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The National Farmers Union argues that the proposed Seeds Canada amalgamation would put the corporate industry in a position of power over growers.  |  Reuters/ Nick Oxford photo

Independent seed growers sidelined

In 2018, five seed industry groups collaborating under the name Seed Synergy published a paper, setting out their vision to increase seed companies’ revenues and cut their own costs at the expense of farmers, public plant breeders, and consumers. They aim to change Canada’s seed regulatory system to prevent farmers from freely using their own […] Read more

Congratulations to agriculture for carrying on despite COVID

Groups across the agricultural industry should be proud of their ability to continue informing stakeholders throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. It occurred to me this week how many different organizations have stepped forward and trudged along online, in the absence of being able to hold events in person. A few weeks into the pandemic, I was […] Read more

Adjust marketing strategies to harvest factors

The quickly approaching harvest will create numerous price ramifications in the weeks and perhaps months ahead. Considering that most areas received ample rainfall and that there hasn’t been a lot of sustained heat with temperatures over 30 C, it’s actually a bit surprising that many pea, lentil and barley crops have significant ripening. The first […] Read more


Manitoba NDP starts talking ag

On July 21, the Manitoba NDP issued a news release defending the interests of commercial grain farmers. When I read the release, I almost dropped my phone into a bowl of Cheerios. NDP leader Wab Kinew said the Progressive Conservative government broke a promise to Manitoba farmers because it didn’t conduct a survey of grain […] Read more

May COVID-weary urbanites flock to the countryside?

Do you want new neighbours? That might be a question rural Canadians should ask themselves this summer. Do we want urbanites buying homes in our towns and rural municipalities, bringing their city ways, sensibilities and appetites? The things many of us have chosen to forgo or escape? It appears, based on realty sales reports across […] Read more


Oat-glyphosate decision unscientific

To the Editor: We are writing on behalf of the Prairie Oat Growers Association members regarding the recent decision by Richardson Pioneer that they will be concentrating on sourcing Canadian oats that have not been treated with pesticides applied as a pre-harvest aid. They have indicated that this decision is due to perceived customer concern […] Read more

Slide back to ag subsidies a troubling development

There was a time, not so long ago, when advanced economies were headed down a path where farm commodities were largely free from government subsidies or other supports. Compared to 40 years ago, this is still the case. It was good for global agriculture and especially good for Canada. However, farm subsidies have recently been […] Read more

The author decries what he calls an erosion of environmental protections in Alberta in the name of recovering from the pandemic.  |  Reuters/Todd Korol photo

Resource decisions made in a crisis

“Never waste an opportunity offered by a good crisis.” Machiavelli, the author of The Prince (1532), seen as a reference for unscrupulous politicians, appears to be the go-to guide for the Alberta premier. Jason Kenney and his cabinet must also be reading Naomi Klein’s book, The Shock Doctrine for ideas. She describes the use of […] Read more


Feds’ emergency COVID programs continue to evolve

The government programs for COVID-19 and their acronyms continue to evolve as we move through this pandemic. Canada Emergency Bank Account This is the $40,000 interest-free loan that many producers have been talking about. Repaying this loan by Dec. 31, 2022, will result in forgiveness of up to $10,000 of the loan. It has continued […] Read more

Buying fertilizer early can save producers money

Urea fertilizer, 46-0-0, is relatively cheap. Although indications are that prices have edged upward in recent weeks, at one point this summer, urea could be purchased for $400 a tonne or even a bit less. Unfortunately, various factors prevent many producers from taking advantage of great deals on granular fertilizer. First of all, you never […] Read more