Last week’s failure to reach a North American Free Trade Agreement deal wasn’t a total surprise. | Getty image

NAFTA jitters get extension

Last week’s failure to reach a North American Free Trade Agreement deal wasn’t a total surprise. The U.S. and Mexico agreed to a bilateral trade deal Aug. 27, so Canada and the U.S. had only a few days of formal meetings to reach a deal before an arbitrary deadline of Aug. 31, imposed by President […] Read more

In 2017, Canada exported more than $3 billion worth of canola oil, meal and other canola products to the United States.
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Losing dispute resolution a worry

Farmers are concerned about losing NAFTA’s Chapter 19, saying it has been valuable in their relations with the U.S.

In 2017, Canada exported more than $3 billion worth of canola oil, meal and other canola products to the United States. Those exports represent a fair chunk of the $23.3 billion in agricultural commodities and food that Canada shipped to the U.S last year. Given the billions of dollars, it’s obvious why Jim Everson is […] Read more

It's become clear to trade experts that Canada will have to give American farmers a share of Canada's dairy market to reach an agreement on a new NAFTA deal. | File photo

Canada expected to give in on dairy at NAFTA

Three percent, five percent or seven percent. It’s become clear to trade experts that Canada will have to give American farmers a share of Canada’s dairy market to reach an agreement on a new NAFTA deal. But no one, except a few negotiators and government insiders, knows the answer to the critical question. “How much […] Read more


Mayflies are among the aquatic insects that the Pest Management Regulatory Agency says it is protecting by proposing to ban all outdoor use of neonicotinoids in Canada.  |  John Gavloski photo

Neonic threshold called ‘overly conservative’

Bayer questions PMRA’s decision to set safe levels at 1.5 parts per trillion in its ban proposal; it’s 50 p.p.t. in the U.S.

If the highway speed limit in Canada was 15 km-h, it’s likely that the number of speeding tickets would increase. In the same vein, Health Canada has selected a low number it deems to be an acceptable amount of neonicotinoid insecticides in water bodies. For clothianidin, a Bayer insecticide, Health Canada scientists decided the acceptable […] Read more

Landen Stronks and other Alberta beekeepers are worried about what happens if and when neonicotinoids are phased out.
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Beekeepers worry about foliar sprays if neonics banned

Given recent attention to potential bee harm from neonicotinoids, one could assume beekeepers would be thrilled that Health Canada is banning the use of the insecticides, which has been linked to bee deaths and pollinator decline. Landen Stronks, a beekeeper from Iron Springs, Alta., is definitely not thrilled. Stronks and other Alberta beekeepers are worried […] Read more


A hemp bale waits to be processed at Canadian Greenfield’s decortication plant in Calgary.  |  Canadian Greenfield photo

Hemp makes concrete stronger

It is the classic case of a problem in need of a solution. For decades, the concrete industry has relied upon steel, glass and plastic fibres to reinforce concrete. But those materials aren’t great at preventing cracking in concrete. Shortly after pouring, tiny cracks can form in concrete and those fissures eventually become much larger […] Read more

The Canadian Pork Council is a strong supporter of Chapter 19 and industry leaders believe that NAFTA 2.0 should include a chapter on how to settle disputes. | File photo

NAFTA dispute mechanism in jeopardy following U.S.-Mexico deal

Over the last three decades, the dispute resolution mechanism of the North American Free Trade Agreement has been used about 120 times. Of those cases, about 15 were related to the agri-food sector, including decisions on the trade of beef, pork, live swine, durum wheat and raspberries. The dispute resolution section of NAFTA, often called […] Read more

Non-GM soybeans might be well suited for Manitoba’s Red River Valley, which has a longer growing season than most other parts of Western Canada.  |  File photo

Non-GM soybean market requires more acres

In 2017, farmers in Ontario and Quebec planted around four million acres of soybeans. About 25 percent of the beans, or one million acres, were non-genetically modified. Those soybeans are designated as food grade and are used to make products such as soy milk and tofu. Non-GMO, or identity preserved (IP) soybeans, are a huge […] Read more


Honeybee numbers have increased in Canada over the last five years. Many entomologists and beekeepers have said that varroa mites, diseases related to mites and cold winters are a much bigger threat to bees than neonics. One compared it to a boat with 20 holes. Banning neonics would plug one hole, but there would still be 19 holes in the boat.
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Public pressure weighs on proposal to ban neonics

On Aug. 15 at 1 p.m., eastern time, Health Canada held a news conference to explain why it was banning neonicotinoid insecticides. The first question from the media was telling. “What took so long?… We’ve heard, for years, about the effects of (these) pesticides on pollinators and other insects,” Eric Atkins of the Globe and […] Read more

Landen Stronks and other Alberta beekeepers are worried about what happens if and when neonicotinoids are phased out. | File photo

Beekeepers worry about foliar sprays if neonics banned

Beekeepers should be thrilled that Health Canada is banning the use of neonicotinoids because the insecticides have been linked to bee deaths and pollinator decline. Landen Stronks, a beekeeper from Iron Springs, Alta., is definitely not thrilled. Stronks and other Alberta beekeepers are worried about what happens if and when neonicotinoids are phased out. “We […] Read more