Matt Tolton hikes with his tripod to take a photo of a wooden grain elevator at Forrest, Man. Tolton belongs to an informal community known as vatorologists, who are fascinated by grain elevators and their iconic role in the development of Western Canada.  |  Robert Arnason photo

At the heart of each prairie town was the grain elevator

<b>NOW:</b> There are people who have a favourite camping spot and folks who have a favourite cafe for cinnamon buns. And then there is Jim Pearson, who has a favourite grain elevator. Pearson, who lives in Delia, Alta., said the elevator in Fusilier, Sask., near the Alberta-Saskatchewan border on Highway 51 is particularly endearing. “It’s […] Read more

Dig up plants in various locations to assess winter wheat damage

Now is the time to assess the condition of a winter wheat crop. “As a general rule of thumb, delay spring assessment until most other spring seeding is complete,” says Paul Thoroughgood of Ducks Unlimited. This means assessing the winter wheat crop to allow enough time to reseed if necessary and give the crop time […] Read more

Varieties receive extension

Prairie wheat growers have until July 31 to deliver two deregistered varieties of wheat into the Canada Prairie Spring Wheat class. The varieties, Snowhite 475 and Snowhite 476, will remain eligible for grades 1 and 2 until the end of the crop year, the Canadian Grain Commission has announced. The grades were formally deregistered in […] Read more


Land values up across Prairies in 2010

Canadian farmland values rose by five percent in 2010. Farm Credit Canada’s semi-annual spring land value report said value increases for 2010 by province were Saskatchewan 5.6 percent, Manitoba 4.7, Alberta 4.4, Ontario 6.7, Nova Scotia 3.7, Newfoundland 0.7, Prince Edward Island 3.2, New Brunswick 2.4, Quebec and Prince Edward Island 3.2 and British Columbia […] Read more

Feds must act quickly on CWB: grain official

The federal government should announce its plans for the Canadian Wheat Board as quickly as possible, said the executive director of the Western Grain Elevator Association. “It’s important the government signals what its intentions are early on and that changes be done in a thoughtful and measured way,” said Wade Sobkowich. By winning a majority […] Read more


Farm groups favouring voluntary CWB urge Conservatives to end monopoly

Farm groups that oppose the Canadian Wheat Board’s single desk say they hope the Conservative government will use its new majority powers to implement a voluntary wheat board. The Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association, which has been leading the campaign to make the CWB voluntary, says it is also hoping to work with the government […] Read more

CWB says legal challenge possible

The Canadian Wheat Board may turn to the courts to preserve its single desk marketing system, said board chair Allen Oberg. “We will certainly have a look at all legal options,” he said. “We poll farmers from time to time and one thing most agree on most is that the decision on what happens to […] Read more

Viterra opens Quebec office

Viterra has opened new a merchandising office in Montreal, strengthening its presence in Eastern Canada. The office, which opened May 2, will increase the company’s ability to market food ingredients in Canada, the United States and Europe. “Our office in Montreal will play a central role in managing trade flows, freight activities and arbitrage opportunities, […] Read more


Mustard prices and exports expected to improve

After a couple of years in the doldrums, the mustard market is giving signs of coming back to life. Foreign buyers are asking Canada to bring on the mustard. Exports of the spicy oilseed are forecast to increase to 140,000 tonnes in 2011-12, according to Agriculture Canada market analysts. That’s up from 120,000 tonnes in […] Read more

Campaign ad draws fire

A prominent western Canadian farm group has taken issue with federal election advertisements that ran in the last week of the campaign. The Canadian Wheat Board Alliance ran radio ads urging producers to vote for candidates who support the Canadian Wheat Board. In announcing the ad campaign April 21, alliance chair Bill Gehl of Regina […] Read more