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Effort to manage COVID-19 results in welcome unity

Agriculture is one of the businesses that must keep operating if the world is to carry on. Canadians and their various levels of government seem to finally be agreeing on that point. It’s a ray of hope because political agreement in Canada is ordinarily not that common. In recent weeks a few of the cracks […] Read more

Is gene editing being properly used?

It would be inaccurate to say that plant breeders in Canada are a dime a dozen. A rough estimate places the number of professional plant breeders in Canada at 500. Given the recent innovations, we thought it would be informative to survey this select group about their technology perspectives and uses. As a result, we […] Read more

Shelves that normally, pre-COVID-19, would hold bathroom tissue are wiped clean at a grocery store in Warman, Sask. March 26.  |  William DeKay photo

Context is everything and trade-offs exist with COVID-19

Likely the most prominent question on most farmers’ minds is, “what impact will COVID-19 have on my farm business?” With so many unknowns, the impacts will be immediate and multifaceted, yet also long-standing from an economic, environmental, and social perspective. The largest mobilization since the Second World War prompts important questions. What unaccounted for positive […] Read more


Pandemic fears boost demand for storage

As the pandemic rages in countries around the world and with an uncertain time frame for the return to any semblance of normal, extra grain storage could become valuable. Canadian grain movement was hit with a long list of problems well before the pandemic arrived in North America. Since then, although Canadian National Railway’s performance […] Read more

Paper still put together, only differently

Western Producer readers aren’t going to notice, but we’re doing things a bit differently around here these days. The COVID-19 emergency has affected the newspaper’s office in the same way that it has affected thousands of other businesses across the country. Many of our reporters and advertising salespeople outside Saskatoon have been working from home […] Read more


Family lunches and coffee key to solo work at home

One thing I’ve always counted on: if you call a farmer’s home at noon, you’ll catch them at lunch. That appears to be true about 90 percent of the time, by my experience of 25 years. Why is that? Farmers work for themselves. They can set their own clocks. But most follow a rigid schedule. […] Read more

Supply? Demand? What are we dealing with?

Economists and analysts are wrestling with enormous uncertainty

Most of what goes into creating the price of crops and livestock comes from supply and demand. More supply and less demand? Probably lower prices. More demand and less supply? Probably higher prices. It’s a little bit more complex than that, but those are some of the basics. But how do you project future prices […] Read more

Farmers: Show homebound town and city people something to smile about

What you're doing today could help cheer up the rest of our society

It’s spring. Snow is melting. In some places like here on the eastern Prairies it’s getting nice enough to spend time outside just sitting in the sun. It’s Easter. It’s a time of rebirth and hope for a new year. It probably doesn’t seem much like that in millions of houses and apartments in the […] Read more


Farming’s deeper problems still wait to be addressed

Farm groups’ reaction to the federal government’s plans to deal with the COVID-19 crisis has so far been positive, but without exception they note that these one-time measures do not address the underlying financial situation of agriculture in Canada. It’s a message the Liberal government is going to continue to hear until it takes action […] Read more

Sailors treat a patient aboard the hospital ship USNS Mercy, which was deployed to serve as a referral hospital for non-COVID-19 patients currently admitted to shore-based hospitals in Los Angeles.  |  Reuters photo

COVID-19 pandemic is no hoax

Despite overwhelming evidence from every corner of the world, a farmer friend recently related to me that three rural acquaintances had assured him that “this whole virus thing is just a big hoax to bring down Trump.” If so, there’s now 37,000-plus graves, more than a half million hospital patients and trillions of dollars of […] Read more