On the Prairies, charity goes beyond writing cheques

It is 18 days until Christmas and nine days since Giving Tuesday, a newly designated day designed to encourage charitable giving. That special Tuesday appears to be an American-instigated event that somewhat ironically follows Black Friday and Cyber Monday, when spending is rampant and remaining discretionary funds are most likely to be in short supply. […] Read more


India’s pea import duty best addressed by closer ties

There is justifiably much concern about India’s sudden decision to impose a 50 percent import duty on peas, leaving Canadian farmers wondering what hit them. While the size of the duty — rather than the policy itself — was a surprise, this is how India works. The government is using import duties available to it […] Read more


‘Buy Local’ OK if voluntary but not when forced by gov’t

Canadian honey producers are being stung by a “buy American” campaign employed by U.S. honey packers. It is vexing that this development is lowering the price that Canadian honey producers get south of the border, but given that the campaign is voluntary, there is little to do. We have examples here in Canada where “buy […] Read more



Election ideal time to hatch new plan on climate change

The Saskatchewan government has now had a look at how other prairie provinces are handling climate-change plans. Rather than following the stance of outgoing Premier Brad Wall, who vowed to go to court to fight a federal order to enact a carbon plan, the candidates vying for leadership of the Saskatchewan Party should consider the […] Read more


Candidate endorsements may not sway vote, but info useful

Endorsements don’t mean much during election campaigns. Witness what happened during the Conservative party leadership race when high-profile candidate Kevin O’Leary, who was leading in the polls, dropped out and endorsed the next-most popular candidate, Maxime Bernier — who then lost the leadership race to Andrew Scheer. The issue of endorsements has emerged during elections […] Read more



New food policy should include input from agricultural experts

To make good decisions, you need good information. Decisions or policies made with limited information or diversity of input often fail when they meet the real world. The Liberal government’s recent attempt at tax reform is a prime example. A superficially attractive desire to make the tax system fairer crashed when it became clear that […] Read more


Food production doesn’t jibe with food security

We have just celebrated Thanksgiving, a time to recognize and appreciate the bounty that nature and human effort have provided to feed our bodies and spirits. In Canada, there is an abundance of food. Indeed, worldwide there is a surplus of the major crops — wheat, corn and soybeans — that depresses crop prices, limits […] Read more


Prairie farmers can strive for protein powerhouse crown

The huge investment in pea processing in Western Canada announced in the past year signals that enormous change is in the works for the pulse industry. A market until now largely focused on supplying ingredients to specific national cuisines is about to expand universally with pulse protein going into a wide range of foods consumed […] Read more



Weather extremes highlight benefits of crop research

If ever there was a question about the value of research and development in crop production, this year answered it with a resounding affirmative. Residual moisture from previous years was critical for many in the central and southern Prairies, but so too were advances in crop varieties and minimum and zero tillage. Nothing could prevent […] Read more


Wall government gave agriculture portfolio respect

The response to Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall’s announced departure from politics last week has been largely laudatory — even to the point of eye-rolling, with former Prime Minister Stephen Harper tweeting that Wall “will go down in history as the man who turned the fortunes of Saskatchewan around.” Inheriting a budget surplus and then running […] Read more