‘No great impediments’ seen in border traffic

Ag exporters say they are happy with how goods have moved across the Canada-U.S. border during the COVID pandemic

Canada’s border situation with the United States has proven to be a fortunate and rare success for Canadian agriculture during a time of crisis. “COVID-19 has brought many challenges (but) luckily trade between Canada and the U.S. has not been one of them for the Canadian beef industry,” said Fawn Jackson, the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association’s […] Read more

Empty grocery store shelves are among the factors that some point to when arguing for a wholesale overhaul of the country’s food production.  |  Reuters/Carlos Osorio photo

Will the COVID crisis cause a food revolution?

Innovative technologies are waiting on the shelf, but will they finally be embraced?

There’s been lots of blather about exciting food and agriculture industry technological innovations. “Smart” everything has been talked about for more than a decade. My newspaper has published dozens of stories about the possibilities of blockchain. The “internet of things” is a term buzzing away at every farm and ag conference out there. But it’s […] Read more

Border success cannot be allowed to breed failure

The Canada-United States border is a quiet success story hidden behind all the awfulness that has come out of COVID-19. Despite the worst pandemic in a century and despite a U.S. president that is given to playing hardball with foreign neighbours, trade has kept flowing across the Canada-U.S. border, helping keep us all fed, many […] Read more

U.S. economic reports show pandemic fallout

Farmers’ woes are being cited in key U.S. economic reports as COVID-19’s wide-ranging effects show up in data. “Contacts reported disruptions in the supply chain for meats, dairy and vegetables,” said the U.S. Federal Reserve Board’s upper Midwest district, quoted in the Fed’s May 2020 Beige Book commentary on economic data. Across the U.S., the […] Read more

Don’t take farming and food for granted says U of C report

Canadians and Canada’s governments shouldn’t take farming and food for granted. That’s the bottom line of a June 9 report from the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy. “Food security in Canada is not something to be taken for granted and government policy action must reflect the essential service agriculture provides for our nation,” […] Read more

Let’s be hopeful, but not stupid, as COVID-19 wanes

There was shocking economic news today: U.S. non-farm payroll numbers increased by 2.5 million, rather than declining by expectations for more than seven million. Got that? The U.S. added jobs in May rather than continuing to fall into a hole dug by COVID-19. Is that number real? Is it a statistical aberration? Is it a […] Read more

If analysts looked at futures curves, option spreads, volatility gauges, cash market basis and other readily available price data they could see further into the complexities of agricultural markets.
 | File photo

Analysts urged to mine more data for more accuracy

Ag economist says his colleagues should take the time to analyze futures curves, option spreads and cash market basis

Agricultural economists are ignoring much of the rich data readily available in crop markets, says one analyst. They should delve deeper into the prices and spreads between prices to better understand and analyze crop markets. “Hopefully this paper will inspire agricultural economists to expand their way of thinking and their toolkit when analyzing commodity prices […] Read more

Workers carry aid provided by the World Food Program for distribution in Pissila, Burkina Faso, in January.  |  Reuters/Anne Mimault photo

Nations urged to stay the course on foreign aid

World Food Program recently doubled its estimate of the number of people at risk of imminent starvation to 265 million from 135 million

Open borders and funding for overseas food aid are essential in preventing starvation for hundreds of millions of people, says the head of the United Nations World Food Program as well as the head of Canada’s International Development Research Centre. The COVID-19 pandemic is a problem everywhere, but poor countries risk being hit much harder […] Read more

In weekly surveys of its members, the CFIB has found increasing levels of stress among farmers. Livestock producers are obviously affected by slaughter plant shutdowns and slowdowns, but stress has been rife in farm country for months.
 | Screencap via CFIB.ca

Survey finds producers feeling more stress

COVID-19 has piled more stress upon already stress-filled farmers, says the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. That’s why it’s important for the federal government to find more support for producers hit by complications from the crisis. “These are stressful and uncertain times for farmers,” said Marilyn Braun-Pollon, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business’s agriculture specialist. […] Read more