McCain wants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from potato farming by 25 percent by 2030.  |  File photo

Potato sustainability includes renewables

McCain Foods’ research into growing potatoes more sustainably includes a solar farm in Australia and other initiatives

McCain Foods is building a 17,000-panel solar farm in Australia. The solar energy, along with energy from a bio-digester, will provide power for McCain’s processing plant in Ballarat and is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the site by 27,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. This renewable energy project won’t affect Canadian farmers, but […] Read more

Plant breeder Jim Dyck and his wife, Laura-Lee, check a crop growing at their Oat Advantage research company. He says many oat varieties on the market have “harvest durability.”  |  William DeKay photo

Varieties key to glyphosate loss

Korby Koshman takes a low-key and straightforward approach to harvesting his oat crop. He simply waits. He lets the oats stand in the field until they are ready for harvest. “Honestly, patience is typically all it is,” said Koshman, who operates a 6,300 acre farm, about 75 kilometres northwest of Yorkton, Sask. Koshman hasn’t used […] Read more

Paying the carbon tax on fuel used to operate grain dryers has become a touchy subject for many prairie farmers after a wet fall forced them to dry their grain.  |  File photo

Man. gov’t takes heat over grain drying file

Opposition and general farm group says the government should have worked with farmers to prepare carbon tax case

Last winter, Keystone Agricultural Producers was expecting to work with the Manitoba government to gather data about the carbon tax and its impact on the cost of grain drying. That never happened. “We did have communications with the department of agriculture and reached out to them to work collaboratively,” said KAP president Bill Campbell. “We […] Read more

Alberta vet recognized for pork contribution

An Alberta veterinarian known for his contributions to Canada’s pork sector has been recognized by the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association. Dr. Egan Brockhoff, a partner with Prairie Swine Health Services in Red Deer received the 2020 Merck Veterinary Award from the CVMA. The award goes to a CVMA member who is a food animal vet. […] Read more

Honey prices continue to defy domestic market signals

Industry says the flow of fake honey into this country has reduced prices paid to producers and distorted honey market

From 2016-19, honey prices in Western Canada ranged from $1.25 to $1.65 per pound. That’s significantly lower than 2014 and other periods in the early 2010s, when Canadian beekeepers received more than $2 per lb. for their honey. The weak prices have been a challenge for prairie beekeepers because the cost of production (buying queens, […] Read more

Europe still has an MRL for diquat, U.S. a concern

In May 2018, the European Commission banned the use of diquat. Diquat is the active ingredient in Reglone, a popular desiccant for pulse growers in Western Canada and a useful tool for European farmers, before the prohibition. The EU ban wasn’t immediate. Diquat products had to be off the market by July 31, 2019, and […] Read more

Animal activist death preventable: lawyer

Hog truck driver charged in death of Ontario protester, which lawyer says could have been prevented if laws enforced

An Ottawa lawyer who specializes in farm law says the recent death of an Ontario animal rights activist could have been prevented. In the middle of June, the Ontario government passed Bill 156. It protects farmers and agri-food businesses from illegal acts, such as activists who enter farmland, barns and buildings, or protesters who stand […] Read more

George Matheson pegs the cost of production at $185 per pig. Now, many hog farmers in Western Canada are receiving about $135 per pig. That’s a loss of $50 per animal and there’s little indication that things will get better.
 | File photo

Hog prices hit a wall

George Matheson has been raising pigs since 1982. He’s seen good and bad times in Canada’s pork industry, but he’s beginning to lose faith in the future. “For a young person, I wouldn’t encourage them to go into pig production. And those are pretty strong words from the chair of Manitoba Pork,” said Matheson, who […] Read more

The University of Manitoba, Red River College and Keystone Agriculture Producers worked together to develop the mini-tractor.  | Submitted photo

New tool targets tractor rollovers

From 1990 to 2008, 330 Canadian farmers and farm workers died in tractor rollovers. That represents about 25 percent of all farm-related deaths, says Agrivita Canada — a health and safety research group at the University of Saskatchewan. Tractor rollovers are still a significant hazard on Canadian farms and part of the problem is a […] Read more

Canadian farms employed 60,000 temporary foreign workers last year.  |  File photo

Foreign workers replace unpaid labour: report

A researcher from the University of Calgary finds that temporary foreign workers often don’t take domestic jobs

One of the lingering arguments against temporary foreign workers is that they take jobs from ordinary Canadians. In Canada’s agriculture sector that’s often not the case, says a University of Calgary immigration expert. The evidence shows that foreign workers frequently replace unpaid labour on farms, especially on cattle ranches, grain farms and livestock operations. “It’s […] Read more