Timing is good for UN’s International Year of Plant Health

Next year is the International Year of Plant Health — so says the United Nations, which is fond of dedicating years to causes. Previous “year-of” declarations have included Year of the Family (1994), Year of the Ocean (1998), Year for Culture and Peace (2000), Year of Freshwater (2003) and Year of Natural Fibres (2009). Remember […] Read more

Mental health worth the investment

There is reason for optimism in the latest report by the House of Commons standing committee on agriculture and agri-food on rural mental health. After hearing from 58 witnesses and receiving five briefs over eight months, the committee made 10 recommendations. The conclusions pretty much have it right, but much of it was already known. […] Read more

Ag policy remains vital coverage area

For the last five years, since the retirement of our Ottawa bureau’s Barry Wilson, Kelsey Johnson’s column has graced the bottom of page 10, offering her weekly analysis of what’s going on in ag on Parliament Hill. Kelsey has covered many issues related to agriculture – she’s an Albertan, and an Edmonton Eskimos fan – […] Read more


This column is an ode to the correction.
 | Flickr.com/CreditDebitPro.com photo

Correcting errors helps build trust

On April 21, the New York Times ran four corrections. On April 18, the Toronto Star ran five. No doubt many people have received viral emails containing humorous errors and corrections in the media. A newspaper accidentally reported that a musician was on drugs, instead of on drums. Another newspaper reported that a source did […] Read more

The news team of Barb Glen, Robert Arnason and Ed White won first place in the Special Projects category for a special report on supply management. Journalism in this category “takes reporting to a higher level,” demonstrating “careful planning and enterprise.”| File photo

WP writers recognized for their efforts

Western Producer journalists have been recognized around the world for their work, and this year’s North American Agricultural Journalists awards competition kept that record going. Five members of the Producer’s newsroom were honoured in four categories. The news team of Barb Glen, Robert Arnason and Ed White won first place in the Special Projects category […] Read more


Insect report reaction misguided

By now, you’ve likely heard about “the study.” It’s the one by environmental scientist Francisco Sanchez-Bayo and entomologist Kris Wyckhuys concluding that an insect apocalypse is underway. They are right to raise the alarm — we need to know this — but the rush to judgment by some about what must be done is superficial. […] Read more

Farmers need more carbon tax analysis

Last week’s front-page story by Robin Booker was a substantial piece. After filing a series of requests through the federal Access to Information Act to determine what, if anything, the Canadian government had done to determine the effect of the pending carbon tax on farmers, Robin searched through a mountain of information to determine that […] Read more

Rural minister should bring cabinet clout

If the newly created rural and economic development ministry, led by MP Bernadette Jordan, is effective and can earn some clout in cabinet, it may bring a healthy new focus to rural issues in Canada. Jordan represents the riding of South Shore-St. Margarets in Nova Scotia, and as earlier reported in The Western Producer, is […] Read more


Each year, we look at the top-read stories on producer.com. The results are interesting and wide-ranging. | Les Dunford photo

Top-10 online stories of 2018

Each year, we look at the top-read stories on producer.com. The results are interesting and wide-ranging. Here are the top-10 online stories of 2018. 10. “Tractor trip ends in tragedy.” In July, Elmira, Ont., dairy producers Henk and Bettina Schuurmans travelled across Canada to promote Canadian dairy. After a collision with a truck on Highway […] Read more