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Sask. Crop Insurance Changes Welcome

Saskatchewan Stock Growers president Calvin Knoss welcomed changes to that province’s crop insurance program in response to drought conditions in northwest and west-central Saskatchewan.

“We appreciate the efforts of federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and our Saskatchewan minister, Bob Bjornerud, in moving these changes forward so quickly,” said Knoss. “The three measures announced today stand to benefit both grain farmers and cattle producers.

“The decision to extend the deadline for seeding green feed crops to July 15, along with changes allowing producers to insure any cereal crop for green feed, should help increase forage inventories,” he said. “This is encouraging news for cattlemen who are short on pasture and concerned about feed supplies for the coming winter.”

Knoss cautioned that this year’s forage problems are not limited to the west side of the province. “Cool spring growing conditions have set hay production back even in areas where moisture levels have been adequate,” noted Knoss. “We expect that crop insurance officials are sensitive to this situation.”

New Vaccine Launched

While awareness of swine influenza virus (SIV) has reached new heights in recent weeks, it has frustrated Canadian swine producers for many years. Producers now have a new option, FluSureXPTM from Pfizer Animal Health, the most current swine flu vaccine available in Canada.

“In the last 10 years we’ve experienced very dramatic changes in the evolution of SIV, notably the emergence of new strains of the virus,” said Dr. Don McDermid, swine veterinary services at Pfizer Animal Health. “The virus is like a moving target and that makes it extremely difficult for farmers to control.”

FluSure XP, available through veterinarians, provides cross-protection against contemporary flu strains found in North America including strains from both H1N1 and H3N2 subtypes. FluSure XP is also the first swine vaccine to be licensed under new Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines designed to allow manufacturers to address vaccine updates more quickly.

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