Letters to the editor – May 17, 2018

Evidence must be re-evaluated, updated

Re: “What Canadian agriculture stands for,” (Op-ed by Cam Dahl, WP, April 19).

Cereals Canada President Cam Dahl’s message seems to be that an “evidence-based” approach to agriculture and production is required, and one that he personally espouses.

I agree with the former statement, but certainly not the latter. Dahl seems to choose the examples that resonate in his personal echo chamber as that which supports his opinion — the opinion that cereal farmers should be able to continue on whatever path they choose for maximum profitability and discount any evidence that suggests that this path is imperfect.

Throughout history we note that advances inevitably come with unintended consequences.

This is a concept that non-scientists like Dahl often have a hard time understanding — that once an observation is made and a hypothesis formed, there isn’t an undiminishable law created for all time: as our understanding grows, our opinions change.

Dahl’s assertions that pesticides that are on the market have been proven safe and that a re-examination of that theory is an affront to science is precisely the opposite of what a scientist would think. Fortunately, not many people do think that way or thalidomide would still be on the market and the Earth would still be flat.

The progressive recognizes and understands that new concepts will require a change of practice from time-to-time and adjust to this reality; the rest entrench themselves in the status quo.

Paul Tiege
Red Deer County, Alta. 

10 ways to make Saskatchewan better

My ideas for a better Saskatchewan:

  • No tax on restaurant meals under $20.
  • Remove all carbon tax on farm fuels.
  • No tax on toilet paper, milk or any other groceries.
  • Build a small car and tractor factory in Regina.
  • Make auto parts available for up to 10 years.
  • Offer training to able-bodied welfare recipients, and if they decline, welfare is cut.
  • Reduce cost of hospital beds currently at about $4,600 per day.
  • Reduce high-end pensions on civil servants, to be added to lower end pensions ($1,500).
  • Enforce penalties on illegal drainage on farmland (among neighbours).
  • Take off 11 percent tax on building materials — killing jobs in many economic sectors.

Are you tired of paying taxes? How do you feel about the $274 million being used by the Canadian government to legalize cannabis?

Present policies need change. We need to take back our country of Canada.

Gordon Dickson,
Wawota, Sask.

Good practicesfor organic farming

Organic farming can be a good practice, but I see a lot of the problems.

Many producers still use traditional summerfallow, which has destroyed far more land than fertilizer and chemicals. Ninety years of history have shown that. I don’t think anyone misses the dust storms.

Organic producers need to make alliances with ranchers to break up hay land and allow grazing to fertilize soil.

Organic farming works well coming off a tight grass-alfalfa rotation. I have allowed some of my hay land to be utilized that way.

What you do in five years with that pasture that has been seeded to flax, maybe some other crops. You seed it back to grass. Simple isn’t it ?

Gerald Smith
Chaplin, Sask.

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