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Unfortunately, over a big chunk of Saskatchewan, a full drought recovery is no longer possible.
 | Paul Yanko photo

Recent showers generate a glimmer of hope

It’s difficult to know if the weather pattern has changed, but some of the parched regions of Western Canada finally received a bit of rain. Unfortunately, over a big chunk of Saskatchewan, a full drought recovery is no longer possible. While crop conditions vary dramatically from one localized area to another and even one field […] Read more

Portraying complex, under-studied topics such as food production as scientifically settled issues is a dangerous practice.  |  File photo

Clean meat trivializes complex issues

Arguments against the food animal production system are often based on the grounds of ethics, health and the environment. Recently, Paul Shapiro, author of Clean Meat: How Growing Meat Without Animals Will Revolutionize Dinner and the World, and chief executive officer of the Better Meat Company, wrote that people should “ditch meat” to avoid pandemics. […] Read more

Timing is good for UN’s International Year of Plant Health

Next year is the International Year of Plant Health — so says the United Nations, which is fond of dedicating years to causes. Previous “year-of” declarations have included Year of the Family (1994), Year of the Ocean (1998), Year for Culture and Peace (2000), Year of Freshwater (2003) and Year of Natural Fibres (2009). Remember […] Read more


Being at one with the ag universe

Watching the birth of an agricultural company through its share offering is a lot more interesting than one might imagine, at least for me. I’m not talking about a tiny new tech-startup. This one was a carving off of one of the largest agricultural-inputs providers in the world from a merged pair of chemical and […] Read more

Goodale’s AgriRecovery suggestion worth study

Saskatchewan MP Ralph Goodale’s position on the potential use of AgriRecovery to backstop farmers during the trade dispute with China is a welcome development. It would be an extraordinary use of the program, but then Canadian farmers are in an extraordinary situation. Funding for AgriRecovery is split 60-40 with the provinces, and indeed, the program’s […] Read more


Speed up availability of high-speed internet in rural areas

My fist-pump moment when we were deciding whether to buy our small farm 10 years ago had nothing to do with the state of the house, or soil conditions, or proximity to off-farm work. I was standing on the second floor of the derelict house on the property and I could see the elevator leg […] Read more

Federal payments to American producers such as soybean farmer Dave Walton of Wilton, Iowa, should fuel the market higher rather than send it lower.  |  REUTERS/Kia Johnson photo

U.S. farm aid must help boost prices

The month of May left as it arrived: riding in a rowboat from flooded farm field to flooded farm field across the Midwest United States. Worse, June is sloshing in with more rain, more mud, and more worry. Complicating matters, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced a broad, new scheme that could pay U.S. […] Read more

Steps to de-risk agriculture have side-effects

In times of dropping farm incomes, the natural tendency for farmers and farm groups is to call for government assistance. What many fail to realize is that de-risking agriculture is not simple and it can have unintended side-effects. Ask any group of grain farmers about the problems they face and the list will likely include […] Read more


Ending stocks can be tricky to report

‘You’ve reported too high a number. It’s ruining the price.” Grain and oilseed ending stocks, what can I say? We report them, along with adding all the context we feel is relative. Whenever estimates of these fickle creatures come out, there are some who want to suggest the estimators are wrong. This isn’t confined to […] Read more

Letters to the editor – June 13, 2019

We still don’t have responsible drainage Re: “Sask. farmers defend well planned agricultural drainage,” (WP, May 23). The rural municipalities and the Smith Creek Watershed Association proclaim that they take issue with “perplexed by environmental claims that we’re damaging the land.” Although agricultural drainage removes wetlands, it’s more than that. It is the redirecting of […] Read more