China’s ban of Canadian canola imports is widely seen as retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of the founder of telecom giant Huawei, at the behest of the United States. | Robin Booker photo

BLOG: Canada-China relationship was getting cozy before Meng detention

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is under fire for the deteriorating Canada-China relationship, but his misstep may have been to be too accommodating to the Asian superpower. The Canada-U.S. relationship hit a low when President Donald Trump imposed U.S. tariffs on Canadian steel due to “national security concerns,” forced Canada into impromptu and brutal negotiations for […] Read more

Answers to farming challenges not as easy as outsiders assume

Whether it's dealing with China or soil, farmers have to manage in the real world

Uh-oh! China shut the border to Canadian canola. What should a farmer do? Easy! Just don’t grow canola this year. That’s what some people who don’t know much about real-world farming might think, after hearing that a third Canadian canola exporter has been told their license to ship to China has been yanked. How should […] Read more

It's no longer just Richardson International that's prevented from selling Canadian canola to China. | File photo

China drops the other shoe – on Canadian canola

Not much for Canada to do but carry on building new markets

It looks like China has dropped the other shoe, after first treading into the trade war area three weeks ago. China stops buying Canadian canola. It’s no longer just Richardson International that’s prevented from selling Canadian canola to China. While the Chinese customs authority does not appear to have explicitly banned Canada’s canola from being […] Read more


Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland speaking with Canola Council of Canada President Jim Everson

Canola industry hunkers down to hear if the next Chinese shoe drops

Canadian canola trade with China is not new to disruptions

This has happened before, and it will happen again. But the worrisome situation with Canadian canola exports to China might get worse before it gets better. That was the prevailing mood of exporters, canola industry leaders and farmer representatives at the Canadian Crops Convention in Montreal this week, as the industry grappled with news about […] Read more

Canola is big news – not in the way growers would hope

Canadian canola made it into the national news as the Canadian Crops Convention got underway in Montreal Tuesday, but it wasn’t for reasons anybody growing or selling Canadian canola would have wanted. News that China appears to have blocked canola imports from Richardson International sent tremors of anxiety through the farmers, processors, exporters and marketers […] Read more


China is top-of-mind for all the farm groups attending the 2019 Commodity Classic. | Sean Pratt photo

BLOG: Major U.S. farm conference focuses on China

ORLANDO, Fla. — China is top-of-mind for all the farm groups attending the 2019 Commodity Classic. Davie Stephens, president of the American Soybean Association, said there is no question that the U.S. is going to suffer permanent losses in the Chinese market. He noted that the market wasn’t built overnight. It took decades to develop. […] Read more

Canola is by far the most important Canadian export to China, with total value of exports (seed, oil and meal) at $3.6 billion in 2017. Canola seed imports into China have grown significantly from 2.9 million tonnes in 2013 to 4.5 million tonnes in 2017, according to the Canola Council of Canada website. | Robin Booker photo.

BLOG: Getting into China’s favour is a long row to hoe

The Canada-China dispute is unfortunate, especially if you’re a Canadian farmer. When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government took power, strengthening the Chinese-Canadian trade relationship was a priority, demonstrated by many visits to China by high-level officials as well as multiple rounds of face to face free trade agreement exploratory discussions between the countries. In Canada, […] Read more

Jonathan Tepper, author of The Myth of Capitalism: Monopolies and the Death of Competition, frequently cites agriculture in his discussion of modern threats to competition and consumer welfare.  |  Ed White photo

Is corporate consolidation condemning farmers to crippling servitude?

Agriculture has undergone an incredible consolidation of the companies that farmers rely upon. The global chemical/seed industry has collapsed into four giants; most meat industries are ruled by two or three packers, who often also play in the genetics, feed, production and management fields; Western Canada is utterly dependant upon two railways; two giant regional […] Read more


Leaders of provincial canola groups aren't pushing for a stick, to discourage the growing of back-to-back canola. It's not clear why, but it could be a distaste for regulations and penalties. | File photo

BLOG: Education not enough to encourage longer canola rotations

Last fall my eight-year-old daughter told me a story. It may be true, or partially true. We were walking to her school and she said the police were outside her school the day before. They entered a house across the road from the school, then brought out a man in handcuffs. Based on playground gossip, […] Read more

Canada torn between two trade bullies with the U.S. and China

Best approach: stay standing and don't cry

Canada is torn between two bullies, feeling like a fool. Dealing with both of them is breaking all our hopes. With our belligerent erstwhile friend to the south having recently finished savaging us in the NAFTA2 negotiations, and China presently raging at us and locking up unlucky Canadians, it’s a very, very, very uncomfortable time […] Read more