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The Saskatchewan NDP autopsy recommends a “renewed commitment to reconnecting with rural residents and communities. ”No matter your political leanings, this is good news for producers — if the NDP can actually do it this time. | Screencap via saskndp.ca

NDP will need to do more to win favour in rural ridings

After attending enough political conventions, they all start to blur together. Some memories stand out, though. One is being at a Saskatchewan NDP convention in Saskatoon (2016, I think) and seeing a rural member talking about agricultural policy. In the member’s mind, there wasn’t much of any agricultural policy in the Saskatchewan NDP’s playbook and […] Read more

Global trade a bulwark against economic challenge

Global trade a bulwark against economic challenge

Self-reliance is a laudable attribute in some instances but it’s not one Canadians should consider for themselves, or encourage in others, when agriculture is involved. We’re exporters. Our economy is structured around building stuff, growing stuff, digging stuff up and then shipping it out. Exports are about 33 percent of our gross domestic product, about […] Read more

The authors argue that important services once provided by the Canadian Grain Commission, such as primary and inward inspection, assistant commissioners and equipment monitoring, have all disappeared because grain handlers considered them expensive or impractical. | File photo

Restore grain commission’s relevance

Media discussion in the run–up to the current Canada Grain Act review has focused on two issues: cost of Canadian Grain Commission operations and alleged duplication of services as grain companies push to replace independent CGC inspection with third-party inspectors. Cost and efficiency are important, and concern would be warranted if justified by the facts, […] Read more


Gophers are a serious problem, which warrants serious coverage. However, every once in a while a freelance photographer sends us photographs of the irksome creatures, usually in the spring and always looking adorable. We can’t seem to resist, and into the paper they go. | Sandy Black photo

When the enemy is too cute for words

A newspaper like The Western Producer never wants to glorify a farm pest, but sometimes we just can’t seem to help ourselves. I’m talking about the Richardson’s ground squirrel, more commonly known as the pesky gopher. These rodents are not the farmer’s friend, causing significant damage to hay, pasture and cropland. It’s been a serious […] Read more

Newer, bigger equipment only gets the job done when you have enough people to keep everything running. | File photo

Increased seeding capacity not just about equipment

As we strive as grain farmers to cover more acres more quickly and efficiently, the emphasis is often on equipment when more attention might be justified on the labour side of the equation. Newer, bigger equipment only gets the job done when you have enough people to keep everything running. How often do you see […] Read more


Farm families could benefit by embracing the concept of a predetermined transition. | File photo

Predetermined transition could ease farm succession

Discussion centred around transition tends to focus quite a bit on the generation that is exiting. Thinking about that causes me to wonder how we could determine when someone actually started farming in the first place. We could say it was when someone started working on the farm, but that would be before they became […] Read more

Letters to the editor – May 13, 2021

Farmers be wary of gene editing The WP editorial, Canadian gene editing rule deserves farmer support, in the April 8 issue is entirely focused on the wrong issue. The central issue for farmers is, “will customers purchase food produced (or) created using gene editing?” It would seem our customers in Canada, Europe, South Asia and […] Read more



Easier to raise myths than sustainably produced beef

Easier to raise myths than sustainably produced beef

The beef with beef is spreading. It’s spreading myths. It’s spreading misinformation. And, it’s spreading a danger to the environment. A little bit of truth can go a long way toward making a lie seem right. Concerns about beef most recently arose following a move by food publisher Epicurious. The well-known online food site has […] Read more

Most farmers continue to oppose carbon pricing, and in Canada, some producer groups unenthusiastically shrugged over a 2021 budget dedicating millions of dollars to assist producers in adopting green tech. | File photo

U.S., Canada have challenge selling green policies to farmers

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden are fighting the same fight — to get farmers on board with ambitious climate plans. Industry groups in both countries say efforts are already being made to reduce emissions. That is true in many instances, but as was pointed out in a recent Canadian Agri-Food […] Read more