There have been some good stories this year.
 The harvest was one of the best in years. Crops came off with exceptional yields, in good time and in nice field conditions. | File photo

Looking back at what we learned, lost and gained in 2020

I’m not big on end-of-year summaries, but with 2020 a year whose end will be celebrated (albeit not with crowds), it’s worth looking at what we’ve learned, what we’ve lost and what we’ve gained. This will be a year that historians and average people will look back on for the next 100 years. Hopefully we […] Read more

CFIA eases meat trade between provinces

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency will allow interprovincial trade of provincially inspected meat if necessary to alleviate meat shortages. Moving meat not inspected by the federal system across a provincial border will require a ministerial exemption. A process to obtain that was released late last month. The process is temporary, in place during the COVID-19 […] Read more

Analyst sees aura of stagnation around productivity

Agriculture has been the productivity star of the Canadian economy for the past 50 years, says John Stackhouse of the Royal Bank. But he also says that predictable productivity improvement seen almost every year is flagging and he’s not sure why. He told the Ontario Federation of Agriculture’s annual meeting that for agriculture to become […] Read more

Global productivity in agriculture production continues to grow healthily, but not yet fast enough to feed the expected 10 billion people on the planet by 2050.
 | File photo

We need to export agriculture’s productivity miracle

Global productivity in agriculture production continues to grow healthily, but not yet fast enough to feed the expected 10 billion people on the planet by 2050. That’s according to the 2019 Global Agriculture Productivity (GAP) Report, recently released by Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The report says that agriculture productivity is increasing at an average […] Read more

There is no middle ground in Britain between expensive local food and cheaper imports. Canada could fill the gap.  |  Reuters/Stefan Wermuth photo

Opportunities abound for improving food exports to EU

There are opportunities in Europe for Canadian agriculture and food products, but we have to learn to play their game. I recently spent a couple weeks in Europe visiting relatives and travelling with family. In Great Britain, the cradle of the local food movement I noticed that the need to label everything as British is […] Read more

Yes the technology exists, but how quickly do farmers adopt it? In some cases it is very quickly (such as with autosteer); in others it is a long haul, says Farmtario's John Greig.

Agriculture adopts digital technology faster than other sectors

Is agriculture ahead or behind the rest of the economy on the technology curve? I’ve always said ahead, but those who monitor these sorts of things from outside the industry always rank agriculture as a “mature” or “legacy” sector that lags other sectors in technology adoption. The answer is likely somewhere in the middle — […] Read more

Speed up availability of high-speed internet in rural areas

My fist-pump moment when we were deciding whether to buy our small farm 10 years ago had nothing to do with the state of the house, or soil conditions, or proximity to off-farm work. I was standing on the second floor of the derelict house on the property and I could see the elevator leg […] Read more

Low milk prices prompt U.S. dairy to eye supply management

You can tell every five to 10 years that the American milk situation is getting particularly dire — when they start having discussions about supply management. Dairy farms in the United States are in their fifth year of chronically low milk prices, which declined quickly in late 2014 from about $25 per hundredweight of milk […] Read more

Higher farm incomes are definitely something to celebrate

Statistics Canada says that farm households are doing much better than they did a generation or two ago. That’s something to celebrate. Median farm income was almost half of the income of the rest of the population in the early 1970s. As of 2016, it was 20 percent above the median income of the rest […] Read more

The Beef Farmers of Ontario board wanted the check-off increase to pay for more marketing and communications to try and bolster the province’s beef industry.  |  File photo

Ont. farmers reject increase to beef checkoff

A bid to increase the checkoff Ontario beef producers pay to Beef Farmers of Ontario failed to get the 66 percent of votes required for approval. Beef Farmers of Ontario dipped into its reserves to pay a 2017 deficit worth nearly $1 million and had planned to do the same in 2018, expecting that the […] Read more