Border divides trade deal opinions

It’s interesting to take a quick look at how the Canadian and U.S. media viewed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement in the immediate aftermath of its announcement. In Canada, it was mainly relief. In the U.S., it was mostly, “did we win?” The Toronto Star noted that it “came down to making a few acceptable concessions […] Read more

Canada’s governing dilemma

Running a large country like Canada is to surge from one dilemma to another. While negotiating a United States-Mexico-Canada trade deal, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was also dealing with the Trans Mountain Pipeline issue. He’s taken the middle ground — not appealing the Federal Appeal Court ruling halting the pipeline, in part because of inadequate […] Read more

Discerning readers will notice that we’ve been writing a lot about farmers’ use of chemicals lately.
 | File photo

Our coverage of chemicals worthwhile

Discerning readers will notice that we’ve been writing a lot about farmers’ use of chemicals lately. There are four stories in this week’s Western Producer: one about the low thresholds used by Health Canada for neonicotinoids, one detailing how beekeepers in Western Canada are worried that a ban on neonics will result in farmers using […] Read more


Producer staff earn awards

Each year, the American Agricultural Association’s award contest identifies great content supplied by writers, designers photographers and digital presenters from across the continent. Once again this year, work from the Western Producer’s staff has been recognized as among the best. In the “Issues” category, Calgary-based reporter, Barbara Duckworth, won first place for a special report […] Read more

CETA proving hard to ratify in Europe

If Canada hadn’t already negotiated the CETA trade deal with the European Union, would we make such an attempt to do so today? Certainly, there would be skepticism. It took seven years and a lot of high-level energy to get the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement negotiated. The deal reduces 98 percent of the tariffs […] Read more


Barry Olson’s 1941 Case tractor was a “parts tractor.” Since Case had a hard time getting parts during the Second World War, the company scrounged parts from various sources.

Tractor show goes time travelling

Many visitors to Farm Progress like the antique tractor and truck show because they remember driving them

Nostalgia is a powerful draw for antique vehicle shows, but it works even better when visitors can say, “hey, that’s my tractor.” Well, sort of. The John Deere 5020 tractor owned by Adriaan and Justin Lievaart of Estevan, Sask., was one of the stars of the antique tractors and truck show at Canada’s Farm Progress […] Read more

Online stories an eclectic mix

It’s time for our semi-annual look at our most popular stories. I always enjoy this column because it gives us some insight into what readers like to see at producer.com. As we can see, our most popular stories so far are an eclectic mix of mayhem, farming culture, breaking news and agricultural issue oriented stories. […] Read more

Giving Senate legitimacy is a bad idea

Last August, the CBC published an opinion piece by Aaron Wherry that was headlined, “The hope for an elected Senate is dead, or at least fast asleep.” Just as well. If you’ve been around for a while, you’ll remember the term triple-E Senate. It stood for equal, elected and effective. It sounded good. Felt good. […] Read more


Ag organizations must earn a “social licence” before new technology will be adopted, Kevin Folta said. “It breaks my heart to (see the solutions that are available), especially in the developing world, that don’t get to their target, that don’t serve the people they were meant to serve.”
 | Screencap via Twitter/@GlobalFoodSecur

Trust vs. facts in debate over agriculture

We have often championed the virtue of good communications about agriculture to consumers, but Kevin Folta, a professor in the horticultural sciences department at the University of Florida, has outlined a process to ensure the targets and the messages are effective. Folta, who spoke at the Global Institute for Food Security conference in Saskatoon last week, urged those […] Read more

Will supply management survive?

In April 2017, shortly after Canada closed the loophole on imports of ultra-filtered milk, Wisconsin dairy farmer Shane Sauer, told the CBC: “We don’t blame you (Canada)” for what was then a glut of product on the market. Sauer explained the explosion in production of ultra-filtered milk, used in milk byproducts such as cheese, came […] Read more