms of the British Colun
bia Tree Fruit Marketing Scheme enjoyed majoril
support among growers at large. Results showe
62 per cent of those voting, who operate about 7
per cent of the orchard acreage, favoured th
The Plant Pathology Branch reported th;
fungus and bacterial diseases were generally le
severe in 1973 than usual. Healthy crop develo]
ment in many areas was favoured by dry, war
weather during the growing season. On the oth
hand, low winter temperatures and light sno
cover in the Interior damaged alfalfa, young frui
trees, and grapes. At the Coast, some fields h;
strawberry plant crown injury as high as 50 p
A new major outbreak of little cherry vir
disease occurred in the Penticton and Narama
areas. In total, 114 little cherry infected tre
were discovered and removed.
Yellowing and stunting of alfalfa was comm<
in the Cariboo. Probable causes, including wint
injury, drought, boron deficiency, and virus d
eases, are not easily segregated. An alfalfa surv
of the Shuswap, Kamloops, and Cache Creek are
showed little evidence of disease or nemato
The Branch continued its regular function
diagnosing plant disease and recommending mel
ods for control. New diseases were encounter
from time to time and were brought to the atte
tion of research workers. Numerous commerc
specimens were submitted for disease diagnosis
District Horticulturists and District Agriculturis
Many garden specimens were submitted direc
by urban dwellers.
The newly formed British Columbia Plant P:
tection Advisory Council, composed of represen
tives of commodity groups and the Federal a
Provincial Governments, used the team appro;
to evaluate and discuss crop problems. The Coi
 also advised on the preparation of legislation
recommended additional research or exten-
« when needed.
Radical change highlighted the British Colum-
i poultry industry picture for 1973. The Egg
irketing Board and Turkey Marketing Board
ned agreements under the National Products
irketing Council. A cost-of-production formula
s developed as a guide to the establishment of
iducer prices.
To poultry men, the big worry was the cost of
d, particularly protein concentrates.    Initially,
escalating feed cost was primarily caused by
price of soybean meal, which rose from $120
more than $400 per ton. Prices of other protein
ds also increased because they were being used
replacements.   By the end of the year the cost
16 per cent laying ration was about double that
mid-1972.   While all branches of the industry
wed a notable increase in farm value in 1973
r 1972, it should be noted that, owing to rising
costs,   a  producer's   net  income  position
wed relatively little increase,
"he British Columbia Poultry Conference was
in organized by the Poultry Branch staff.  Over
) producers and representatives from the indus-
attended the one-day conference,
he British Columbia Poultry Test Station at
botsford was used to its fullest extent to serve
industry.    Commercial feeds were compared
l a known formulated ration in the feed-testing
ject.  Test work also consisted of strain testing
broilers and turkeys so staff could advise pro-
ers on the relative merits of available strains
er British Columbia conditions,
"he Test Station is not entirely dependent on
wtment funds.    It returned $66,293 to gen-
revenue in  1973, reflecting a surplus over
rating expenses of nearly $20,000.
test to discover a method for reducing the
ur and fly control problems associated with
D-pit cage-laying houses was continued,
he poultry Farm Business Management Pro-
nme again proved satisfactory. Thirty-nine
is participated in the programme; six pro-
3rs used the British Columbia Farm Account
Book, and the remainder used the CANFARM
It was a reasonably satisfactory year for turkey
producers. Higher prices kept more or less in
balance with higher production costs. Production
was increased for all classes of turkeys, with an
average increase of about 25 per cent over 1972.
Sales showed a notable climb also.
Demand remained strong for reconnaissance
surveys. These are conducted to obtain data on
soil, landforms, and vegetation. Recommendations are then based on this information. Soil
Survey staff devoted most of their time to reconnaissance surveys and related activities.
A sharp increase in the need for special purpose
information made it necessary to divert some of
the staff from reconnaissance work. The largest
such project was the production of proposed Agriculture Reserve Maps for British Columbia. This
project was a result of the Land Commission Act
and the need for information, enabling the regional
districts to prepare agricultural land reserve plans.
About 240 maps were produced. These covered
all major agricultural areas throughout the Province. They indicated that nearly 10 million acres
should be considered for inclusion in agricultural
Collection of vegetation data continued in 1973.
The South Okanagan and North Okanagan map
sheets were completed. Forestry and wildlife
interests made strong demands for this information.
Requests for advisory assistance on soil problems increased. Two staff members were primarily
engaged in this work, but all personnel have provided specialist advice in varying degrees. Advisory assistance in the southern Interior is chiefly
related to irrigation; in the Lower Coastal region
it usually involves drainage.
A large number of soil samples were again
analysed in the Soils Laboratory, with a greater
emphasis placed on physical analyses. More than
half the analyses were for special project work in
which the initiating agency provided the funds for
personnel and supplies.
The Canada Land Inventory Programme was
 continued on a reduced scale. The forestry programme, editing of capability maps and narratives,
and action on the Intersector Analyses Committee
were the chief features of this work.
In 1973, reconnaissance soil surveys covered
6,490,000 acres; broad reconnaissance soil surveys, 5,000,000 acres; capability for agriculture
ratings, 6,490,000 acres; and capability for forestry ratings, 6,490,000 acres.
Few serious outbreaks of disease occurred
among the live-stock population in British Columbia. Six horses were found to be infected with
western equine encephalomyelitis (WEE) compared with 17 in 1972. Infectious laryngotrache-
itis (ILT) of chickens continued to be a serious
problem. Outside of WEE and ILT, the general
incidence of disease continued to be low.
Calf diseases caused concern and the viruses of
bovine virus diarrhoea (BVD), infectious bovine
rhinotracheitis (IBR), and parainfluenza (PI3)
continued to be associated with calf scours as a
part of difficult herd problems.
A relatively new disease caused by the bacterium Hemophilus somnes affects feedlot cattle.
So far, no more than 3 per cent of feedlot cattle
have been affected.
Field veterinarians again provided many services. Inspections, investigations, and supervisory
services were only a few of their wide range of
In the matter of inspection services of public
sales of live stock, the service agreement between
the Minister of Agriculture and the British Columbia Veterinary Medical Association terminated
and negotiations did not produce a further agreement. Commencing in July, veterinary inspection
was waived at all public yards except those located
in the Lower Fraser Valley.
Meat inspection service was provided in six
abattoirs. While the over-all slaughter number
was down slightly from the previous year, there
was a significant increase in the number of chickens slaughtered, up 47,000 birds. An Order in
Council was passed to establish the Districts of
Matsqui, Chilliwhack, and Kent and the City
Chilliwack  as  Meat  Inspection   Areas   effecti
October 1, 1974.
The main roles of the Provincial Veterina
Laboratory were preventive veterinary medici
and disease investigation. Development of
Virology Section added a new dimension to t
Laboratory's diagnostic and investigational ca
ability. The diagnostic case load consisted
5,654 submissions, each including up to five spe
mens. Submissions resulted in 4,604 speci
diagnoses and 5,541 laboratory findings; a toi
of 10,145 results. The submissions were dra\
from 665,808 sick and 129,776 dead producti
birds; 4,641 sick and 2,443 dead productive ai
The Brands Division issued 215 Stock-deale.
Licences and 2,136 brands. Total revenue fro
licences, transport permits, brand inspection fe<
etc., amounted to $64,824, compared wi
$59,735 in 1972.
In mid-summer, the reorganization of the D
partment  with  the   subsequent   creation   of
Youth Development Branch brought changes
the traditional 4-H programme.   The British C
lumbia 4-H Advisory Council was used to sugg<
and introduce changes in the Branch's programn
The 4-H programme was offered to the Pre
ince's urban youth for the first time. A pilot pr<
ect was conducted in some smaller centres on Va
couver Island. Four new projects were develop
in conjunction with the urban programme—
cycle, dog, power toboggan, and photograpl
Except for Campbell River, initial response w
not strong.
This year there were 4,464 young people t
rolled in the Province-wide 4-H programm
guided by 799 volunteer adult leaders who ga
generously of their time and talent.
As in the past, members participated in a rar
of judging rallies and field days, fairs, exhibitio
public-speaking programmes, exchange pi
grammes, Western Provincial 4-H seminars,
4-H camping programmes.


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