The Western Grain Elevators Association takes exception to the argument that lowering Canadian Grain Commission fees wouldn’t benefit producers.  |  File photo

Lower CGC fees would help farmers

In material that accompanied its Aug. 1 announcement, the Canadian Grain Commission states that a fee reduction wasn’t part of its decision for the surplus due to the notion that it wouldn’t likely translate into benefits for producers. The CGC has positioned this as a major factor as to why it opted to keep the […] Read more

What exactly is a special interest?

Decisions in the public interest are often hard to make. Whose interest is it anyway? No matter how we cut it, farmers would be considered a special interest group. And among farmers, western Canadian farmers would be even more so. How about cattle producers? Then there is dairy. And hog growers. Poultry producers are few […] Read more

Negotiating with a bully has its challenges

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government may be mishandling many issues, from illegal immigration to the carbon tax, but I do feel a bit sorry for it on the big issue of U.S. trade relations. Whether you think U.S. President Donald Trump is smart like a fox or dumb as a post, there’s no doubt he’s […] Read more


Calm waters of federal-provincial relations turn turbulent

Battles between the federal government and the provinces aren’t new. First ministers’ meetings have always been venues where numerous fights and disagreements arose between Ottawa and its provincial and territorial counterparts. In Ottawa circles, analogies to describe the meetings include the prime minister being “thrown into the lion’s den” as provincial leaders clamour to bring […] Read more

Letters to the editor – September 6, 2018

Oats sector still doing well Re: “Funding loss a blow to oat research” and “Ag economist questions future of oats,” (WP, July 19). Farming, along with all other industries, does not occur without its share of challenges. However, oat growers feel positive about the outlook for Canadian oats. We are obliged to correct a statement […] Read more


Farm families are increasingly less comfortable with a six-month gap in their attention to business management.  |  File photo

Timing of focus on farm business management evolving

The landscape of farm business management continues to evolve and I think for the right reasons. Years past, it was extremely rare to have a July meeting with families about managing their businesses. There was a pattern of the work we did with farm families: November to mid-April — It was a busy time with […] Read more

Courts are increasingly being used as a tool by a variety of anti-commercial agriculture organizations to improve their public profile and drive fundraising. 
Such seems to be the case with a US$289-million award to California groundskeeper DeWayne Johnson in a recent U.S. decision involving glyphosate. 
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U.S. glyphosate verdict puts agriculture on trial

Courts are increasingly being used as a tool by a variety of anti-commercial agriculture organizations to improve their public profile and drive fundraising. Such seems to be the case with a US$289-million award to California groundskeeper DeWayne Johnson in a recent U.S. decision involving glyphosate. Juries understandably can have difficulty sorting fact from fiction, science […] Read more

The author argues that it is wrong to favourably compare Australia’s decision to deregulate its dairy industry in 2001 with what some claim is Canada’s misguided intent to maintain its regulated system of supply management in the sector.  |  File photo

Aussie dairy disaster offers lessons

A recent article in The Western Producer by Alan Oxley, Dan Leroy and Jon Berry presented the Australian decision to deregulate its dairy industry in 2001. The three favourably compare that policy with what they claim is Canada’s misguided intent to maintain its regulated system of supply management in the sector. They could not be […] Read more


Discerning readers will notice that we’ve been writing a lot about farmers’ use of chemicals lately.
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Our coverage of chemicals worthwhile

Discerning readers will notice that we’ve been writing a lot about farmers’ use of chemicals lately. There are four stories in this week’s Western Producer: one about the low thresholds used by Health Canada for neonicotinoids, one detailing how beekeepers in Western Canada are worried that a ban on neonics will result in farmers using […] Read more