Information is power, and producers want some

Information is power, and producers want some

Western Canadian farmers are asking commodity buyers to hand over export sales information. Maybe they should ask for even more. It is often difficult for farmers to determine whether the price offered for their commodities is a good one. There are a lot of farmers and only a few buyers. It has always been so, […] Read more

The Grassy Mountain project in particular, which appears to be furthest ahead in the process and which would see part of a mountain leveled, runs through the Oldman River headwaters. It is creating fears of water shortages for agriculture and reduced water quality for all. 
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Open-pit coal mining needs more review in Alta.

Changes to Alberta open-pit coal mining policies, done without public consultation, could jeopardize agricultural operations downstream and destroy irreplaceable natural habitat. At the least, public hearings should be held into these changes. At most, the current government should abandon its revocation of the previous policy, put in place by the Lougheed government, and forgo its […] Read more

Fewer usually not better, and that includes ag offices

Fewer usually not better, and that includes ag offices

Manitoba might be doing it right. Time will tell, but closing agriculture offices that serve producers in their home regions is never a popular decision. The province announced last week it would close 21 offices, citing it as a way to retain and better use the agricultural budget. Other provinces have made similar changes over […] Read more


Farmers caught in political games over carbon tax

Farmers caught in political games over carbon tax

Beginning with the Green Shift policy in the federal Liberal platform of 2008, the party showed that it really didn’t understand the physics of carbon in crop and livestock production or the economics. Or, maybe they do. And now as government, with little to no representation in rural, agricultural Canada, they might be choosing to […] Read more

Bills don’t protect farmers, strong trade agreements do

Bills don’t protect farmers, strong trade agreements do

Supply management shouldn’t need bills of the House of Commons to defend it against further quota erosion due to trade skirmishes. Hard negotiations at the international trade tables are where Canadian agriculture should be protected. And it was, in the fine print. A recently introduced private member’s bill, Bill 216, that would put supply managed […] Read more


The care and feeding of a dragon not for the timid

The care and feeding of a dragon not for the timid

China is a good customer for Canadian agricultural products but it can be unreliable and even dangerous to Canadian business people. The agriculture industry has been advised to look elsewhere for reliable markets. Easier said than done. Convincing a dragon to change its behaviour will require more than a beaver waving a stick. China is […] Read more

Agriculture transparency requires better education

Agriculture transparency requires better education

A recent news release from two agri-marketing agencies says this: “COVID-19 forced Canada’s food industry to lift its veil when Canadians experienced food shortages, likely for the first time in their lives. This further shows the opportunity and need for clearer transparency around Canadian agriculture.” It begs the question: will any amount of transparency be […] Read more

Crop protection guides provide vital information

Crop protection guides provide vital information

What is black and white on the inside, often green on the outside and always blue throughout? The Alberta Guide to Crop Protection, that’s what. Also known as the Blue Book, the annual provincial pesticide tome, 628 pages in 2020, contains nearly everything a prairie farmer could want to know about herbicides, insecticides, seed treatments […] Read more


There will be good days and bad days under Biden

There will be good days and bad days under Biden

A change of power in the United States will likely bring some predictability to agriculture and rural affairs in that country and in relationships with our American cousins. However, predictions suggest those changes might not all be in Canada’s favour. America is under a lot of pressure to perform and when it comes to international […] Read more

National pork organization offers sector needed boost

National pork organization offers sector needed boost

It took years to get government on board with a national pork agency, but last week the long-standing request from producers came true. The Canadian Pork Promotion and Research Agency is a welcome entity that will allow Canadian pork producers to better leverage producer checkoffs, charge a levy on pork coming into Canada and fund […] Read more