Beware of CRA scams that have increased since COVID

COVID-19 as a virus has commanded our attention since early March but, in effect, we are discovering most governments, including Canada’s front-line medical watchdogs, saw the signals sooner. But there is another unexpected viral consequence of the pandemic and that is fraud and various scams targeting Canadians, most of them seniors. Canada Revenue Agency recently […] Read more

Merging speed too high for country’s seed growers

Seed growers sent the rest of their trade a message last week — trust for farmers is earned. A multi-year project to bring five groups involved in the seed growing and development business together under one umbrella entity was shut down at the 11th hour by producers. The four other groups involved — the Canadian […] Read more

Canadian farmers can still count on the global market, despite threats to access that they have faced recently in various parts of the world.  |  File photo

Battered markets are more resilient than they might seem

China knows how to stick it to Canadian farmers. The Europeans know how to keep out Canadian farm products, but they do it with more subtlety and grace. With the United States, who knows what Donald Trump or Joe Biden will do with North American free trade in the next four years? It’s hard to […] Read more

In recent weeks a poll of Canadians revealed that our fellow citizens support agriculture as an industry pretty well but the animal side of the business is not as popular with them as are plants. This is especially true among younger people, according to the survey. | File photo

Livestock sector vital part of big agriculture picture

Agricultural producers tend to have strong beliefs about their independence. However, commercial agriculture is really a team sport. No one element can be left behind without harming the whole. In recent weeks a poll of Canadians revealed that our fellow citizens support agriculture as an industry pretty well but the animal side of the business […] Read more

The unanticipated success of Leslyn Lewis should be considered a win for farmers. By performing significantly better than expected, particularly on the Prairies, she raised her stock within the party. 
| Screencap via

Lewis’s success could be biggest win for farmers in Tory race

The biggest win Canadian producers, particularly those on the Prairies, might see in the crowning of a new Conservative Party of Canada leader may come from one of the contest’s losers. Erin O’Toole won the leadership bid, beating out his chief rival, Peter MacKay. During the campaign, the two offered nearly identical, and fairly mundane, […] Read more

The author argues that farmers must retain the right to freely reuse their harvested material to grow another crop.  |  Brian Cross photo

Protect food system a seed at a time

In 1961, a dozen countries formed the intergovernmental organization UPOV, which sought to profit from the application of intellectual property rights to new varieties of plants. Since then, UPOV (Union for the Protection of new Varieties of Plants) has enacted several new regimes that place increasing restrictions on the use of any plant reproduction material […] Read more

Many farm families consider transferring their farmland into joint names with their children before they die so that their estates avoid probate fees, but there are risks associated with this strategy.  |  Getty Images

Transferring farmland into joint names comes with risks

When planning for the future, it is common for families to receive well-intentioned advice that parents should transfer their farmland into joint names with their children before they die so that their estates can avoid probate fees. Probate fees are the fees that an estate pays to the court in order to receive letters probate […] Read more

Right time to finish harvest is hard to determine

Having the optimum harvest capacity is difficult when each year can be so different. It’s only the beginning of September and harvest is advancing quickly in many areas, with some producers in the south already finished and with others soon to follow. Last year, dubbed the harvest from hell, combines were still rolling at the […] Read more

COVID steps: success or overreaction?

It’s fashionable in some circles to use the relatively low COVID-19 death rate in Canada as proof that our governments — particularly the one in Ottawa — overreacted and shut down the economy for nothing back in March. What this argument ignores is the fact that the safety measures were put in place precisely so […] Read more

Letters to the editor – September 3, 2020

Trailing royalty action required from minister On July 22 in the House of Commons, the question was asked by the member of Parliament for Battle River Crowfoot, Damien Kurek, to the minister of agriculture, Marie-Claude Bibeau: “I have heard from a number of farmers and certified seed growers in my constituency who are concerned about […] Read more