Identifying the true market value of habitat maintenance will help increase farmers’ willingness to comply, says the author.  |  File photo

Habitat worth keeping is worth paying for

Agriculture policy is like pouring concrete. Planning, levelling and forming are important parts but can be modified as needed. However, once the concrete is poured and set, it’s a large, burdensome task to make major changes. Although I would like to take credit for this analogy, I cannot. The analogy is that of University of […] Read more

New ag policy framework spotlights trade

The emphasis at the agricultural policy framework negotiations is shifting from farm supports to prosperity through trade. Market access will be a key priority when federal and provincial agriculture ministers finish negotiating the next Growing Forward policy framework later this year, says a senior Agriculture Canada official. A priority during previous agricultural policy framework negotiations […] Read more

Trade talks spark fierce debate

Prime minister Stephen Harper signalled Nov. 13 he is reversing position and asking that Canada join the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade talks. Supply management will be “on the table” for discussion, but the government will defend the system, he told reporters after an Asia-Pacific Summit in Honolulu, Hawaii. The surprise announcement, which is a change in […] Read more


Meatless Monday initiative won’t affect global warming

Meatless Monday is a toothless tiger but that hasn’t stopped this promotion from clawing at animal agriculture. The Meatless Monday initiative, which began in about 2002 and seems to be steadily gaining supporters, encourages people to eliminate meat from their diets for one day each week as a way to protect the environment and reduce […] Read more



Water may be defining issue in future

The following is an excerpt from the Canada West Foundation’s policy paper, “Wave of the future: Water policy in Western Canada,” by foundation president Roger Gibbins and policy analyst Larissa Sommerfeld. Western Canada, all of which are relevant to the economy, local cultures, ecosystem and human health. In British Columbia, the potential for floods and […] Read more

Statistics Canada numbers lose credibility

It’s hard to find a farmer who likes the acreage and crop production estimates from Statistics Canada. As farmers, we are well-served by accurate, timely estimates. Too bad that isn’t what we’re getting. With thousands of producers surveyed in each province for each report, it’s likely that your phone is going to ring from time […] Read more

Soggy spring tests farm support plans

Governments are responding to agricultural, municipal and homeowner damages caused by heavy rainfall and storms across the Prairies this spring and summer. In this special report, Western Producer reporter Karen Briere surveys the response and digs into the details beyond the announcements. YORKTON, Sask. – Prime minister Stephen Harper received a bird’s-eye view last week […] Read more


WTO delays frustrate New Zealand envoy

The New Zealand farmer who travels the world promoting his country’s free trade, low subsidy policy is worried about what he sees happening in Geneva at world trade talks. More precisely, Alistair Polson is worried about what he does not see happening. World Trade Organization negotiations remain stalled more than eight years after they started […] Read more