The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association says this is one of the most severe widespread droughts and largest feed supply shortages in decades, and it will continue to work for more supports. | MICKEY WATKINS photo

Producers call drought aid small first steps

Livestock tax deferral and AgriRecovery commitment appreciated, but farmers say Prairies must move on AgriStability

Farm organizations largely welcomed last week’s federal drought assistance announcement but say more is required to keep producers and the food supply chain working. The early designation of livestock tax deferral regions and late participation in AgriStability are only small first steps, they said. They are now pinning their hopes on the AgriRecovery assessments currently […] Read more

B.C. farmer questions fire response

Tricia Thorpe and her husband were off helping others when they found out their small farm at Lytton, B.C., was at risk from a fire sweeping the community. Four kilometres away, they had no indication the flames would make it to their property. “We never imagined we were in any danger,” she said July 15, […] Read more

Ottawa funds conservation, wildlife habitat

Three conservation organizations will share more than $25 million in federal funding for projects to sequester carbon and preserve biodiversity on the Prairies. Federal agriculture minister Marie-Claude Bibeau announced the money during a stop at Oak Hammock Marsh in Manitoba July 23. The projects are three-year initiatives under the Nature Smart Climate Solutions fund announced […] Read more


The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association has recommended a program based on a feed-need design to provide direct support for extra feed and water costs on a per-animal-per-day basis, but others worry about what happens if the region runs out of feed. | Sandy Black photo

Drought may significantly slash western herd

Some farm leaders are talking about the possibility of a 50 percent reduction across whole regions of Western Canada

The Canadian cattle herd is likely to shrink significantly as a lack of feed and water forces producers to sell off breeding stock. During a town hall meeting organized by the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association and provincial associations July 19, leaders said cows are already moving to market as producers evaluate how many they can maintain […] Read more

Officials are working on what the disaster assistance program will cover and the accompanying compensation levels. The cost-share is 60 percent federal and 40 percent provincial. Here, federal ag minister Marie-Claude Bibeau visits Curtis McRae’s farm north of Winnipeg on a tour of drought-struck regions. | Ed White photo

Ottawa to trigger AgriRecovery to provide drought help

All three prairie provinces have asked for the program to be initiated and are now hoping details will come soon

Federal agriculture minister Marie-Claude Bibeau will initiate AgriRecovery now that formal requests have come in from provinces affected by heat and drought. All three prairie provinces have asked for assessments, and British Columbia and Ontario are expected to do the same. Officials are working on what the disaster assistance program will cover and the accompanying […] Read more


Federal agriculture minister Marie-Claude Bibeau announced the money during a stop at Oak Hammock Marsh in Manitoba July 23. The projects are three-year initiatives under the Nature Smart Climate Solutions fund announced in the most recent federal budget. | Twitter/@mclaudebibeau photo

Ottawa funds conservation, wildlife habitat

Three conservation organizations will share more than $25 million in federal funding for projects to sequester carbon and preserve biodiversity on the Prairies. Federal agriculture minister Marie-Claude Bibeau announced the money during a stop at Oak Hammock Marsh in Manitoba July 23. The projects are three-year initiatives under the Nature Smart Climate Solutions fund announced […] Read more

Producers who irrigate say this year shows the value of having access to water. | File photo

Irrigation pivots work overtime this summer

Most irrigators have had adequate access to water during the drought, and many say their crops remain in good shape

Pivots have run nearly non-stop this summer on the portion of Anthony Eliason’s farm near Outlook, Sask., that is irrigated. About a quarter of Golden Dee Farms, or 1,250 acres, is irrigated and typically canola, dry beans, flax, fababeans and wheat are planted on that land. This year, Eliason said he seeded higher value crops […] Read more

Food Tech Valley will be “an integrated modern city that develops alternative proteins, creates drought-resistant crops, and uses 3D technology and robots to help sustain food production, create super foods and provide answers to global food challenges,” said UAE ambassador to Canada, Fahad Saeed Al Raqbany. | Dubai Media Office graphic

UAE plans agricultural smart city

The United Arab Emirates is building a new smart city focused on agriculture and food production for its desert climate. Food Tech Valley will be “an integrated modern city that develops alternative proteins, creates drought-resistant crops, and uses 3D technology and robots to help sustain food production, create super foods and provide answers to global […] Read more


GIFS and several partners also this year launched the Omics and Precision Agriculture Lab, or OPAL, as one platform to help accelerate research and development and add scale. | Screencap via gifs.ca

Food security institute hopes to unite innovation sector

Steve Webb sees the Global Institute for Food Security as a bridge between good ideas and marketable products. The chief executive officer of GIFS said Canada hasn’t done a good job of innovating in the ag tech space. “One of the challenges that we face before we can realize our vision of Canada as an […] Read more

Rob Saik says agriculture will have to be “infinitely sustainable” to feed a growing population, including soil health, water-use efficiency, greenhouse gas balance and farm viability. | File photo

Agricultural leader envisions industry’s future

A decade after Rob Saik offered 10 key drivers he believed would shape agriculture in the next 10 years, the agrologist, entrepreneur and author has another list of 10. During a recent presentation at Canada’s Farm Show, Saik said sustainability in all its forms figures prominently in the future. To feed a growing population agriculture […] Read more