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The National Farmers Union argues that former federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz didn’t deserve to be inducted into the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame because of his destructive record.  |  File photo

Ritz should not be in Ag Hall of Fame

Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he “would make Canada unrecognizable.” His agriculture minister, Gerry Ritz, certainly did his part to make Canadian agriculture and food unrecognizable. Ritz’s destructive record speaks for itself. Does Toronto’s Royal Agricultural Winter Fair really want to damage its reputation by inducting former Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz (2007-15) into Canada’s […] Read more

Cropping shifts already evident on Prairies

The 2019 growing season will see some big cropping shifts. It’s unusual for trends to be this clear so far in advance, but we’ve seen some unusual factors in the marketplace. In general terms, durum, lentils and soybeans will be planted on much fewer acres with canola, spring wheat and barley picking up most of […] Read more

American business initiatives continue to plague Ottawa

Every fall, Canada’s finance minister is tasked with updating the House of Commons on the country’s fiscal and economic situation. It comes in the form of a speech, known as the fall economic update. It’s an important day on Parliament Hill say, for example, if you happen to be a business reporter, but most years […] Read more

Watch the taxes when offering benefits to employees

Farmers offer a variety of benefits to attract and retain employees. Two common benefits are low-rent housing and interest-free loans. These benefits are a good incentive for employees, but they are considered taxable benefits. You need to be aware of the tax requirements for calculating your employees’ payroll deductions and year end T4 filings. Free […] Read more

Farm income is main key to sustainability

Auditable sustainability measurements will arrive on all of our farms at some point in the future, and, in a few cases, these are already here. With verified production programs that ensure we are meeting one factor or another of the market’s desires, we find ourselves more and more in a time when precision agriculture becomes […] Read more

Canada shows rational approach to gene editing

It is one of those neat little unexpected treasures that pops up from time to time: an international statement that lays out — without the appearance of politicking — a sensible, scientific approach to an issue. That’s what we saw earlier this month when the governments of Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, […] Read more

Letters to the editor – November 15, 2018

Dairy farmers need correct market signals Re: Class 7 replacement must wait for trade details, (WP, Oct. 18). The dairy industry needs to start changing today. Class 7 milk components are sold into two completely different markets:  replacing imports of diafiltered milk export markets for milk powders Canadian dairy farmers are selling more than 20 […] Read more

Producers have come a long way since Old McDonald toiled on the farm. He retired a long time ago, says the author.  |  Robin Booker photo

Ag must celebrate modern farming

Most farmers are reluctant to talk about modern agriculture. Our own industry advertisements promote the image of a farm with a faded red barn and a few chickens running about in a pastoral setting. That is not modern agriculture and we need to stop letting agriculture be portrayed this way. It is not hard to […] Read more

Toban Dyck is learning how to harness the power of Instagram.  |  Ed White photo

Social media provides perfect showcase for farming

This is the first in a series of AgriCulture columns about farmers who use Instagram. When Toban Dyck took off for downtown Toronto in the late 2000s, he didn’t glance back at the southern Manitoba farm he was leaving behind. Now he can’t keep his eyes and cameras off of it. “When I moved away […] Read more

A drive through Scotland shines light on rural-urban divide

Last week, while driving through parts of rural Scotland, a farm-related debate came on the BBC radio program my friend and I were listening to. Since I was suffering from agriculture news-related withdrawal (it was only day four of my vacation), I immediately cranked up the volume. The question up for debate: should tractors be […] Read more