Cash advance improvements make program more appealing

Farmers are facing looming loan deadlines and that might lead to many last-minute cash advance applications. Not only are various loans coming due, but many farmers haven’t been able to sell crops this winter. The improved cash advance program could fill the cash gap, says the Canadian Canola Growers Association. “Pay the expenses while you’re […] Read more

Saskatchewan reported an additional six confirmed cases of COVID-19 today, while Manitoba has one. | Getty Images

Risky COVID-19 choices coming, and there’s no dodging them

Our leaders face tough decisions. There are none without severe costs to people or our society

Choices have to be made about how to deal with COVID-19. None of those choices are going to be easy. And nobody’s likely to get it “right.” But our planet’s leaders face an excruciating set of choices on how to cope with the dual risks of disease deaths for humans from coronavirus and permanent damage […] Read more

The bear has replaced the bull in equity markets.  |  Reuters photo

Assessing the factors behind volatile markets

Watching the markets melt down with the combination of coronavirus and the Russia-Saudi Arabia oil war is providing front row seats to bear market dynamics. For the stock markets, I suspect it’s a medium-term bear market, partly a correction in response to excessive gains last year in an already tired bull market, and now pushed […] Read more

It’s hard to find a silver lining to this winter of woe.
 But for those farmers who survive its many travails and get a better year in 2020-21, perhaps stronger farms and Canadian farming system will arise.
 | File photo

Tough couple of years could end up making farmers stronger

It’s hard to find a silver lining to this winter of woe. But for those farmers who survive its many travails and get a better year in 2020-21, perhaps stronger farms and Canadian farming system will arise. That’s the kind of wisdom I sensed developing among farmers and those who serve them during the Canadian […] Read more

Amid a plethora of problems, farmers and the rest of the crops industry are hoping to keep Canada’s production and exports growing.
 | File photo

Farmers wait for spring with hopeful attitude

Last fall was tough and winter wasn’t much better, but producers take a positive approach as they prepare for seeding

VANCOUVER — Despite a nightmare 2019 growing season, a ghastly winter and ongoing problems, farmers are turning their attention to the future. They’re switching their focus to the next crop that will keep them busy and give them hope. “Every year we look at it as another chance. It’s another chance to go out and […] Read more

Developers ask for clarity on ‘novel’ concept

Canadian Food Inspection Agency hopes to fix variety approval system so innovative crop development isn’t stymied

Farmers are losing access to great new varieties of crops without even knowing it, crop developers warned during the Prairie Grain Development Committee’s annual meeting. That’s because Canada’s regulatory system is so unclear that many researchers and developers won’t invest in varieties that might be flagged “novel.” It’s hurting Canadian farmers’ ability to keep up […] Read more

Trade deals not passing muster

VANCOUVER — Canada’s top trade warriors have strongly underlined their commitment to fight for fair treatment of Canadian farm products in the global marketplace. But the growing exasperation of the agriculture industry with the obstructionist antics of foreign trading partners was evident during the Canadian Crops Convention. Signed trade deals that once seemed to offer […] Read more

Thinking that crop prices had reached a permanently high plateau back in the early 2010s could be causing significant management problems for farmers now that commodity values have fallen.  |  File photo

Doomed oilsands project shows risk of false assumptions

Anti-oil activists cheered the announcement by Teck Resources that it was pulling its application to build a monster oilsands project. I’m suspecting that the only people more relieved than the activists are the senior management and board of Teck, which now don’t have to keep stumbling around with that stinking albatross around their necks, acting […] Read more

A senior executive of a major Mexican oat customer says the regular service of Canada’s two major railways has “become a big problem.”  |  File photo

Oat buyer calls shipment delays ‘big problem’

Grain handling sector confirms that repeated shipping interruptions have hurt Canada’s reputation as a reliable supplier

Canada’s unreliable railway system continues to be a drag on the country’s reputation with crop buyers. “The regular service (of Canadian National Railway) and (Canadian Pacific Railway) has become a big problem,” said Jorge Sanchez Lanzilotti, the chief financial officer of major Mexican oat buyer Grupo Vida International. “From the raw materials to processed products, […] Read more

Pulse sector faces longer rotations

Have we hit peak pulse? That’s a question Sabine Banniza is regretfully pondering after studying the root rot that devastated prairie pea and lentil fields in the 2010s. “I think it’s a real game-changer for peas and lentils,” said Banniza, a Crop Development Centre researcher, during a presentation at the Prairie Grain Development Committee annual […] Read more