The agriculture department is looking at the Plant Breeders’ Rights Act’s advisory committee as a way to keep producers involved.  |  File photo

Feds consider changes to seed royalty proposal

Agriculture Canada officials say they have listened to concerns that the proposals give the seed industry a blank cheque

Nobody is comfortable with a blank cheque. Over the last few months, representatives of Agriculture Canada have met with farmers to discuss proposed changes to the plant breeders’ rights system, in which farmers would pay royalties on farm-saved seed. During the meetings, which were held in Western Canada, Ottawa and Prince Edward Island, farmers have […] Read more

Corteva said Enlist E3 soybeans, which can resist three herbicides, will be offered in Brazil, Canada and the United States. Some commercial sales will begin in 2019, but timing will vary by country, according to a statement. | File photo

Soybean growers gain new weapon against weeds

Enlist E3 soybeans have triple-stacked herbicide tolerance, but the technology isn’t a silver bullet for resistant weeds

In January, Corteva Agriscience launched Enlist E3 soybeans in Canada. The technology is a triple-stacked herbicide tolerance, where glyphosate, glufosinate and Enlist Duo herbicides can be applied to the soybeans. Enlist Duo is a combination of glyphosate and a 2,4-D choline — a low-drift and low-volatility version of 2,4-D. Enlist E3 will be available this […] Read more

A decision by Earls in 2016 to buy beef from ranches in the United States that met certain standards for animal welfare was not popular in Canada, and the company quickly changed its mind. Sylvain Charlebois from Dalhousie University says that was a mistake.  |  Mike Sturk photo

Earls’ backtracking called regrettable

Food policy professor says industry could have worked with restaurant chain to produce ‘certified humane’ beef

BRANDON — When Sylvain Charlebois began talking about the Earls restaurant chain, the audience of cattle producers inside the conference room became almost silent. In 2016, Earls announced a change in the type of beef sold at its restaurants. It was shifting to a “certified humane” program, where Earls would buy beef from ranches in […] Read more


Neonicotinoids may still have a future in Canada, and that is important to Western Canadian canola and wheat growers.  |  Michael Raine photo

Health Canada may be softening neonic stance: CropLife

Neonicotinoids may still have a future in Canada. Health Canada scientists have been studying water monitoring data, from across the country, and the Pest Management Regulatory Agency may not ban all agricultural uses of neonics, a spokesperson for CropLife Canada says. “I’m optimistic we will retain some uses,” said Maria Trainer, CropLife managing director, science […] Read more

Ag Canada’s royalty argument prompts yield questions

Spring wheat yields, it turns out, have increased at the same rate as canola yields. Last month at CropSphere in Saskatoon, Agriculture Canada staff made a presentation on proposed changes to the Plant Breeders’ Rights Act. Under the changes, farmers would have to pay a royalty on farm-saved seed. The seed industry has argued the […] Read more


The processor will require 125,000 tonnes of yellow peas annually once it reaches full capacity.  |  File photo

Manitoba pea processor on track for 2020: Roquette

BRANDON — Building a $400 million factory takes time. And when the temperature drops to -37 C, construction can grind to a halt. Despite the chilly temperatures this January, Roquette hopes to open its pea processing facility in Portage la Prairie in about 22 months. “Our current projection … is Q4 (quarter four) of 2020,” […] Read more

Canola crushing expected to expand

A potential for massive growth in global oil and fat demand promises a big increase in Canadian canola exports


BRANDON — All the ducks seem to be in a row: canola crushers in Canada operate close to full capacity, the country has a new trade deal with Japan, which should boost canola oil exports, and the world needs more vegetable oils. “You will never hear a name from me … but let’s put it […] Read more

Over the last few months, representatives of Agriculture Canada have met with farmers to discuss proposed changes to the plant breeders' rights system, in which farmers would pay royalties on farm-saved seed. | File photo

Ag Canada ponders changes to seed royalty proposal

Nobody is comfortable with a blank cheque. Over the last few months, representatives of Agriculture Canada have met with farmers to discuss proposed changes to the plant breeders’ rights system, in which farmers would pay royalties on farm-saved seed. During the meetings, which were held in Western Canada, Ottawa and Prince Edward Island, farmers have […] Read more


For more than a decade, University of Manitoba soil scientist David Lobb has argued that soil erosion remains a massive problem in Canada, especially in hilly landscapes like the prairie pothole region.
 | File photo

Soil erosion costs farmers $3.1 billion a year in yield loss: scientist

BRANDON — David Lobb is not giving up. For more than a decade, the University of Manitoba soil scientist has argued that soil erosion remains a massive problem in Canada, especially in hilly landscapes like the prairie pothole region. Farmers may assume zero tillage or conservation tillage have fixed the problem, but that’s not the […] Read more

In the last few years Manitoba farmers have seeded about 64,000 acres of spuds. In P.E.I., acreage is around 85,000. That means the addition of 16,000 acres will put Manitoba over the top. | File photo

Manitoba to grab spud capital title

BRANDON — The reign of Prince Edward Island is over. Very soon, Manitoba will be the new potato king of Canada. Simplot is spending $400 million to expand its french fry processing plant in Portage la Prairie. The larger factory, double the size of the existing plant, will be operational in early 2020. Simplot will […] Read more