Economists suggest overhaul of dairy system

They recommend replacing provincial boards with western and eastern ones and ending use of higher-than-market prices


With the growing external pressures on Canada’s dairy industry, the dairy system needs internal flexibility to avoid constant crisis management. That’s what a number of economists say as they consider dairy farming’s future as new trade agreements bite off chunks of the domestic market. Problems with quota pricing, quota portability, milk pricing formulas and cost […] Read more

This image is from a Foodgrains Bank project, August, 2018. | Barb Glen photo

Canadian Foodgrains Bank declared an impact charity

Money donated to the Canadian Foodgrains Bank goes a long way and gets to the people it’s intended to help. That’s the conclusion of an independent charity watchdog that has placed the CFGB on its annual list of the “Top Ten Impact Charities.” It was happy news for the farmer-supported, church-based charity. “It’s such a […] Read more

Financial crisis of 2008 helped test market theories

Editor’s note: This is the sixth of a series of columns looking at the lessons learned from the financial crisis of 2008. The 2008-09 financial crisis was a disaster for tens of millions of people around the world, destroying jobs, savings and dreams. Many have not recovered from the damage it dealt. Some never will. […] Read more


Mr. Trump finds the right war

On being merely half-wrong twice a day

Every stopped clock is right twice a day, and Donald Trump is probably right on China, methinks. Or at least half-right. It’s an ugly situation right now for U.S. farmers, who are losing and fearing to lose sales of grains and meats to the gigantically consuming nation as the Trump-launched war’s repercussions come home. But […] Read more

10 years after: Time for The Great Normalization?

I have been posting to this blog for a decade now. Hurrah!!!! My blog began once our website became blog-enabled and I jumped into it with relish just days after returning to work on October1, 2008,  after having taken eight months off to look after my firstborn baby daughter, Noella. My mind was certainly refreshed […] Read more


Hog prices show rare fourth quarter resilience

Hog prices appear to be dodging the fourth-quarter bullet. Although the always-scary last three months of the year are upon producers, prices aren’t slumping but instead have found some recent strength, despite farmer fears and trade disputes. “I’m pretty optimistic about it,” said Steve Meyer, well-known hog market analyst with Kerns and Associates of Ames, […] Read more

Class 7 replacement must wait for trade details

Now that the details of the revised North American Free Trade Agreement are known, the dairy industry can move forward and deal with it, right? Not really, say some economists. “We need to understand what ‘it’ is,” said Al Mussell, an agricultural economist who has intensively studied Canada’s dairy industry. “The first thing is to […] Read more

Consumer concerns over pesticide residues in food will eventually affect farmers.  |  Getty image

Pesticide residue in food still top of mind for consumers

Every day seems to bring another story of a food processor fighting claims that its products contain dangerous levels of pesticide residues. Companies have had to replace packaging and product descriptions because of legal actions. They have been forced to acknowledge that tiny residues may, in fact, be found in their products. They have then […] Read more


Recent bad weather is jeopardizing the quality of crops that hadn’t been harvested yet.  |  Mike Sturk photo

Marketers forced to sell two crops this year

Crops that were harvested early are grading No. 1 and 2, but what comes after that could be a different story

It’s the best of crops. It might be the worst of crops. It’s a tale of two harvests, and Canada’s crop marketers are getting their heads around what farmers have produced this year. “What came off first is very, very good,” said Cam Dahl, president of Cereals Canada, which oversees the New Crop Missions that […] Read more

Supply management could be ready for some further consideration after the trade deals that have recently given up ground to international markets.  |  Michael Raine photo

Canada’s supply managed sectors must now avoid stagnation

Ed White’s series on lessons learned from the financial crisis of 10 years ago will resume next week. Now is the time to face up to the bad math that threatens to throttle the future of the Canadian dairy industry. In the aftermath of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, there is a lot of talk of […] Read more