Maple Leaf embraces open housing in its hog barns

Canadian hog farms won’t be able to keep pregnant sows in restrictive stalls by 2024. Maple Leaf Foods, which operates about 60 barns in Manitoba, has no concerns about that deadline. The company intends to beat it by about three years as it implements a housing system that exceeds the national standard created by the […] Read more

Canadian agri-food exporters have been urging the federal government to quickly ratify CPTPP so that Canada doesn't lose sales of pork, beef and canola to Japan. | File photo

House of Commons ratifies CPTPP; Senate up next

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership is getting close to reality. On Tuesday, members of Parliament voted to ratify the CPTPP, an 11-nation trade deal between Pacific nations, including Japan, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia. The legislation, Bill C-79, will now go to the Senate to complete the ratification process. If it […] Read more

Hot, dry weather this summer alarmed Manitoba soybean producers, but lack of insect and disease pressure may have helped. | File photo

Yields pleasantly surprise Manitoba soybean growers

Manitoba’s soybean crop was looking like a train wreck in mid-August. Soybeans need rain in early August for pod fill, but most of Manitoba was in the middle of a drought. Plus, there was a week of blazing temperatures in the second week of August with daily highs reaching 37 C. Many growers and soybean […] Read more


Percy Schmeiser | File photo

Schmeiser movie could fan anti-GMO feelings

Farmer worries film will make consumers’ anti-GMO fears worse, but professor thinks 20-year-old case is old news

Farmers probably have more choices for canola seed today than there are frozen pizza options at the grocery store. In spite of that reality, Clinton Monchuk still hears the same comment from urbanites. “I had a tour on my farm earlier this fall (and) a lot of consumers don’t understand that I have choices of […] Read more

American dairy farmers will benefit from the updated North American Free Trade Agreement because they get more access to the Canadian market and because the deal constrains Canadian exports of milk proteins.
 However, at the end of the day, Canada’s dairy industry and supply managed system will carry on, an American agricultural economist says. | File photo

‘Fortress Canada’ intact

American dairy farmers will benefit from the updated North American Free Trade Agreement because they get more access to the Canadian market and because the deal constrains Canadian exports of milk proteins. However, at the end of the day, Canada’s dairy industry and supply managed system will carry on, an American agricultural economist says. “Overall, […] Read more


Trade deal clears air on biotech

In the crop science industry, China has a reputation for taking a long, long time to approve new genetically modified traits for import. In certain cases, the approvals can take three to four years, or longer. The delays come with a cost for North American farmers, who often cannot adopt new and innovative varieties of […] Read more

Under pressure – a WP Special Report

Supply management, particularly Canada’s dairy industry, has come under heavy scrutiny in the North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations. Western Producer reporters Barb Glen, Robert Arnason and Ed White look at the American and Canadian systems to see where problems are, where solutions might be found and what would happen if Canada adopted the U.S. […] Read more

Vivian Thompson runs a 100-cow dairy herd near Cadott, WI. In a 25 km radius from Cadott, seven dairy farms have sold their cows and gone out of business in the last two months. | Robert Arnason photo

U.S. milk industry sours

CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wisconsin — The sky was a deep blue, the air was warm and it was a beautiful morning to be on a dairy farm in western Wisconsin. And then, Mandy Nunes began to cry. Mandy, who runs Scientific Holsteins with her husband Matt, was sharing how her family had milked cows for five […] Read more


American dairy producers are watching trade negotiations unfold with keen interest. | Robert Arnason photo

Dishing on the dairy industry

Thanks to CNN and Fox News and constant exposure to American media, the typical Canadian spends a great deal of time talking about politics in the United States. The relationship isn’t reciprocal. Few Americans have dinner table arguments about the Trans-Mountain pipeline or French language issues in Quebec. However, there’s at least one exception to […] Read more

U.S. dairy farmers are more comfortable talking about supply management in public but they don’t use those exact words.
 | Robert Arnason photo

Wisconsin dairy farmers seek Canadian advice

Some American dairy groups are pondering implementing inventory management to avoid oversupplies of milk

CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wisconsin — Not long ago in America’s dairy industry, supply management was about as popular as a rodent at a garden party. Mentioning it out loud in Washington or at state legislatures was “toxic,” said Julie Keown-Bomar, executive director of the Wisconsin Farmers Union. “It had so much baggage attached to it. People […] Read more