On the Farm by Glenn Ells
The ground was covered with frost on Sunday morning, Oct. 13, when I got up. Leta got up at some unheard-of hour to get the turkey started and saw the frost before I did. Since then we have been without frost, which makes it interesting to see where the one below-freezing night did plant damage and what escaped.
I was checking the vineyard and was pleased to see that there is no damage in the main planting, while there is considerable damage in the nursery and table grape area, which is on lower ground. It doesn’t make any difference now, before the viners start production, but two years from now we will know what to harvest first.
The corn fields have dried down really well and harvest is moving right along. There was 40 millimetres of rain here on Wednesday, Oct. 16, but it didn’t seem to be a problem by Thursday night.
Throne speeches give hints of what the federal government is up to. Sometimes, I wonder if some of the stuff is trial balloons to see if there is a public reaction. The speech given just last week mentions the “free trade” deal that Canada and EEC have been working on for some time and says that the deal will soon be completed. When this deal is written about, Canada’s supply management system in the dairy and feather industries is given as the reason for the inability to conclude negotiations.
I’d really like to know more about what is going on. The pork and beef producers have been quoted lately as being very excited about the pending agreement to open up trade in their products. There seems to be agreement to allow easier access into Canada of all EEC cheese. I read somewhere that 35 per cent of the market for some types of cheeses could now be filled from Europe. That would be fine if there is fair competition between the producers on both sides of the deal. I keep hearing reports of dairy farms in England being shut down because of competition from France, where highly subsidized production occurs.
It makes me wonder where Canadian dairy farmers would end up. I’m sure that our trade officials understand the implications and that the government has decided what the political risks would be and how they will deal with them.
I don’t know any of this and I’m uneasy about the effect that this deal could have on the Nova Scotia farming industry.