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 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 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

A scientist compares Golden Rice, right, and ordinary rice. Golden Rice is genetically modified to be infused with beta-carotene, a chemical substance responsible in producing vitamin A in the body. The biofortified rice helps prevent vitamin A deficiency, which causes immunity deficiency syndrome and is the leading cause of blindness in children in developing nations. |  REUTERS/Erik De Castro photo

Biofortification: the art of improving food

Examples of biofortification 
projects include:

The potential for crop breeding known as biofortification to direct specific nutrients to people who need them the most is “huge,” but it will take a worldwide effort among many organizations to make that happen, says Adam Heurberger, assistant professor of horticulture and landscape agriculture at Colorado State University. Biofortification involves breeding plants with high […] Read more

‘Fake news’ term not to be used lightly

I have, in recent weeks, come across the term “fake news” when people want to express their concern with an element in a story or column. This term has caught on and is being used as a tool to denigrate other people’s communication. It is often used inappropriately. The term was popularized by U.S. President […] Read more

Combatting bad press

On Nov. 1, The Western Producer published a story under the headline, “Canadian pulses attacked in India’s press.” The story detailed how the Times of India, the country’s largest English language newspaper, published a story a week earlier warning readers about a government statement on glyphosate in daal (split, dried pulses) imported from Canada and […] Read more

Parsing an increasing population

When AGT Food and ingredients’ Murad Al-Katib mentioned the expected growth in world population at Grain World last week, I got curious. I’ve heard the number several times, but I wondered what more there is too it. Understandably, Al-Katib sees tremendous opportunity for Canada’s agricultural sector. Indeed, it’s not just the growth in population that […] Read more

Farm groups delighted as CPTPP ratified

When the House of Commons ratified the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership last week, followed quickly by royal assent, many farm groups reacted with glee. Canada is the fifth country to ratify the agreement — Mexico, Japan, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand are the others — which encompasses 11 countries and almost 500 […] Read more