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Fairburn, Carry Laurence.

Saskatoon, Western Producer Prairie Books, c1984. 160pp, paper, $13.95, ISBN 0-88833-142-8. CIP

Grades 9 and up
Reviewed by Jackie Black

Volume 13 Number 1
1985 January

Canada's agricultural future is in an extremely precarious position: even the most apathetic reader will be shocked into this realization after perusing this highly informative book. The message is emphatic; we undoubtedly will be starving to death by the twenty-first century if those in control of our agricultural destiny continue their wayward course.

An interesting mix of cartoons, maps, charts, photographs, and easily read text make up the eight chapters. Detailed background information gives readers an insight into the history of Canada's agriculture in the first chapter. Ours is a large country with great arable potential, and for that reason, we should play a major role in feeding the world's hungry. Erosion can be prevented, but the practice of rotating crops to hold the soil is not economically feasible for the farmer. Acid rain and salt salinity are factors affecting soil quality. With fewer cattle being raised, less manure is spread on the ground for natural fertilizer. Myths and facts about which pesticides are good or bad for the soil are presented. How many farmers are going to carry on tilling the land if they are offered thousands of dollars by a real estate developer? Crop research and proper water management are essential if agricultural productivity is to continue. Perhaps technology of "designer genes" in agriculture, along with climate control, will provide an ideal growing situation. People at all levels, from producers to politicians, would be wise to heed the warning of this book and do something to avert a food crisis in the near future.

Extensive notes and references, an index, a glossary of agricultural terms and provincial addresses for additional agricultural information increase the usefulness of this book. Recommended for science, geography, economics and family studies classes, grades 9 and up.

Jackie Black, Westgate C.V.I., Thunder Bay, Ont.
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