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Beef industry’s challenges require co-ordinated effort

A new report on the competitiveness of the Alberta beef cattle industry contains few surprises, but it outlines significant challenges the industry faces if it is to remain healthy. The report says the Alberta beef cattle industry has been “generally competitive over the past decade” with three comparative cattle-producing states in the United States — […] Read more

Less than three percent of Canadians have a direct tie to primary agriculture production, and consumers are increasingly questioning what farmers are doing.  |  Getty Images

Latest trust-in-food data is unsettling

I’ve spent my entire life involved in the food system. My upbringing, education, career path and even marriage to a ranch girl have all involved agriculture. My experiences have allowed me to see many different sides of food and farming, but this perspective isn’t shared by the vast majority of Canadians. The Canadian Centre for […] Read more

It was a Big Bud. A thing of farmboy lore and it was made next door in Montana. On the Prairies, next door is anywhere within 350 miles and Havre, Mont., is 347 miles away from our farm.
 | Screencap via YouTube/Titan Tire & Goodyear Farm Tires

Is the future in steel weed management?

I love a good farm show. Heck, I’d love a bad farm show, but I can’t say I’ve ever been to one. My enthusiasm for farm shows began when I was a kid growing up on the farm. It was always a good day to miss a little school and go learn more about something […] Read more


Increasing happiness quotient more important than ever

For a great many farms, 2019 won’t actually fade into the rear-view mirror until the harvest is finished in spring. That’s definitely not how the plans were originally drawn up. People will likely be getting tired of talking about 2019 and how difficult it was. Having said that, I’ve observed that quite a hangover remains […] Read more

It is hard to make money with average yields

Average crops just don’t pay the bills, particularly if you apply inputs aiming to achieve above average yields. That’s evident in the new Crop Planning Guide 2020 from Saskatchewan Agriculture, which has a two-pronged approach to yields this year. Its targeted crop yields represent the top 20 percent of five-year average yields for each crop […] Read more


Bibeau’s info-gathering stall leads to missed opportunities

Federal politicians will return to Ottawa Jan. 27 to get back to parliamentary business, but by then Canada’s agriculture minister will have already had some time to emphasize the importance of her file and priorities to colleagues. However, these will largely be missed opportunities for Marie-Claude Bibeau. In a blatantly apparent attempt to subdue concerns […] Read more

Letters to the editor – January 23, 2020

Not all climate-change advocates are extremists Re: Smith warns of pressure by environmentalists (WP, Jan. 9). It is ironic that radio talk show host (and former Wildrose Party leader) Danielle Smith warns of “extremist” propaganda while appearing to use the same type of propaganda, classing all environmentalists in one extreme category. Not everyone concerned about […] Read more

It is too soon to write off glyphosate access just yet

Is there an inexorable drive to ban glyphosate? Is it inevitable? There is certainly a drive by some opponents to eliminate the world’s most commonly used herbicide, but whether it’s unstoppable is to be determined. Weed scientist Hugh Beckie, formerly of Agriculture Canada and now director of Australia’s herbicide resistance initiative at the University of […] Read more


Fearless predictions for the decade ahead

While 20/20 may be considered good eyesight, having the calendar turn over to 2020 doesn’t improve the vision for future gazing. Despite that, here are some predictions for agriculture in the decade ahead. Warning: some of these may make your blood boil. They aren’t necessarily what I want to see happen; they are what I […] Read more

A briefing note given to Canada’s Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau suggests billions of dollars worth of Canadian crop exports to the EU are at risk. | Robin Booker photo

The jury is still out on trade deal with EU

The European Union’s move toward a hazard-based approach for pesticide approvals has put billions of dollars worth of Canadian crop exports at risk. A hazard-based approach regulates substances based on their intrinsic properties without accounting for the exposure to the substance, while a risk-based approach factors in exposure. Canada’s Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau met May […] Read more