Western Canadian beekeepers have long supported the use of neonic seed treatments, arguing they’re safer than foliar insecticides. | File photo

Farmers applaud neonic ban reversal

Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency said March 31 that it’s possible for farmers to use neonicotinoid insecticides on most crops, with some reduction in rates and frequency of use. “Health Canada’s scientists have reviewed a large body of scientific information and concluded that a complete ban on neonicotinoid pesticides is not warranted,” it said. […] Read more

The Whole Crop Research Program

Many crops find a single home under one research roof

For years in Western Canada, commodity groups have mostly stayed in their lane. Provincial canola associations fund research on canola diseases, flea beetles and other issues that affect canola. Flax associations fund research on flax, barley groups fund barley research and so on. The Manitoba Crop Alliance is now taking a different approach. On March […] Read more

Many farmers needed employees last spring and summer, but few Canadians applied for farm jobs - despite record levels of unemployment across the country. | File photo

Canadians won’t work on farms: survey

About three million Canadians lost their jobs last spring as COVID-19 forced thousands of businesses to shut their doors or lay off staff. Many farmers needed employees last spring and summer, but few Canadians applied for farm jobs, despite record levels of unemployment across the country. A survey of farm operators has found that 41 […] Read more


Singapore exported 85 million litres of renewable diesel to Canada in 2019, including some made from beef fat it imported from Canada. | Reuters/Lindsey Wasson photo

Beef fat exports reveal biofuel gaps

Industry says it would be better to turn beef fat into renewable biodiesel in Canada rather than ship it to Singapore

The distance from Calgary to Singapore is about 13,170 kilometres, which means a trip from Calgary to Singapore and back to Vancouver would be about 25,000 km. That’s a lengthy journey. However, beef fat from slaughter plants in Alberta is being railed to Vancouver and shipped to Singapore, where it’s converted into renewable diesel. The […] Read more

To develop the new guidelines, Health Canada experts reviewed the science around gene-edited crops and concluded that the technology is safe for human consumption and the environment. | Getty Images

Health Canada declares gene editing safe

The ruling is expected to give Canadian producers access 
to the same types of plant breeding available in other countries

Canadian farmers may soon be growing gene-edited crops. That’s because Health Canada has declared that gene-editing technology is safe. Last week, Health Canada proposed new rules to oversee plant breeding innovation, including gene editing. Within the proposed guidelines, released March 25, federal scientists say that gene editing is just as safe as conventional plant breeding. […] Read more


The Whole Crop Research Program

Whole crop research launched

For years in Western Canada, commodity groups have mostly stayed in their lane. Provincial canola associations fund research on canola diseases, flea beetles and other issues that affect canola. Flax associations fund research on flax, barley groups fund barley research and so on. The Manitoba Crop Alliance is now taking a different approach. On March […] Read more

In Saskatchewan, alone, farmers use about 1,100 – 1,300 tonnes of baler twine per year. | Screencap via cleanfarms.ca

Baler twine added to bag and jug recycling

The federal government is investing $1.1 million in Cleanfarms, a non-profit company that helps farmers recycle pesticide containers, grain bags and other plastic waste. Part of the funds will support a pilot project in Saskatchewan to collect baler twine for recycling. In Saskatchewan alone, farmers use 1,100 to 1,300 tonnes of baler twine per year. […] Read more

Growers in the prairie pothole region of North Dakota, where blackbirds are common, likely suffer yield losses of five percent, seven percent or higher. | File photo

Drones, bird repellent may provide solution for blackbirds

Red-winged blackbirds, with their red and yellow shoulder badges, are a handsome-looking bird. Manitoba farmers who grow sunflowers probably have a different opinion. That’s because a large flock of blackbirds can cause significant yield losses and in certain cases, ravage all sunflowers in part of a field. The United States National Sunflower Association has estimated […] Read more


Biologists use the term “plasticity” to describe coyote behaviour, which means they can quickly adapt to changing conditions. For example, sudden pressure from hunting can prompt them to start having larger litters, which can end up increasing the population. | Mike Sturk photo

Coyotes: to shoot or not to shoot?

Ben Rodenburg has two guardian dogs, but he’d like to have more. The dogs, Maremma-Great Pyrenees crosses, protect the sheep and lambs at his farm near Ponoka, Alta. The majority of his 1,400 ewes are usually inside barns because Rodenburg and his wife Heather only have 40 acres. But, at any time a coyote could […] Read more

Health Canada has placed restrictions on certain uses but rules the insecticides are generally not a threat to aquatic insects. | File photo

Health Canada changes course on neonics

The final decision has been delayed several times, but today Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency announced that neonicotinoid insecticides are not a threat to aquatic insects when used as a seed treatment on canola and in many other instances. “While we are still reviewing the full details of the special review decisions, we are […] Read more