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Agri-Food Sustainability Targets is a report authored by David McInnes, who is working with Agriculture Canada, the Canadian Federation of Agriculture and others to advance efforts in creating environmental benchmarks for the industry. | File photo

Better agri-food benchmarking urged

Experts are calling for environmental targets to better position Canada in markets at home and abroad. Agri-Food Sustainability Targets is a report authored by David McInnes, who is working with Agriculture Canada, the Canadian Federation of Agriculture and others to advance efforts in creating environmental benchmarks for the industry. “What’s happening globally and nationally is […] Read more

Ag technology seen as key to economic recovery

Experts speaking at the virtual Toronto Global Forum say a meaningful economic recovery to the COVID-19 pandemic should emphasize the need for technology in the agricultural sector. Alison Sunstrum, founder of CNSRV-X, said she hopes there is a digital response to the pandemic. “COVID-19 has put us on a digital fast track, farmers are going […] Read more

During a virtual

Bibeau optimistic about ag exports

Minister of Agriculture Marie Claude Bibeau says Canadian agriculture will be the “powerhouse of the economy” as the country recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, pointing to specific opportunities for the industry to grow. During a virtual “fireside chat” at the International Economic Forum of the America’s Toronto event on Oct. 27, Bibeau expressed optimism over […] Read more


Containers are in such demand right now that shipping companies don’t want to leave them in North America long enough for them to be filled with agricultural goods. The move has thrown a scare into Canada’s pulse sector, which moves 30 percent of its product by shipping container.  |  Reuters/Fabian Bimmer photo

Pulse exports hit snag

Containerized shipments of agricultural commodities to Asia are “grinding to a halt,” according to a transloader. “In 20 years I’ve never seen anything like this,” said a freight forwarder in the pulse industry who requested anonymity due to commercial concerns. German shipping company Hapag-Lloyd announced last week that it was temporarily suspending overseas ag container […] Read more

Agricultural researchers and technicians were among those cut, further signalling the department’s intentions to exit the research field. | File photo

Alta. ag layoffs called ‘a pretty significant change’

There was plenty of warning but that didn’t ease the shock for about 135 Alberta Agriculture employees who got notice last week of pending job loss. The recent cuts were phase one of a two-phase “workforce transformation” that will see the provincial government eliminate 247 union positions in agriculture and forestry, with the second phase […] Read more


According to the inspection office that approves dryer installations, approvals are going much better this year. In 2019, slightly more than 50 grain dryers were approved, while about 59 dryers have already been approved this year, and inspection manager Neil Armstrong said he expects to see the 2020 total reach 100. | File photo

Man. grain dryer approvals improve

Farmers can save themselves a lot of grief by planning and communicating better, say people involved with approving grain dryers in Manitoba. Failing to plan and co-ordinate well can lead to delays, frustrations and costs. “If you’re planning, start early,” said Brian Rempel of Manitoba Hydro, which has to approve and often construct the energy […] Read more

Rural municipal leaders say that if the oil and gas industry can’t pay its tax bills as it once did, the financial shortfall will eventually fall into the lap of rural landowners and agricultural producers in the form of tax hikes or cuts to services ranging from land-use planning and roads to social services.  | Reuters/Todd Korol photo

Rural Alberta ponders taxation without oil

Municipalities that have relied on tax revenue from the energy sector come to grips with the province’s grim new reality

Alberta’s rural municipalities are contemplating a future where it could become more difficult to find money for services such as roads. “Will things be the same as they were in the past?” said Al Kemmere, president of the Rural Municipalities of Alberta (RMA), as he pondered a major source of his members’ tax revenue. “No, […] Read more

It’s not a deliberate act by grain companies but a product of COVID-19 restrictions, which require non-elevator people to stay outside the elevator office. | File photo

Farmers’ rights at elevators collide with COVID-19 rules

Grain elevator operators say they are seeking ways to ensure weigh-scale readouts are provided when grain is delivered

A farmer protection has been lost at some grain elevators — ones that don’t have weigh-scale readouts in the truck unloading zone. It’s not a deliberate act by grain companies but a product of COVID-19 restrictions, which require non-elevator people to stay outside the elevator office. Manitoba’s main farm lobby group insists that weigh-scale readings […] Read more


“Many of these new cuts are concentrated in rural areas affecting wildfire management, farm safety programs, the 4-H program, business development in Brooks and Leduc, and other areas of Agriculture and Forestry,” the Alberta Union of Public Employees said in a statement Oct. 21. | Screencap via 4hab.com

Union decries agriculture cuts

Layoffs will occur across the agriculture department, from 4-H to farm safety 
and research to irrigation

Rural residents and farmers affected by losses in agricultural services due to Alberta government job cuts are being sacrificed to the belief you can cut your way to prosperity, says a union leader. “We understand in addition to these cuts, there’ll be more coming,” said vice-president Mike Dempsey of the Alberta Union of Public Employees […] Read more

International hydrotechnical consultant Wim Veldman provided data showing that Alberta has not used its full licence allocation of water since 1988 but has increased its irrigated area by 40 percent since 1976. | File photo

Alberta has adequate water supplies to grow: panel

One member of a recent discussion says the environment will suffer if water use in the province expands too much

The question is apt: does Alberta have enough water to grow? The University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy put that question to a three-member panel Oct. 20. Two said the answer is yes. The third said maybe but there will be trade-offs. Earlier this month the federal and provincial governments announced an $815 million […] Read more