Canada's new Agriculture Minister has presented herself to farmers as a serious and dynamic person who is looking forward to tackling farmers' issues. | Ed White photo

Ag minister Bibeau discusses priorities at first official function

MONTREAL — Canada’s new Agriculture Minister has presented herself to farmers as a serious and dynamic person who is looking forward to tackling farmers’ issues. “I’m here to listen, and I intend to deliver,” Marie-Claude Bibeau said at the Canadian Crops Convention March 7, her first official function as Agriculture Minister, after being appointed March […] Read more

Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland speaking with Canola Council of Canada President Jim Everson

Canola industry hunkers down to hear if the next Chinese shoe drops

Canadian canola trade with China is not new to disruptions

This has happened before, and it will happen again. But the worrisome situation with Canadian canola exports to China might get worse before it gets better. That was the prevailing mood of exporters, canola industry leaders and farmer representatives at the Canadian Crops Convention in Montreal this week, as the industry grappled with news about […] Read more

Canola growers face rough ride as challenges mount

I’m predicting a dour mood this week in Montreal, as canola growers and those who live off their crop production efforts gather for the Canola Council of Canada annual convention. Problems have piled up for what’s become most farmers’ favourite crop. The spread of clubroot and the worsening of blackleg have thrown a pall into […] Read more

Young farmers call for more support in Manitoba

Young farmers need at least as much program support as established farmers, but in Manitoba many don’t feel they’re getting it. That was the message of a number of resolutions at a recent Keystone Agricultural Producers annual meeting. Programs like cash advances and crop insurance might work well for big acreages and big crops, but […] Read more

Genetics should focus on animal welfare first, researcher suggests

Gene editing has enormous potential for livestock production, but the agriculture industry needs to be cautious. Public support hasn’t yet been achieved, and self-focused development won’t be the way to win it, said a British swine research expert. “Great care is needed,” said Richard Leach of Fast Genetics. Farmers could see gains in marbling, tenderness […] Read more

Machine-learning could boost livestock production, welfare: expert

“Machine-learning” has enormous positive implications for livestock production, said an American swine expert. But machine-learning, which is a form of artificial intelligence in which computerized systems learn from experience rather than simply following commands, relies completely upon heavy human input and interaction. “The computer doesn’t know until we as humans put our expertise down,” said […] Read more

Crop prices too low for comfort in U.S.

There’s a reason that American farmers seem sour these days. “Despite good harvests, farm income continued to fall,” said the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its Feb. 14 Agricultural Credit Conditions Survey. Bountiful crop production isn’t enough to stop the vise tightening on American farmers, the Minneapolis Fed noted, which could make things […] Read more

Pam Bailey and Rauri Qually want to focus on farming, if they can answer the question of how a young couple can get ahead in the business.  |  Ed White photo

Luck plus hard work equals success

A young farm couple from Manitoba didn’t plan the way they started farming together, but they’re focused now

Rauri Qually credits a bit of good luck for his successful courting of Pam Bailey. She, a Nova Scotia native, had never been to a “social,” but had heard of the uniquely Manitoba phenomena. He, while buying a spare part at the outlet she worked at, offered to take her to one he was attending […] Read more

Unconfined farrowing would need management changes

Pig producers need to understand that they must continually improve pig welfare, no matter how many improvements they make, a Western College of Veterinary Medicine expert says about pig welfare. That includes getting prepared to move into crate-free farrowing one day. “Once you have gotten out of gestation stalls, the farrowing crate will be next,” […] Read more

Even experts have hard time figuring out current market

Which take is true? 1) The world has experienced 10 years of growth and is on the verge of a major market-killing recession. 2) The world is experiencing slowing growth but is only part way through a continuing economic cycle with lots of room for prices to run higher. There are lots of advocates for […] Read more