Farmer Curtis McRae shows federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau his drought-stricken crops.

Farmers need to make the drought matter – to urbanites

With his voice cracking with emotion, Tyler Fulton described a farm family forced to sell-off their cow herd, a herd produced by years of family effort. For thousands of farmers, this summer’s drought is destroying not only their family’s hopes and dreams, but also their ability to survive on the farm. Without a cow herd […] Read more

Suzanne Drisdelle, chargé d’affaires at the Canadian Embassy in Irekand, spoke about the value of CETA when she addressed an Irish government committee in April. | Screencap via Twitter/@canadaireland

BLOG: CETA is working perfectly — for European farmers

Earlier this year, a representative of the Canadian government shared a positive message with farmers in Ireland. Suzanne Drisdelle, chargé d’affaires at the embassy, spoke about the value of the Canada-European Union trade agreement when she addressed an Irish government committee in April. She told the committee that the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement is […] Read more



When China stops growing, what does it stop buying?

China has stopped growing. Did you hear? It’s a potentially world-changing and markets-disrupting development that while not entirely unexpected to happen sometime, certainly was not expected to be happening yet. Basically, China’s population is believed to have fallen slightly, as the lingering impact of its famous “one child” policy continues to sap China’s fertility rate, […] Read more

Industry “resiliency” is a never-given

Everybody hates getting their vehicle stuck and having to call for help. I’m sure the captain of the Ever Given, the gigantic container ship that completely blocked the Suez Canal for a week, was mightily embarrassed having to put out an emergency call to canal officials, tug boat operators and his bosses at the shipping […] Read more


The tectonic plates shift on China, and Canada’s one of the shifting pieces

The tectonic plates shift on China, and Canada’s one of the shifting pieces

But where will the plates end up, and what new mountain ranges and troughs will appear before it's all over?

I keep a globe by my desk. I spin it around to the relevant places whenever I write about global trade and geopolitics. It’s the best low-tech tool I have to get instant perspective on some of the more complex events that affect farmers, agriculture, commodities and our nation. Today I spun it to the […] Read more


Last hurrah of the pre-pandemic Canadian crop industry

Where were you a year ago? I was in Vancouver, on a big boat filled with hundreds of Canadian and foreign grain industry players and farmers, cruising around Vancouver harbour and checking out grain terminals, ocean-going bulk ships, giant container ships and railway infrastructure that rings the centre of one of Canada’s biggest cities. I […] Read more


Anecdotal reports are popping up from across the country about unusually firm blocks of butter that don't act the way some consumers expect. | Getty Images

The “hard butter” story is a weird one

I’ve seldom covered a story that’s drawn more reader feedback than the “hard butter” issue, which has numerous people across the country saying that their butter now stays hard at room temperature, rather than becoming soft and spreadable. It’s a weird story, because there’s no real data and solid evidence on whether or not Canadian […] Read more

There is a widespread perception that blocks of butter now, left at room temperature, do not get soft, as butter traditionally does. What's going on? | Getty Images

Hard questions on Canadian butter: What’s going on?

Foodies and home cooks across Canada have been chattering about Canadian butter and why it’s often so hard these days. Some toast butterers are fuming. (Look on Twitter and Facebook  to see just how many people are becoming engaged with this issue. It’s one of those “talkers” that gets people going.) There is a widespread […] Read more