Mulusew Kebede, left, helps build a stove as part of a self-help group that the Mennonite Central Committee supported in Ethiopia.   | Canadian Foodgrains Bank/Stephanie McDonald photo

Self-help group leads way in Ethiopia

Two years ago, Mulusew Kebede had never imagined owning a business. On her small farm near Woldiya, Ethiopia, Kebede, aged 43, and her family grew crops and raised a few livestock. But starting a new business was something she never thought was possible. A project supported by Canadian Foodgrains Bank member Mennonite Central Committee changed […] Read more

Rural minister should bring cabinet clout

If the newly created rural and economic development ministry, led by MP Bernadette Jordan, is effective and can earn some clout in cabinet, it may bring a healthy new focus to rural issues in Canada. Jordan represents the riding of South Shore-St. Margarets in Nova Scotia, and as earlier reported in The Western Producer, is […] Read more

Income deferral tricky prospect for livestock producers

Is farm income deferral an effective tax management strategy? That depends on whether your farm business is based on grain or mostly on the hoof. There is a bit of an inequity in the tax system that allows more flexibility in deferring income from grain sales than from livestock sales. For example, when listed grains […] Read more


Canola waits for fresh news as contracts trend lower

A number of factors conspired against canola last week, and ICE Futures contracts trended lower for most of the week ended Feb. 1. However, prices remain range-bound overall and the market did manage to end the week on a minor positive note. The nearby March contract lost roughly $6 per tonne during the last week […] Read more

Recommended utopian diet admirable but impractical

There is nothing wrong with setting the bar high when it comes to planning a diet that will be healthy and heed the environmental requirements of the planet. Indeed, it’s admirable. But if, as The Lancet journal’s report on a healthy and sustainable diet concludes, the world must accept the report’s recommended diet changes to […] Read more


Canadian canola exports fell farther behind the year-ago pace last week.  |  File photo

Diplomatic uncertainty still weighs on canola markets

Exporters are wary about future business, considering the ongoing diplomatic dispute between Canada and China

ICE Futures canola contracts trended higher over the course of the week ended Jan. 25 as the market saw a chart-based recovery off of the yearly lows hit the previous week. However, canola remains range-bound and sluggish overall, largely taking its influence from activity in the outside commodity and financial markets. Trade uncertainty kept a […] Read more

A report that overwhelmingly favours plant protein over meat has its merits but ultimately ignores our food heritage.  |  File photo

Scientists fixate on plant-based diet

When the prestigious medical journal The Lancet published a 51-page report this month laying out a plan for a sustainable “planetary diet” that transforms how we eat and live, it made a big splash. The group of 37 experts are members of the EAT-Lancet Commission, which was brought together by the Stockholm-based non-profit EAT, dedicated […] Read more

A producer speaks out on populism

“I don’t really want (my legislators) to be me, or the same as me. I want them to be better.” That was a comment I was awarded after hosting a talk with a politician during Crop Week in Saskatoon. I had plunked myself down at a table in the audience for a quick cup of […] Read more


Reasonability and the law of unforeseen consequences

One of my strict rules when dealing with the transition process of a family farm is to include all the family members and to speak to them on a one-on-one basis. I do this so that I have a full understanding of the views and issues faced by them all. This includes inactive children, and […] Read more

Big acreage shifts predicted for the Prairies

Agriculture Canada’s Market Analysis Group is forecasting sizable acreage shifts in the upcoming growing season. The predictions are in the Jan. 25 edition of Canada: Outlook for Principal Field Crops. Released regularly, these reports include supply and demand projections from long-time federal analysts. With durum prices running at a discount to most classes of wheat, […] Read more