Other than a couple of political shots at the Liberal agriculture minister, taken by Ontario Conservative agricultural critic Dave Epp, there wasn’t a lot of to-and-fro at the Canadian Federation of Agriculture-sponsored debate. | Screencap via YouTube/Canadian Federation of Agriculture

It was a very Canadian agricultural debate

Canada’s political agricultural leaders seem to get along very well, at least during public outings. Last week’s agricultural debate, held online, was no exception. They got along so well that it was hard to tell them apart. Other than a couple of political shots at the Liberal agriculture minister, taken by Ontario Conservative agricultural critic […] Read more

Different political parties, similar ag platforms

Different political parties, similar ag platforms

The three major federal parties have released their platforms ahead of the Sept. 20 election. While most Canadians won’t spend much time with these plans and promises, the agricultural community could find some good, light reading ahead of casting a vote. But good luck finding many differences among the top three players. The farm community […] Read more

In some parts of the country urban sprawl is limited by provincial and municipal statute. | File photo

Preventing farmland loss must start with a plan

Canada is losing 30,000 to 50,000 acres of agricultural land annually to urban growth, depending on whose numbers one believes. Does that mean we need public rules that restrict farmland losses in suburban areas, effectively limiting prices for sellers and preventing speculation at farming’s expense? Cities traditionally developed in areas with the best farming soils […] Read more


City dwellers in the newer suburbs of Canada typically live on displaced farmland - property that grew crops or pastured cattle. | File photo

Grasshoppers teach lesson in rural-urban disconnect

The disconnect between the farm community and its urban customers came clearly into focus a few weeks ago, ahead of the election call, due to grasshoppers. City dwellers in the newer suburbs of Canada typically live on displaced farmland — property that grew crops or pastured cattle. Statistics Canada and university researchers tell us that […] Read more

Many urban voters have a negative impression of glyphosate, the most popular brand being Roundup, due to frivolous (even if successful) lawsuits in the United States, and pressure from the so-called environmental-defence crowd. | File photo

Farmers’ tool, not politicians’ tactic

Ahead of a federal election call, three federal ministers called a halt to a process that would likely have yielded quick results on increasing the maximum residue limits for glyphosate applied to dry beans, lentils and peas. Regular reviews of the scientific data for safe levels of pesticides on food products and in the environment […] Read more


Is it promise time yet? Federal election looms

Is it promise time yet? Federal election looms

It appears a federal election is on the horizon. Rising like an angry, smoky red sun, when it dawns it will deliver rays of sunshine and likely a few burns. For the governing Liberals the questions from agriculture should be related to what they have done lately for the industry. For the opposition and other […] Read more

Cows will pull you through only if they’re still there

Cows will pull you through only if they’re still there

A major reduction in the Canadian domestic beef cow herd, a likely outcome of this drought, will have long, widespread and damaging effects on several fronts. It’s imperative that government take all measures possible to help producers minimize breeding herd losses. The total number of beef cows in Canada has been shrinking for the past […] Read more

No time for foot-dragging as drought gets serious

No time for foot-dragging as drought gets serious

There’s nothing much worse than drought when it comes to agricultural afflictions. Floods, insects, disease and low market prices aren’t fun either but when the rain stops falling and the mercury soars, nothing grows. And when nothing grows, there’s not much that can be done. “Hopelessness” is how a Manitoba cattle producer recently described the […] Read more


Sound science, ethics make a valuable combination

Sound science, ethics make a valuable combination

Norway has one of the most restrictive genetics-use rules in the world, which makes most new plant breeding tools off-limits. Many countries look to its well-debated positions for influence, and anti-GM advocates tout the nation as having taken the right path. Could the rules be shifting for that northern nation? Norway is now in the […] Read more

Sector’s big bets on biofuel likely to pay off in Canada

Sector’s big bets on biofuel likely to pay off in Canada

New canola crushing capacity will provide an expanded, ready market for western Canadian farmers. The underlying demand comes from government policy changes that support an increase in biofuel use. While markets can be fickle when based on policy rather than practicality, this market seems to have solid underpinnings. The flurry of new domestic crushing project […] Read more