Briefs Feb. 23

La Broquerie farmer recognized

Staff / La Broquerie farmer Gerry Dube has been honoured by the Manitoba Eco-Network for his efforts in sustainable agriculture.

Dube was among four recipients of the annual Anne Lindsey Protecting Our Earth Awards Feb. 3.

Dube was a founding member of the Organic Food Council of Manitoba as well as the Manitoba Composting Association and continues working to promote agricultural, large-scale composting as well as municipal composting of organic waste.

Other recipients include Dennis Cunningham, the environmental sustainability manager at Assiniboine Credit Union in Winnipeg, for his involvement in multiple projects that make the credit union a leader in environmental sustainability. Cunningham’s contributions range from promoting electronic recycling to sustainable home renovation.

The Landless Farm Collective, which has created an urban farm on City of Winnipeg property near the Pan Am Pool and a partnership with Grade 8 students at Grant Park High School was recognized for its efforts to demonstrate and promote sustainable food production. Also recognized was Ron Thiessen, the executive director of CPAWS, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, for his tireless commitment to wilderness protection.

Rising input costs take a bite out of near-record U.S. farm income

washington / reuters / U.S. farm income will drop sharply from 2011’s record high as production costs rise by more than $10 billion for the second year in a row, according to the latest USDA income forecast.

Net cash farm income, a measure of solvency, is expected to fall 11.5 per cent to $96.3 billion — although last year was the first time it ever topped the $100-billion mark.

Production costs are forecast to rise by 3.9 per cent, or $12.5 billion this year, to a record $333.8 billion. USDA said receipts for crop sales would be on par with 2011.

Drought constrained crop production last year so there will be less volume to sell this year. Costs rose by 12 per cent in 2011.

Crop receipts are expected to increase slightly with wheat prices trending downward but corn prices remaining strong. Higher prices will boost livestock receipts.

The debt-to-asset ratio for the farm sector will decline to 10.3 per cent this year, from 10.5 per cent last year, USDA said, and the debt-to-equity ratio also will decline. “These declines indicated that the farm sector’s overall solvency position is strong,” the report concluded.

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