News Release Archive

Agriculture and Marketing Minister Wayne Gaudet announced today
that his department has reserved $400,000, over a two year
period, for a program to assist Nova Scotia beef producers.

Local beef prices, influenced by North American prices, are
continually fluctuating. Currently, beef prices are in a down
cycle with prices 20 per cent lower than they were a year and a
half ago. This, combined with unusually high grain prices, is
causing severe financial hardship for beef producers.

"The department has been working closely with the Nova Scotia
Cattlemen's Association to develop a program to help producers
through this difficult time," said Mr. Gaudet. "The beef industry
is important to the rural economy and the overall Nova Scotia
economy. In addition to helping maintain a sustainable
agricultural land base and the aesthetic value of rural Nova
Scotia, the industry generates approximately $27 million in sales

The minister said he appreciated the excellent working
relationship developed with the Cattlemen's Association while
co-operatively seeking a long term solution.

In addition to the announced funding, the minister said there are
other programs available to Nova Scotia beef producers such as
the Improved Sires Program, which promotes genetic improvement of
cattle; and the Agri Focus 2000 program which is in place to
support the continued growth and development of the industry.

Also available to producers is the Net Income Stabilization
Account (NISA), a program that enables producers to stabilize
their incomes during periods of low prices or low income. The
provincial and federal governments, and beef producers all
contribute to the fund.

"Attempts will be made to use the $400,000 program money to
encourage the beef industry's participation in NISA...this will
help to add long term stability to the industry," said Mr.

Nova Scotia beef producers supply a portion of the local market
demand for finished beef, so there are opportunities for
increased production, he said. The industry has seen a steady
increase in beef cow numbers since 1981, with continued
improvements in the quality and consistency of product supplied
to the local market.


Contact: Brian Smith  902-893-6591

trp                    Apr. 19, 1996 - 11:51 a.m.