What will be the long-term impact of COVID-19?

As developments around the coronavirus, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) change rapidly, I can’t help but speculate on the longer term effects of it. By now, much has been made of the economic impact it – alongside the Saudi Arabia-Russia oil trade war – will have on global economies. While it is guesswork to estimate the […] Read more

Letters to the editor – March 19, 2020

No need to kill all the gophers Re: Prairie farm groups vow to fight PMRA strychnine ban, (WP, March 12). I write this in response to the headline in the March 12 edition concerning the proposed strychnine ban. I am very much in favour of this proposal. I was a veterinary practitioner (mostly large animal) […] Read more

Labelling for imitation meat must be more clear

As the market for alternative proteins — imitation meats — continues to grow, the imperative for getting the labelling right grows with it. Unfortunately, while regulations seem to tackle the issue reasonably well, enforcement is another matter. The Canadian Pork Council, the Canadian Meat Council, the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association […] Read more


COVID-19: Ag stories will go on

Journalism is underwritten through business endeavors. Ours is no different, even in times of global crisis. You pay for your subscriptions with the money you earned the hard way, farming, and with the time you choose to spend with your Western Producer. We sell that time to advertisers. In the case of public broadcasters, tax […] Read more

PMRA should rethink strychnine decision

Health Canada’s decision to phase out strychnine to control the gopher population on farms appears to be based more on changing sensitivities rather than any new data indicating the environmental issues have worsened. That’s unfortunate, because while sensitivities have changed, producers’ realities haven’t. Strychnine has long been used to target Richardson’s ground squirrels, more commonly […] Read more


Delaying ratification of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement at this stage may only have negative impact on relations with our trading partners, who reserve the right to move ahead on a bilateral deal if Canada takes too long to ratify.  |  File photo

We need to get a new NAFTA deal done

It’s time to restore predictability to trade in North America. The best way to do that is to pass legislation to implement the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement without delay. After three years of negotiating and waiting, Canadian farmers and agri-food exporters need certainty and stability. That’s why it is encouraging to see that the House of […] Read more

The future is a vital component of farm succession planning

I read some statistics on farm succession planning the other day. It caused me to think about a conference on succession planning I attended in 1999. People and presenters quoted statistics about the average age of the Canadian farmer being about 57, if I remember correctly — something close to that anyway. There was also […] Read more

Seed royalty pilot could show viable path

You can’t really blame the seed industry for forging ahead with a farm-saved seed royalty project, but it’s too bad the plan is vehemently opposed by the prairie wheat and barley commissions. Last winter featured some heated initial consultations where the two options of an endpoint royalty system and a farm-saved seed trailing royalty were […] Read more


Producers and public deserve clarity on the future of FCC

The Liberals’ vague promise to expand and enhance Farm Credit Canada remains as unclear now as it was when it was proposed ahead of the last federal election. There is still no clear indication as to how Ottawa will rename FCC to Farm and Food Development Canada, let alone what that means besides simply rebranding […] Read more

Letters to the editor – March 12, 2020

Test samples will never match Re: Questionable moisture tests may cost farmers big bucks, (WP, Feb. 27). The Western Producer’s front page article regarding “questionable moisture tests” swiped my total attention. Every fall at the beginning of harvest I self test my harvested crop moisture. Then I take that very sample to the local grain […] Read more