Alberta will lose three rural ridings heading into 2019 election

Alberta MLAs have voted to get rid of three rural ridings and add three urban ones in time for the next provincial election in 2019. Members of the legislature officially made the changes yesterday, voting 41-25 for dismantling rural ridings so Edmonton, Calgary and Airdrie-Cochrane each could gain one. Twenty-one MLAs were absent for the […] Read more

Feds warn Sask. carbon plan not up to standard

The federal government said last week Saskatchewan’s climate change strategy likely doesn’t meet its standard, which could set the stage for a carbon pricing showdown. Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna posted her response to the province’s Dec. 4 announcement on Facebook, saying she was encouraged by the commitment to adaptation and resilience to climate change. […] Read more

Higher biofuel target irks U.S. refiners

(Reuters) — The United States Environmental Protection Agency has announced that it will require fuel companies to blend slightly more biofuels into the nation’s gasoline and diesel next year, angering oil refiners who view them as a competitive threat. The announcement follows weeks of lobbying by Midwestern lawmakers and representatives of the corn industry who […] Read more

Trump plans to meet oil sector reps on biofuel

(Reuters) — United States President Donald Trump has agreed to meet with representatives of the oil refining industry and their legislative backers to discuss the nation’s biofuels program, according to two sources briefed on the matter. The White House meeting could set the stage for negotiations over possible legislation to overhaul the U.S. Renewable Fuel […] Read more

USDA forecasts more corn acres, record high soybeans in 2018-19

CHICAGO, Ill. (Reuters) — United States farmers are likely to plant a record amount of land with soybeans in 2018 and will also likely boost the area devoted to most other major crops, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has predicted. If the forecasts are borne out, then another year of bumper supply could prolong a […] Read more

Money flowing into gene drive research

“It is arguably the genetic technology with more social, ethical and policy implications than any other to emerge in the last decade,” Sally Otto, a University of British Columbia zoologist, wrote on the Royal Society of Canada website. “Gene drive could be used to spread genes that reduce the ability of mosquitoes to transmit … […] Read more

Animal Protection Act changes give inspectors wider access

Updates to Saskatchewan’s laws will give animal protection officers more power and potentially give that power to more officers. Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart introduced the Animal Protection Act amendments in late November. During second reading debate, he said the amendments would allow the ministry to approve organizations other than humane societies to enforce provisions of […] Read more

France to destroy shipment of radioactive mushrooms

PARIS, France (Reuters) — France has stopped a large shipment of Belarus mushrooms contaminated with low-level radioactivity probably from Chernobyl and not linked to a radioactive cloud that appeared in southern Russia last month, officials said recently. The head of French nuclear regulator ASN Pierre-Franck Chevet previously had told the French senate that traces of […] Read more

Maple Leaf grows veg meat portfolio

Maple Leaf Foods is buying Field Roast Grain Meat Co. for US$120 million, plus related costs. Field Roast is a leading brand of premium grain-based “meat” and vegan cheese products, with sales of about $38 million. “The acquisition of Field Roast complements and expands our portfolio in the fast-growing North American market for alternative proteins,” […] Read more

India becomes biggest consumer of Ukrainian farm exports

KIEV, Ukraine (Reuters) — India was the biggest market for Ukrainian agriculture products in the first 10 months of 2017, importing 11.3 percent of exports in cash terms, Ukraine’s agriculture ministry said recently. Ukrainian agriculture exports were worth US$14.7 billion in the 10 months to October, about 23 percent more than in the same period […] Read more