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Letters – for Mar. 11, 2010

Unaffordable efficiencies

Twelve years ago, I was told that having fewer and bigger elevators would be more efficient and better for me. Today, the tariff at these new, efficient, inland grain terminals is at least 50 per cent higher than it was 12 years ago.

I was also told 12 years ago, that if the rail system was streamlined to be more efficient, it would save money and I would be better off.

Well, they have streamlined the rail system for the last 12 years (and are still streamlining) and in that short time, my freight bill is one-third higher. I hope the system doesn’t get any more efficient because my farming operation simply cannot afford any more of these railroad-grain company efficiencies.

It is no coincidence that our rural roads have deteriorated drastically in the last 12 years, as the railways and grain companies become more efficient. I don’t think our Prairie provinces can afford any more of these railroad-grain company efficiencies either. I wonder if they will raise our taxes to help pay for them. Edward Sagan Melville, Sask. other sources, basically imported on an unlevel playing field. In Canada, lamb ceases to be lamb and becomes sheep (mutton) at one year of age where imported “lamb” can be two years old and still labelled lamb.

The obstacle of new entrants is not breeding stock, but rather knowledge of where to find that breeding stock. In discussions with many shepherds, they either feel that unless you have registered purebred sheep that you cannot sell breeding stock. This is wrong in so many ways. A commercial herd is often made up of crossbred ewes. The emphasis should be more on who has good-quality crossbred ewe lambs, that you can view at the farm with their mothers. Buying a bunch of older ewes at auction may end up costing you more than what you felt were pricey ewe lambs at the farm unless you have a very good understanding of sheep and have some knowledge of how to troubleshoot for these older ewes.

What producers need to expand is market access! If we could have our lambs inspected at slaughter, they would be consumed here in Manitoba, increasing the value back to us and providing a quality lamb to local consumers.

Lorna Wall Poplarfield, Man. that farmers want more options for marketing their grains. The CWB is not providing enough options of real choice for western Canadian grain producers.

Our government has always been clear that western Canadian grain growers deserve freedom to choose how they market their grain, and we believe farmers are best equipped to make their own business decisions. The dynamics of farming are changing, and farmers are becoming more innovative every day. The job of the Canadian Wheat Board is to change with farmers and give them what they are asking for. Western Canadian grain farmers want an alternative to the Canadian Wheat Board monopoly and we are working hard to give them that.

If the CWB enjoys the kind of support it purports to have from farmers, it has nothing to fear. Farmers would continue to use the CWB even if it became voluntary. Farmers who see opportunity elsewhere, should have the same right that all other Canadian farmers enjoy. They should be able to choose the way they market their grain.

David Anderson MP for Cypress Hills-Grasslands

and parliamentary secretary for the Canadian Wheat Board NDP. They do not care about homeowners. It looks like a cooked-up law to make homeowners spend thousands of dollars they cannot afford.

Jack Pawich Cartwright, Man.

Tasty, but where’s the profit?

I am writing with regard to the article “Chicken parts join menu of U. S.-China disputes” Feb. 11 Manitoba Co-operator. I am really wondering about the statement that “many U. S. poultry producers count on the Chinese market to round out their profits.” At a mere two cents a pound, I can’t see the big profit.

I had been involved in the industry years ago and those export markets often served as more of an insult to injury than a profit. What we have here in Manitoba is a quota system that has some pretty strict restrictions about how much salable chicken your site can produce.

What really pays the bills is the white meat. Generally, people want breast meat as it is handier, “healthier” and a softer meat. Chicken wings, not tips, fetch a decent dollar in any store I’ve been in. I have never even seen either chicken wing tips or chicken feet offered for sale here.

I wonder how and if the U. S.-China disputes are affecting Manitoba chicken producers. Although the article was interesting, it really only zeroed in on one problem and blanketed it by including other chicken meat – probably legs – in the same issue.

What I’d like to know is if chicken feet and wing tips are so cheaply sold and such a “delicacy,” why don’t we see them sold in stores? I have never tasted chicken feet, never had the opportunity. However, I do enjoy nibbling on those wing tips whenever I make a roasted chicken. Often I take the wings first and yes, they are a lot of effort, but very tasty. At a mere two cents a pound, I wouldn’t mind getting a couple hundred pounds of the stuff. That should only cost me $4.

I think as a cattle producer, I could afford that luxury in my life.

Trinia Kell Elm Creek, Man.

Please forward letters to Manitoba Co-operator, 1666 Dublin Ave., Winnipeg, R3H 0H1 or Fax: 204-954-1422 or email: [email protected](subject: To the editor)



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