Food policies must help small farmers

Ten years ago, a spike in food prices ignited a global food crisis that compromised the ability of the world’s poorest people to access an adequate diet. Governments around the world responded by supporting the expansion of large-scale agricultural production, based on the idea that producing more food in this way translates into lower prices […] Read more


Capital gains can be saved when moving the family farm

Most producers are aware that farm property can be passed to the next generation without tax consequences if certain conditions are met. However, what if you want to relocate your operation? What if an opportunity arises to sell farmland at a premium but you wish to purchase other land in another area? What if you […] Read more


When hitting India, save some vitriol for Italy

Indian tariffs on pulse crops have received a great deal of attention. Less well known, but arguably more offside, are the measures keeping Canadian durum out of Italy. Indian tariffs are blamed for decimating pulse prices in Canada, particularly for red lentils. Truth is, pulse exports had practically stalled before the tariffs were applied last […] Read more



Letters to the editor – April 5, 2018

Lack of farmer support Once again, a railway backlog is keeping Manitoba grain farmers from moving their product to market. It’s unacceptable, but entirely predictable. Since the federal government unilaterally scrapped the Canadian Wheat Board without proper protections for farmers, the result has been chaotic. Four years ago, Canadian farmers lost billions of dollars due […] Read more


Equinox first sign of a market

With the coming of the vernal equinox, even a dormant market can shake off the winter blues, and that is what has happened. Some of us think of the vernal equinox bringing the first signs of spring but not a commodity market. However, there is plenty of precedence for it. Personally, I look for fog […] Read more



What game is India really playing?

Trade issues in pulses are on the minds of many western Canadian farmers, especially because India recently hiked its chickpeas import tariff again, although it doesn’t affect the kabuli type that is predominantly grown in Canada. We know the Canadian government is doing what it can to promote trade relations. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s recent […] Read more


Liberals must now show grain movement leadership

Prime Minster Justin Trudeau wears his social justice credentials on his sleeve, but does he have the capacity for tough love? He’s going to need lots of it if he’s to take on captains of the railroad industry, opportunistic politicians in British Columbia, environmentalists and an abundance of protest groups to do what needs to […] Read more


How should we define modern trade?

With all the talk of trade wars and the uncertainty it creates in commodity markets, Canada mostly remains in a special spot, an agricultural exporter with a reputation for high quality products and reputable trading practices. The trouble is that changing trade patterns, contracts and markets takes time, so despite opportunities in the marketplace, Canadian […] Read more



It’s not quite deja vu in grain transportation

Railway performance may seem like the same old problem resurfacing, but in many ways, it’s different this time. In the horrible grain backlog of 2013-14, the problem wasn’t universally recognized until the situation was well advanced. The ugliness started early in the winter, but wasn’t fully acknowledged until mid-winter. By then, it was a full-blown […] Read more


What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate

Why don’t government departments talk to each other? It’s a reoccurring question; one that seems to creep up particularly whenever agriculture mixes with other policy areas. For Ottawa outsiders, the apparent lack of communication and co-ordination between departments can be frustrating, especially if you are one of those Canadians who spends a lot of time […] Read more