The federal election is a good time to remind politicians of the importance of agricultural technology, including pesticides.  |  File photo

Recognize ag technology’s importance

We love technology. Apple brings out a new cellphone and there are lineups around the block. Yet, when it comes to technology and agriculture, the same people that stand in line for the latest phone seem to want to go back to the technology of 1950. We had pesticide-free, grown without fertilizers, and non-GMO agriculture […] Read more

Pushing the politicians on trade

A federal election is coming this October. Now is the time for farmers to push for policies that will allow agriculture to deliver economic growth. Agriculture and agrifood give more jobs to Canadians than the auto and aerospace industries combined. But our jobs are spread out across Canada and not concentrated in big centres. That […] Read more

The World Trade Organization is one tool at Canada’s disposal to deal with trade protection, but some Canadian groups say the federal government has been reluctant to use it.  |  REUTERS/Denis Balibouse photo

Countering new trade protectionism

The world has become protectionist. There is, justifiably, much focus on issues with China. But it is not just China. Canadian agriculture commodities are blocked in India, Italy, Saudi Arabia, and Vietnam and face issues in key markets like Peru. Countries are turning inward, finding new ways to block trade. How do we protect our […] Read more

The author makes the case for demonstrating the sustainability of modern agriculture by formalizing sustainable practices.  |  File photo

Time for a code of practice for grain

I was on a speaker’s panel a few weeks back with a farmer who said he never wanted to hear the word sustainability again. I understand the sentiment, but we as an industry are going to be hearing that word more and more from customers and consumers around the world. Farmers shy away from sustainability […] Read more

Durum has been at the centre of recent trade tensions between Canada and Italy, but the president of Cereals Canada doesn’t believe the problem is insurmountable.  |  File photo

Canada, Italy can fix their differences

Canadians and Italians like each other. Italian culture has formed a deep part of the Canadian fabric, and Canadians buy hundreds of millions of dollars of goods from Italy every year. However, there have been some hiccups recently in the trade relationship between Canada and Italy, highlighted by the protectionist measures being used to block […] Read more

Producers have come a long way since Old McDonald toiled on the farm. He retired a long time ago, says the author.  |  Robin Booker photo

Ag must celebrate modern farming

Most farmers are reluctant to talk about modern agriculture. Our own industry advertisements promote the image of a farm with a faded red barn and a few chickens running about in a pastoral setting. That is not modern agriculture and we need to stop letting agriculture be portrayed this way. It is not hard to […] Read more

The collective effort on transportation is one example of the power of co-operation with agricultural value chains.  |  File photo

Harnessing the power of co-operation

There is a common adage in agriculture: “wheat is 14 percent protein and 86 percent politics.” This was often applied in the era of debates over marketing, but it still fits today on many issues in agriculture. This is unfortunate and it comes at a cost. When governments in Canada receive different and conflicting policy […] Read more

Deviating from an evidence-based approach, such as banning or limiting pesticides that have been shown to be safe or limiting the use of modern biotechnology, will limit the tools available to farmers.  |  File photo

What Canadian agriculture stands for

It has been said that organizations are best defined by what they oppose versus what they support. That seems too cynical a view of the world. I want to talk about what we stand for. Canadian agriculture stands for science-based regulations and rules of trade. Farmers across this country depend on access to international markets […] Read more

Science must be an open and transparent process that is willing to review research that might not support current beliefs.  |  File photo

Real science willing to correct mistakes

I likely can’t count the number of times I have spoken or written the words science-based. It is a mantra of sorts. And for good reason. Technology is the most important competitive advantage for Canadian agriculture. This is how we are going to compete with emerging exporters and key international competitors. The alternative to science-based […] Read more

Health Canada regulators assess food hazards and risks through science-based assessments.  |  File photo

Hazard, risk study helps combat food fear

Should genetically modified products be labelled? Is organic healthier? Does glyphosate cause cancer? Do you put your kids at risk if you feed them meat or is the cave-man diet the way to go? All of these questions, and a few conspiracy theories, flood Twitter, Facebook and other social media tools. Celebrities are using “food […] Read more