Thursday, November 28, 2013

Nova Scotia egg board eases quota rules

The Nova Scotia egg marketing board is easing its restrictions to allow farmers without quota to raise up to 2,000 free-range hens without quota.

There will be a limit of 500 per producer and these production rights will be reserved for new producers.

That has Aaron Hiltz wondering whether he will quality because he has been challenging the board by keeping a free-range flock. The board has charged him with violating the province’s regulations and he could face a fine of up to $6,000.

The egg board also announced that it is doubling the number of hens people can keep without quota – from 100 to 200.

Hiltz has been keeping 200 birds and says he netted about $20,000 last year. He said he can’t afford to buy quota for the 200 because that would cost about $200,000.

Now, of course, he won’t have to buy quota for his 200 birds and he might qualify as a new entrant to add to that total.

Small Flock Poultry Farmers of Canada is hailing the change in Nova Scotia regulations as a major lobbying victory.

In Ontario, it’s main objective is to persuade the chicken board to increase the number of chickens that can be raised without quota from 300 to 2,000 per year.