There is an opportunity for a massive increase in hemp crop production and a huge opportunity for boosting value by breaking hemp into all its components, said Marc van Burck of Hemp Production Services.

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Canada must act to cash in on plant protein trend

There’s a golden opportunity in front of Western Canada, but plant protein processing potential could pop up somewhere else if prairie people don’t grab it. That was a message threaded through a number of presentations made by grain, food and logistics experts speaking at the Fields on Wheels conference Nov. 1. “There is opportunity. We […] Read more

Permanently growing demand seemed to support the case for aggressive farm expansion a few years ago, but the commodity boom is now over and the finances of many producers have become more perilous.  |  Jeannette Greaves photo

Duration risk becomes major problem for many farmers

“It’s not the down-cycle years that do farms in; it’s those boom years.” That wise comment was tweeted to me by intelliFARM analyst Brian Voth in an online discussion I was having about the sour mood across Canada today. That sour mood extends deep into farming, where years of lacklustre returns combined with challenging (to […] Read more

A research initiative called Protein Highway hopes to see an acceleration of the commercial development of plant proteins, such as those from peas. | File photo

Protein highway forges connections

An initiative gathers steam to bring agricultural and engineering research together to improve plant protein processing

SASKATOON — Hundreds of students cross the bridge between the engineering and agriculture buildings every day, heading to cafeterias, offices and parking lots. It’s a pedestrian highway connecting part of the sprawling and populous campus, joining two of the University of Saskatchewan’s highest-profile faculties. But that pathway is much quieter when it comes to researchers […] Read more


Today’s pulse protein overnight success story began at least back in the 1960s, with researchers at universities and the federal National Research Council beginning to explore the potential of crops like peas and fababeans.
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Plant-based ingredients on the eve of a breakthrough

Plant protein products could be on the cusp of major success as new entries into the marketplace receive widespread public acceptance

SASKATOON — It takes a lot of commitment to spend decades working on research that might never lead to much. It also takes a lot of commitment to spend farmers’ money for decades knowing that it might not lead to real gains. Dedicated scientists and researchers did the former. And far-sighted farmers did the latter, […] Read more

Despite enjoying the support of a high proportion of western canola growers, Conservative party leader Scheer has sounded a hawkish rather than conciliatory note when talking about China.
 | Screencap via Twitter/@AndrewScheer

With Canada-China relations, how did things ever get so far?

An opportunity for China to calm down things with Canada?

How did things ever get so far? I’m hoping somebody high up in the Chinese government is thinking that today, as its relationships with multiple countries are strained and have suffered considerable damage in the last couple of years. Canada is not the least of those strained relationships and deepening bad blood, with two Canadian […] Read more


This is life in the afterglow of the commodity bull market and it’s bad for most Canadians. Farmers and oilfield workers know that directly, finding it hard to cover operating costs, to find work, or to find the confidence to decide to reinvest in operations. | File photo

End of commodity boom real reason for national anger

There’s an ugly feeling across Canada, apparent in the federal election and its results, but long-simmering beforehand. Politicians have been horrible to each other. But so too have millions of Canadian citizens, these days often portraying each other as enemies rather than as fellow citizens with differing views. This is particularly true on social media, […] Read more

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister, right, and Environment Minister Rochelle Squires announce funding for the first projects under the Growing Outcomes in Watersheds program.  |  Ed White photo

VIDEO: Man. funds first projects in conservation program

The Growing Outcomes in Watersheds program pays money toward ongoing environmental protection projects in agricultural areas

GLEN LEA, Man. — After so many years of hoping, conservation-minded farmers are on the cusp of seeing themselves being rewarded for being good stewards. While there have been many conservation projects and environmental programs that farmers have participated in, the roll-out of permanent funding for some farmer efforts is a joy for some to […] Read more

Canada talks trade with China at WTO

Canada and China are talking, and that’s a good thing for hopes of reopening the giant market. That’s the feeling of Brian Innes, Canola Council of Canada vice-president for public affairs, who is in Geneva, Switzerland, to observe the two countries’ “consultation” over China’s ban on canola imports from Canada. “We’ve seen good dialogue today […] Read more


Canadian exporters must move fast if they are to protect sales to Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership signatories, such as Japan, because the United States is moving to sign bilateral deals with those countries.  |  REUTERS/Yuya Shino photo

Canada must get serious about increasing trade with Asia

Whoever won the federal election (I’m writing this before the results are in), there will be no time for a victory lap or a long, defeated sobbing episode, at least for the International trade and foreign affairs ministers, old and maybe new. Canada has a tiny window of opportunity to try to defend some new […] Read more

Supporters watch the results come in at the Conservative leader Andrew Scheer's campaign headquarters during the federal election in Regina.  |  REUTERS/Carlos Osorio

Life in the afterglow of the commodity boom: Is this why we’re all so mad and raging?

Everybody wants somebody to blame. Better blame Mr CommoditiesCycle

It’s a truly dark time in Canada, with the rise of an angry, raging, denunciatory politics taking over this nation the way that it has been doing in the U.S. for a few years now. The federal election supplied ample evidence of this, with ill will and personal attacks hanging over the entire campaign. Beyond […] Read more