Barbara Duckworth, who established our Calgary bureau, retired March 31, after covering so many events across the continent over the years that it’s impossible to even hazard a guess at how many appearances she’s made at livestock shows and conferences.
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End of a storied WP career

It is true that all good things come to an end, and so it is with Barbara Duckworth’s 32-year career with The Western Producer. Watchful readers may catch her byline in this edition, but that’s all she wrote, as it were. Duckworth, who established our Calgary bureau, retired March 31, after covering so many events […] Read more

Alberta mine withdrawal regrettable

Teck Resources’ decision to withdraw its application to develop the Frontier Mine in northern Alberta is regrettable. The mine was to generate about 7,000 jobs and contribute $70 billion in taxes, as well as salaries and capital investment. Teck’s president and chief executive officer, Don Lindsay, issued a statement urging Canada to get its act […] Read more

Bob Tosh of MNP’s Farm Management Consulting Group says formalizing a process for farm transition will help families deal with the “fair versus equal” dilemma.  |  File photo

Farm transition needs tough conversations

A farm management specialist says succession planning must be emotional but it also requires a formal process

Satisfying all the members of the family tree during a farm transition will take an emotional investment by the farm owners, but it will also take discerning decision-making that requires formal planning, says Bob Tosh. “You’re not going to go through any kind of intergenerational transition without actually getting emotional about it. And if you […] Read more

Keep ag and attitudes on the same line

Almost 10 million Canadians watched the Super Bowl on Feb. 3. If you saw the American commercials, you saw the Anheuser-Busch InBev spot for Michelob Ultra Pure Gold “6 for 6-pack” beer that promises to help transition farmland to organic. The commitment is that for every six pack of Pure Gold sold, the company will […] Read more

Andrew Coyne, a columnist with the Globe and Mail, argued during a recent speech in Saskatoon that introducing a carbon tax while building the Trans Mountain pipeline is an appropriate “balanced approach.”  |  Michael Raine photo

Carbon tax, Trans Mountain called inevitable

A national newspaper columnist says the carbon tax needs to be higher to effectively change consumers’ behaviour

A carbon tax is the appropriate tool to address climate change but it is not high enough, the Trans Mountain pipeline will get built, Canada remains a beacon of international trade, and India — more so than China — should be the focus of future trade initiatives. Globe and Mail columnist Andrew Coyne offered those […] Read more

This land for sale near The Pas, Man. includes all infrastructure and equipment. It's one of the top stories on for 2019. | Darren Sander photo

Year’s top 10 online stories

We regularly look at the top-read stories on The following are the top 10 stories of the year. 10. Alberta rancher defies history to run for NDP (April). Fourth generation rancher Cam Gardner ran for the NDP in the riding of Livingston-Macleod. He placed second to UCP candidate Roger Reid. 9. Deere previews next-generation […] Read more

A look at sustainability and its implications for farming

A look at sustainability and its implications for farming

Last year in this space I wrote that agriculture has the potential to change the world. This year in our “Issue 52” edition, we focus on what it will take to change the world in a sustainable manner. These approaches to agriculture — sustainable, regenerative: what they mean and why they matter — are partly […] Read more

Soil advocate Don Lobb says while tillage remains an issue, compaction is probably the number one issue facing soil integrity.  |  File photo

Getting off the soil degradation curve

A soil health advocate says we must break the cycle that sees productivity drop as food demand increases

Soil aggregates are the key to the future of soil health, but they are not well cultivated on much of the land, placing soil health, and thus the future of agri-food, in jeopardy, says Don Lobb, a longtime advocate of soil health. “For the first time in history we have the capacity to produce food […] Read more

 Dave Green and his parents, Gord and Laura Green, own Greenholm Farms in Embro, Ont. Methane gas produced from organics and cattle manure generate electricity on the farm that is sold into the Ontario power grid. | Brian MacLeod photo

Tapping into the power of methane

‘The circle of agriculture’: Twin anaerobic digesters generate electricity and produce enriched manure

The reuse of material is a key tenet of sustainability in agriculture, and Greenholm Farms, in Embro, Ont., just northwest of Woodstock, has taken that to heart. The owners, Gord and Laura Green, along with their son and business partner, Dave, have discovered that producing methane to generate electricity on their mixed dairy and crop […] Read more

Regenerative ag is a series of practices that rely less on chemicals and more on natural processes. How practical some of the practices are is the question under discussion.
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Why cover regenerative agriculture?

The Farm Forum Event held in Saskatoon earlier this month drew hundreds of farmers and agrologists for three days of seminars. A topic of conversation among farmers was regenerative agriculture, with one audience member inquiring about this latest “buzzword.” Regenerative ag is a series of practices that rely less on chemicals and more on natural […] Read more