U.S. President Donald Trump speaking about the new

NAFTA2 signed! Hallelujah! Now for the relief, the recovery, the resentment and dismay

For most Prairie farmers it's time to relax, it's a sad time to be a Canadian, and the future looks grim for dairy farmers without a national plan

NAFTA2 has been signed! Hallelujah! Now it’s time for relief, recovery, resentment and dismay. RELIEF The vast majority of Western Canadian farmers will be relieved by the survival of NAFTA. (Editorial note: I refuse to use the term USMCA, and I suggest you do too. It’s propaganda. For the record, I also generally refuse to […] Read more

Supply management works for Canada

The conflicting arguments surrounding Canada’s supply management system are bewildering. It’s either the model for a properly managed food system that is the envy of farmers in other countries or a ruthless Soviet-styled anachronism that is gouging consumers. Canada’s supply management system has its warts, but an analysis of the arguments, including the Western Producer’s […] Read more

Some countries are setting their own standards for for maximum residue limits, independent of Codex, possibly resulting in the erosion of international standards for pesticide and herbicide residues. | File photo

For farmers, the Codex is crucial

Canadian farmers are rightly worried by the potential impact ongoing international trade disputes can have on their livelihoods. The uncertainty surrounding the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is just one of these concerns. However, there is another market access challenge that merits attention but may have escaped notice amid the twisted […] Read more

Barb Glen won an award for her photo of Cal Wellman who lost his barn, corral, tractor and winter feed in the fire that devastated parts of southwestern Alberta last fall. | Barb Glen photo

Your Producer journalists served you well

Most of you might not be aware that in this craft of agricultural journalism, a subset of the larger media industry, we have professional associations. One of the highlights of being a member of these groups is the annual competitions that allow us to see what the current standards in our business look like. As […] Read more

Kinship and mentorship go hand in hand for farm writers

Every year this country’s agriculture journalists and communicators gather some where in Canada for three-days of fun. The annual Canadian Farm Writers Federation’s conference is a chance to network within the industry while participating in a series of farm tours and professional development workshops. It’s also a chance to celebrate the accomplishments of some of […] Read more

‘Suck it up Buttercup’ not always helpful

Why all the talk about mental health issues among farmers? Has agriculture really become that tough or has our ability to cope become less with time? The delayed harvest is a major issue in many regions and that’s certainly frustrating and stressful, but it isn’t uncommon. In many recent years, September progress has been limited […] Read more

Letters to the editor – September 27, 2018

Funds will target tangible benefits Re: Surplus Investment Framework On Aug. 1, 2018, the Canadian Grain Commission announced the Surplus Investment Framework, which will invest $90 million in safeguards for producers, grain quality assurance, and grain quality science and innovation. These funds will be targeted on initiatives that will provide tangible benefits across the grain […] Read more

Human resource management is now vital to successful farms.  |  Getty images

Leadership role increasingly important on today’s farms

There are aspects of managing farms today that didn’t appear on the radar screen in years past. One such aspect is human resource management. It wasn’t that long ago when the broader function of managing human resources on a farm did not warrant a lot of attention. This has changed. Even for more modest operations, […] Read more

If processors want to continue to buy pigs from independent producers, now is the time to offer a better price and stop barns from shutting down, says the author.  |  File photo

Hog price crash forcing barn closures

What is the difference between pigs and cows? It’s a dumb question, you may say. Cattle are ruminants, meaning they have four stomachs, while pigs are monogastrics with one stomach. From my observation, cows are more aloof while pigs are more social. Another difference unique to North American pigs is they are one directional, moving […] Read more

Tax agency reviews Class 10 eligibility on farm vehicles

Many farmers and ranchers have received a letter from the Canada Revenue Agency reviewing their class 10 additions from 2015. Class 10 is a tax asset pool that allows you to write off your self-propelled equipment, such as trucks, SUVs, tractors, combines, at 30 percent per year. The CRA is reviewing the additions to ensure […] Read more