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The Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association is upset that Syngenta is temporarily halting its hybrid wheat breeding program in Canada.
 | File photo

Syngenta dashes hopes for hybrids

Some producers bemoan decision to temporarily stop research 
into hybrid wheat in North America, while others are relieved

The Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association is upset that Syngenta is temporarily halting its hybrid wheat breeding program in Canada. “It’s a huge blow to profitability on our farms,” said Alberta vice-president Stephen Vandervalk. Syngenta says it is continuing to invest in hybrid wheat but is reallocating its global resources. “We are prioritizing our R […] Read more

Trucks unload grain at Cargill’s grain handling facility in Blackie, Alta., late last month.  |  Mike Sturk photo

Sask. public mixed on farmer semi-truck licence exemption

The Saskatchewan public appears both for and against the government’s decision to exempt farmers from mandatory truck driver training for now. Radio phone-in shows and social media sites last week heard from those who think farmers should be subject to the same training as those seeking a Class 1 commercial licence and those who think […] Read more

A rising consumer interest in meat alternatives is being seen in Western Canada as a number of pea processing plants are under construction or already operational.  |  File photo

Plant-based protein becomes more popular

Researchers link a projected decline in meat prices to reduced demand as Canadians look to lower meat consumption

Canadians are showing more interest in reducing meat consumption while increasing their purchases of plant-based proteins, according to data compiled in the latest Food Price Report from the University of Guelph and Dalhousie University. Overall, the report predicted a 1.5 to 3.5 percent increase in the average Canadian food bill in 2019. At the high […] Read more

Brad Osadczuk, right, of Jenner, Alta., was one of several ranchers who saw their herds destroyed in an effort to contain a bovine tuberculosis outbreak in southeastern Alberta in 2016-17. Federal officials eventually killed 11,500 cattle, and the question of whether Canada still has the social licence to kill so many animals to find only six with the disease was asked recently at an Ottawa conference.  |  File photo

How far should disease control efforts go?

‘Stamping out is still a valid option for some of our diseases,’ vet says while defending the widespread killing of animals

OTTAWA — About 11,500 cattle were killed in the Jenner region of southeastern Alberta in 2016-17 after one cow was initially found infected with bovine tuberculosis. Five more infected animals were discovered in an ensuing investigation. Does Canada still have the social licence to kill so many animals to find only six with the actual […] Read more

A recent survey found that farmers feel increasingly vilified by uninformed public opinion about livestock production and by campaigns organized by animal activist groups.  |  Mike Sturk photo

Animal neglect linked to mental health

A veterinarian draws a direct link between producers’ mental health and the well-being of the livestock in their care

OTTAWA — Stories about livestock that are found to be confined, neglected, emaciated or dead on a farmer’s property tend to generate big headlines. “I don’t understand how anyone could do that,” is the resulting refrain. Dr. Andria Jones-Bitton has heard that common response. “Frankly, if you can’t understand that, it’s probably a good thing. […] Read more

The wheat growers association wants to wait till the end of the consultation process before stating its preferred choice, but added it supports the continuation of public breeding programs and believes a new royalty collection system would contribute to their sustainability.  |  File photo

Seed royalty proposal gains farmer support

Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association comes out in favour of proposal, but APAS expresses opposition

The Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association says it’s in favour of paying royalties on farm-saved seed if it means better seed products for prairie farmers. “As farmers, we don’t feel the status quo is good enough…,” said WCWGA president Levi Wood. “(We) want improvements including more investment, innovation and competition. “Competition is good, so if […] Read more

Farmers in the province who want to install grain dryers must get approval from the Office of the Fire Commissioner. | File photo

Man. promises action on grain dryer delays

Farmers in the province who want to install grain dryers must get approval from the Office of the Fire Commissioner

Manitoba’s government is offering hope to farmers frustrated by slow grain dryer approvals. “We are dealing with this,” said Infrastructure Minister Blaine Pedersen during a provincial cabinet bearpit session at the Association of Manitoba Municipalities annual meeting. “We will have more to say about this over the winter and ready for next spring.” The issue […] Read more

Some APAS delegates discussed the possibility of forcing canola growers to follow proper rotations.  |  File photo

Clubroot threat hangs over Sask. farmers

Agricultural Producers Association of Sask. delegates examine ways to fight the disease as it spreads into their province

Saskatchewan farmers are watching the spread of clubroot with alarm. The release of the province’s distribution map early next year will only confirm what many already know: the canola disease is closer and more prevalent than they thought. Delegates to the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan annual meeting held late last month said they hoped […] Read more

Seed companies use the recent Canola Industry Meeting in Saskatoon to promise farmers that the crop remains a priority for them.  |  File photo

Seed companies reassure farmers on canola supply

Industry has undergone massive changes, but firms promise that research and development into new traits will carry on

Seed companies are eager to let Canadian growers know that canola remains a priority for them after a tumultuous couple of years of mergers, acquisitions and swapping herbicide-tolerant systems. That was the message that all of the major players delivered at the recent Canola Industry Meeting in Saskatoon. Kerry Freeman, canola category leader with Corteva […] Read more

Lucy Collin, in green, from New Zealand, fits cattle with Katie and Andre Steppler of Miami, Man., during Canadian Western Agribition. | Karen Briere photo

Agribition offers chance to learn

Lucy Collin was five days into a new job, in a new country, and appeared to be having the time of her life in the Charolais barn at Canadian Western Agribition in Regina. Collin is from Rauriki Charolais in Central Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand. She came to Canada for the first time in July as […] Read more