The Canadian Honey Council has acquired the Drug Identification Number for fumagillin from the company that used to manufacture it and is talking to a British firm about taking over production of the product.  |  Mike Sturk photo

Beekeepers avert drug crisis

For months, Canadian beekeepers have been worried about Nosema, a widespread and serious disease of adult honeybees. The only medication used to treat Nosema was no longer on the market because the Alberta company that produced and sold fumagillin closed in 2018. However, by late May the Canadian Honey Council had nearly finalized a business […] Read more

Across the Prairies, hundreds of producers are coping with high populations of flea beetles. | File photo

Flea beetle infestation blamed on dry conditions

When things are bad, the humour usually gets dark. Such is the case with Chris Allam, a farmer near Edmonton, who is dealing with severe insect pressure in his canola this spring. “(I’m) thinking the Chinese should change their zodiac sign of 2019 to the year of the cutworm or flea beetle. (We) might have […] Read more

Frost impact still unclear

  A portion of western Canadian growers are reseeding their canola after frost hit almost all of Manitoba and most areas of Saskatchewan May 27.   However, it seems like severe damage may be limited.    In many areas canola plants were just beginning to pop out of the soil.   Justine Cornelsen, a Canola […] Read more


On April 30 the EPA released its review of the safety of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup herbicide. In a news release the agency was crystal clear about its findings.
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U.S. releases clear stance on glyphosate

Len Ritter has been a toxicologist for more than four decades and during his career he’s read thousands of reports on pesticides. But when the United States Environmental Protection Agency recently said that “glyphosate is not a carcinogen”, Ritter was stunned by the tone and language in the report. “Regulatory agencies are never that clear… […] Read more

The shortfall of potatoes for processing is most noticeable in Manitoba and P.E.I.  |  File photo

Weather isn’t helping potato shortage

Processing plants in Manitoba and Prince Edward Island now importing spuds from the U.S. to meet orders

Canada is short of potatoes. As of May 1 there were 20.56 million hundredweight of processing potatoes in storage. That sounds like a lot, but it’s down 3.42 million cwt from May 2018, and 14.3 percent lower than last year. Processing potatoes are used to make french fries and other frozen potato products. “Our storage […] Read more


The cold temperatures arrived just as canola and soybean plants were popping out of the ground, so a number of producers may have to re-seed their crops. | File photo

Southern Manitoba hit by frost

A frost hit almost all of southern Manitoba early Monday morning, with temperatures dipping to minus four in some regions. The cold temperatures arrived just as canola and soybean plants were popping out of the ground, so a number of producers may have to re-seed their crops. “At this point we’re really encouraging producers to […] Read more

Garry Gadd, who is in his 50s, was diagnosed with cancer five years ago. The lawsuit contends that exposure to Roundup herbicide contributed to his cancer and the cancer of other Canadians participating in the class action.
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Sask. farmer leads Roundup class action

A Moose Jaw farmer is leading a class action lawsuit against Bayer and Monsanto. Garry Gadd, who is in his 50s, was diagnosed with cancer five years ago. The lawsuit contends that exposure to Roundup herbicide contributed to his cancer and the cancer of other Canadians participating in the class action. As well, the suit […] Read more

The sector is encouraging consumers to think of turkey behond the traditional holiday meal.  |  Turkey Farmers of Canada photo

Turkey farmers ask for an open mind

When most Canadians walk into a grocery store, they’re probably not thinking about turkey. Most shoppers, at least those in the meat section, are choosing between chicken, beef or pork. Ground turkey, or a pre-packaged turkey burger, probably isn’t on their radar. Turkey Farmers of Canada hopes to change that mind set. “Over the next […] Read more


Researchers say new information about the canola genome could help breed varieties with long-term resistance to blackleg.  |  File photo

Researchers crack blackleg puzzle

All of the canola seeded in Canada has quantitative resistance to blackleg, a serious disease that affects canola growers worldwide. Quantitative is a fancy way of saying the plant has background defence mechanisms, comparable to an immune system, that fight off and limit the spread of the disease. The problem, though, is scientists don’t really […] Read more

Senator Robert Black thinks a new Senate report on soil is possible, based on the interest shown from members of the agriculture committee.  |  File photo

Senator shines light on improved soil health

Robert Black says it’s time for a broad Senate study on soil health, perhaps an update of a study published 35 years ago

About 2,500 years ago, the ancient Greeks identified the basic elements of life — air, water, earth and fire. Of those four, the modern media dedicates most of its attention to air, water and fire. Earth, or soil, isn’t usually a topic for the late-night news. Compared to a forest fire, a hurricane or a […] Read more