An urbanite says farewell to the WP

If there ever was a poster boy for a city slicker, I may just fit the bill. My jeans are probably tighter than most farmers and, for the majority of my life, I knew very little about agriculture, even though I consumed it daily. That all changed when I was hired by The Western Producer […] Read more

Fusarium off pest list; pleases Alta. farmers

In a wave from east to west, fusarium head blight has drifted and shifted its way across Western Canada. When it comes to Alberta’s history with the fungal foe, the battle to stop it by all means possible began in the late 1990s after a particularly bad few seasons of infection in the United States […] Read more

Don’t take farming and food for granted says U of C report

Canadians and Canada’s governments shouldn’t take farming and food for granted. That’s the bottom line of a June 9 report from the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy. “Food security in Canada is not something to be taken for granted and government policy action must reflect the essential service agriculture provides for our nation,” […] Read more

Let’s be hopeful, but not stupid, as COVID-19 wanes

There was shocking economic news today: U.S. non-farm payroll numbers increased by 2.5 million, rather than declining by expectations for more than seven million. Got that? The U.S. added jobs in May rather than continuing to fall into a hole dug by COVID-19. Is that number real? Is it a statistical aberration? Is it a […] Read more

Applying a trailing seed royalty to every acre of grain that a farmer plants from seed produced on his own land makes the farmer responsible for subsidizing the cost of food to the consumer and gives the control of seed to a “seed entity” with corporate interests, says the writer.  |  Reuters/Mohamed Abd El Ghan photo

Trailing royalty proposal a bad idea

The question of implementing a seed royalty has been drawn to my attention. What I understand is that the seed sector is planning an industry-wide amalgamation that would combine the five major seed organizations: the Canadian Seed Growers Association, the Canadian Seed Trade Association, the Canadian Seed Institute, the Canadian Plant Technology Agency and the […] Read more

North Americans have for the most part bought into the scientific argument that agricultural technologies - such as genetic modification and pesticides - are safe to use, but not so much across the Atlantic, where a deep distrust continues to exist. | File photo

What a difference an ocean makes

It’s always amazed me how different Europeans are from North Americans. OK, sure, it only makes sense that there would be some differences — our two cultures did develop in a different historical context and even in vastly different physical landscapes. But it’s the approach that Europeans take to risk that can sometimes be a […] Read more

There are times when distraction can be a blessing, especially if the distraction is away from woes and hardship and toward a happy, productive task.
 | File photo

Seeding a welcome distraction from pandemic worries

Distraction can be a terrible thing, such as when operating machinery or driving. But there are times when distraction can be a blessing, especially if the distraction is away from woes and hardship and toward a happy, productive task. That’s what a lot of farm families are experiencing now, I think, as the busyness of […] Read more

Report suggests path forward for risk management reform

Among the long list of recent producer complaints to government, the concern over business risk management programs has been the most consistent. Other grievances remain. The carbon tax is an irritant, but the now-futile campaign against it has lost steam. Lack of labour and access to foreign trade markets are issues that can only be […] Read more

Statistics should be taken with a grain of salt

It has long been said that there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics. As long as statistics are accurate, they provide useful information for analysis, but in the case of farm income statistics, what the numbers actually indicate is often open to interpretation. Statistics Canada recently released a raft of numbers […] Read more

Letters to the editor – June 4, 2020

Prime minister cannot be trusted How may Canadians trust Trudeau? His first election was won by convincing Canadians of change — he offered us “no more elections of first past the post.” He lied to Canadians, please don’t forget that. Then, he commented that the budget will balance itself. Now, he is busy spending $260 […] Read more