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Cuts For Ag And Forestry In Provincial Budget

The Alberta Government's tightening its belt in an effort to balance the books, which includes cuts to the Agriculture and Forestry Ministry.
 
Alberta Wheat and Barley Commission's General Manager, Tom Steve, says the Province is cutting funding for the Ministry by 9.1 per cent.
 
The Budget outlines Ag and Forestry will be allocated $879 million, which overall, Steve says they're pleased with.
 
"The major core funding programs like Crop Insurance, AgriStability and AgriInvest, which are the key business risk management programs, those are the largest expenditures in the budget and those are kept whole."
 
The UCP Government has also committed to a producer led research model in the tabled budget.
 
Steve says it's something they've been asking for over the past few years, as the previous NDP Government was moving away from productivity based research towards policy.
 
He says with scarce research dollars, it's more important to ensure the industry is competitive.
 
"The dollars should be, in the case of crops, directed to higher yields, disease resistance, those types of things, and in the livestock industry the same, you know, how do you we better convert feed grains into beef?"
 
Steve says there will be further consultations with farm organizations about the producer led research in the November to December time period.
 
However, he say the process informally kicked off with one session already between Chairs of the major crop and livestock groups and with Alberta Agriculture Minister, Devin Dreeshen.
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