high flavour, the crisp, juicy flesh and the long-keeping qualities of the Canadian apples are their chief merits. Apples are exported in barrels and also in boxes containing about one bushel each. Large quantities are also evaporated and exported. Establishments for evaporating fruit are now found in most of the larger apple-growing districts, and canning factories and jam factories have been established in many parts of Canada, and are conducted with advantage and profit.
The chief fruit-growing districts have long been in southern and western Ontario and in Nova Scotia; but recently much attention has been devoted to fruit-growing in British Columbia, where large areas of suitable land are available for the cultivation of apples, pears and other fruits. In some parts of the semi-arid districts in the interior of the province irrigation is being successfully practised for the purpose of bringing land under profitable cultivation for fruit. Collections of fruit grown in British Columbia have received premier honours at the competitive exhibitions of the Royal Horticultural Society in London, where their high quality and fine colour have been greatly appreciated.
Wine is made in considerable quantities in the principal vine-growing districts, and in several localities large vineyards have been planted for this purpose. An abundance of cider is also made in all the large apple-growing districts.
Honey is one of the minor food-products of Canada, and in many localities bees have abundance of pasturage. Canadian honey for colour, flavour and substance is unsurpassed. Maple sugar and syrup are made in those areas of the country where the sugar-maple tree flourishes. The syrup is used chiefly as a substitute for jam or preserved fruits, and the sugar is used in country homes for sweetening, for cooking purposes and for the making of confectionery. The processes of manufacture have been improved by the introduction of specially constructed evaporators, and quantities of maple sugar and syrup are annually exported.
Tobacco is a new crop which has been grown in Canada since 1904. Its cultivation promises to be successful in parts of Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia.
The department of agriculture of the Dominion government renders aid to agriculture in many ways, maintaining the experimental farms and various effective organizations for assisting the live-stock, dairying and fruit-growing State aid. industries, for testing the germination and purity of agricultural seeds, and for developing the export trade in agricultural and dairy produce. The health of animals branch, through which are administered the laws relating to the contagious diseases of animals, and the control of quarantine and inspection stations for imported animals, undertakes also valuable experiments on the diseases of farm livestock, including glanders in horses, tuberculosis in cattle, &c. The policy of slaughtering horses reacting to the mallein test has been successfully initiated by Canada, the returns for 1908 from all parts of the country indicating a considerable decrease from the previous year in the number of horses destroyed and the amount of compensation paid. A disease of cattle in Nova Scotia, known as the Pictou cattle disease, long treated as contagious, has now been demonstrated by the veterinary officers of the department to be due to the ingestion of a weed, the ragwort, Senecio Jacobea. Hog cholera or swine fever has been almost eradicated. A laboratory is maintained for bacteriological and pathological researches and for the preparation of preventive vaccines. Canada is entirely free from rinderpest, pleuro-pneumonia and foot-and-mouth disease.
The work of the live-stock branch is directed towards the improvement of the stock-raising industry, and is carried on through the agencies of expert teachers and stock judges, the systematic distribution of pure-bred breeding stock, the yearly testing of pure-bred dairy herds, the supervision of the accuracy of the registration of pure-bred animals and the nationalization of live-stock records. The last two objects are secured by act of the Dominion parliament passed in 1905. Under this act a record committee, appointed annually by the pedigree stud, herd and flock book associations of Canada, perform the duties of accepting the entries of pure-bred animals for the respective pedigree registers, and are provided with an office and with stationery and franking privileges by the government. Pedigree certificates are certified as correct by an officer of the department of agriculture, so that in Canada there exist national registration and government authority for the accuracy of pedigree livestock certificates. The government promotes the extension of markets for farm products; it maintains officers in the United Kingdom who make reports from time to time on the condition in which Canadian goods are delivered from the steamships, and also on what they can learn from importing and distributing merchants regarding the preferences of the market for different qualities of farm goods and different sorts of packages. Through this branch of the public service a complete chain of cold-storage accommodation between various points in Canada and markets in Europe, particularly in Great Britain, has been arranged. The government offered a bonus to those owners of creameries who would provide cold-storage accommodation at them and keep the room in use for a period of three years. It also arranged with the various railway companies to run refrigerator cars weekly on the main lines leading to Montreal and other export points. The food-products from any shippers are received into these cars at the various railway stations at the usual rates, without extra charge for icing or cold-storage service. The government offered subventions to those who would provide cold-storage warehouses at various points where these were necessary, and also arranged with the owners of ocean steamships to provide cold-storage chambers on them by means of mechanical refrigerators. The policy of encouraging the provision of ample cold-storage accommodation has been developed still further by the Cold Storage Act of the Dominion parliament passed in 1907, under which subsidies are granted in part payment of the cost of erecting and equipping cold-storage warehouses in Canada for the preservation of perishable food-products.
Besides furnishing technical and general information as to the carrying on of dairying operations, the government has established and maintained illustration cheese factories and creameries in different places for the purpose of introducing the best methods of co-operative dairying in both the manufacturing and shipping of butter and cheese. Inspectors are employed to give information regarding the packing of fruit, and also to see to the enforcement of the Fruit Marks Acts, which prohibit the marking of fruit with wrong brands and packing in any fraudulent manner.
The seed branch of the department of agriculture was established in 1900 for the purpose of encouraging the production and use of seeds of superior quality, thereby improving all kinds of field and garden crops grown in Canada. Seeds are tested in the laboratory for purity and germination on behalf of farmers and seed merchants, and scientific investigations relating to seeds are conducted and reported upon. In the year 1906–1907 6676 samples of seeds were tested. Encouragement to seed-growing is given by the holding of seed fairs, and bulletins are issued on weeds, the methods of treating seed-wheat against smut and on other subjects. Collections of weed seeds are issued to merchants and others to enable them readily to identify noxious weed seeds. The Seed Control Act of 1905 brings under strict regulations the trade in agricultural seeds, prohibiting the sale for seeding of cereals, grasses, clovers or forage plants unless free from weeds specified, and imposing severe penalties for infringements.
The census and statistics office, reorganized as a branch of the department of agriculture in 1905, undertakes a complete census of population, of agriculture, of manufactures and of all the natural products of the Dominion every ten years, a census of the population and agriculture of the three North-West Provinces every five years, and various supplemental statistical inquiries at shorter intervals.
Experimental farms were established in 1887 in different parts of the Dominion, and were so located as to render efficient help