The Globe and Mail is reporting that Canadian negotiators are willing to deal away some dairy supply management protections in order to secure a NAFTA deal

White knuckle time for Canadian dairy and NAFTA

What will Canadian farmers need to sacrifice to save NAFTA?

It’s white knuckle time on NAFTA and there is a high chance of basic deal being agreed by Friday night. It’s going to affect Western Canadian farmers in a big way, but exactly how is too fluid for anybody to know, including Canada’s NAFTA lead Chrystia Freeland and the United States’ Robert Lighthizer. I can’t […] Read more

Supply management matters, but not in the way that its opponents or supporters probably want

Both internationally and domestically, supply management is at the centre of toxic, destructive politics

I’m sure supply management supporters and beneficiaries would most like to be ignored, to be able to run their farms and closed industrial system without anybody else thinking about it. They just want to farm. And I’m sure most supply management opponents would also like it to be a minor matter, an irritant but not […] Read more

Neonic ban comes too early; more study needed

It’s concerning that Health Canada may have cast its net too wide in its decision to ban two more neonicotinoid seed treatments without a full set of information about whether such a dramatic move is required in Western Canada. Health Canada’s Pest Management Control Agency admits its information from Western Canada on whether neonics are […] Read more


‘Fake news’ tag harms useful info

I have, for the first time in my 25 years at The Western Producer, heard from farmer-readers that the professional press, including us, is “fake.” Lately, the term is being thrown around a lot. I was sitting in the sprayer, not so very long ago, going back and forth, as these things do when everything […] Read more

Enough with the fake truths on dairy

In their rant called “End Supply Management like Aussies” (Aug. 9), Oxley, Leroy and Berry try to paint this picture of an Australian dairy industry oasis, but in actuality it’s more of a doomsday. I think it’s important to fill in some very obvious gaps to provide a realistic portrait of what an end to […] Read more


Government must respond to U.S. policy this fall session

In less than a month, members of Parliament will return to the nation’s capital from their summer vacations and settle back into the routine of passing legislation, holding committee hearings and meeting with lobbyists and industry representatives. The fall session is always a busy time, with MPs eager to get back into the Ottawa swing […] Read more

Day of reckoning coming for pre-harvest glyphosate

Analysis: Farmers who use glyphosate as a desiccant ignore the market signals warning against the practice

Five years ago, about half of the pigs in Canada were raised with ractopamine. In 2018 the percentage is basically zero. Use of the feed additive, which increases the rate of gain for hogs, dropped to nothing because Canada’s pork industry listened to market signals. Major buyers, such as China and Russia, didn’t want pork […] Read more

Harvesting short crops isn’t always a lot of fun

Crops in many regions of Western Canada are below average and in some areas they’re downright pitiful. You’d think a small crop would mean a faster, easier-than-normal harvest, but that’s not always the case. While less material to stuff through the combine and less production to haul away should theoretically equate to fast and easy, […] Read more


Letters to the editor – August 23, 2018

Hog producers won’t benefit An article in your Aug. 2 edition suggested that Canadian hog producers might somehow benefit from the U.S.-China trade war, and specifically, from high punitive duties on U.S. pork exports to China. Let’s examine the facts. In mid-August the Alberta Index 100 slaughter hog price was $1.31 per kilogram, while the […] Read more

It’s important to plan ahead when paying tax instalments

With the end of the year approaching, the time is coming to plan for your income tax instalments. This article concentrates on tax instalments for farms operating as sole proprietorships. Instalments are a common hit to a farm’s cash flows, and these payments can sometimes come as a surprise. The government requires instalments if your […] Read more