Statistics Canada has been engaging with Agriculture Canada and the provinces and territories to ensure important agricultural data continues to be made available.
 However, the agency said it is also “avoiding the imposition of burden on farmers with respect to direct data collection.”
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Seeding intentions report in limbo

Last week’s March Prospective Plantings report in the United States raised some eyebrows. It is uncertain whether Statistics Canada’s Principal Field Crop Areas report scheduled for release on April 24 will generate the same response. That is because there may not be a report on that date due to COVID-19 related challenges. “No final decision […] Read more

Foreign workers are allowed to travel to Canada and will be assessed at their port of entry. After that, they are required to isolate for 14 days, whether or not they have symptoms. The same rule applies to Canadians returning from any other country.
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Isolation needs complicate foreign labour rules

News of exemptions that allow temporary foreign workers to come to Canada was greeted with relief by agricultural sectors that require the additional labour. However, government restrictions surrounding control of COVID-19 spread are adding complexity and expense to the process. Foreign workers are allowed to travel to Canada and will be assessed at their port […] Read more

The near complete shutdown of the restaurant industry has caused demand for key dairy products to decline.  |  File photo

Lower demand forces farmers to dump milk

Dairy farmers across Canada have been dumping raw milk because of market issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Dairy Farmers of Canada said in a statement last week that the last thing anyone wants to see is milk being discarded, but the drop in demand for some products, as well as supply chain issues, […] Read more

COVID-19 measures are making it difficult to transport harvesting equipment to where it is needed because much of it has to move across three state borders.  |  REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui photo

Equipment, labour shortages threaten Indian harvest

One analyst disagrees, saying harvest complications will have ‘absolutely no impact on pulse quality and yields’

COVID-19 is throwing a wrench into India’s rabi crop harvest, but that won’t impact pulse yields or quality, says an expert. There have been a number of reports that COVID-19 restrictions are limiting access to custom combining services in northern India, causing a delay in the 2020 harvest. Most of India’s custom hiring centres and […] Read more

The British cattle industry says higher demand for ground beef is signaling trouble because it is less profitable than other cuts, but the North American sector doesn’t expect this to be a problem.  |  File photo

Demand for beef expected to remain strong

The industry is monitoring the possibility that out-of-work consumers may buy less beef during the COVID-19 crisis

Industry representatives say they expect demand for beef to remain strong during the COVID-19 pandemic as consumers continue to stock their freezers. Speaking at an online town hall meeting April 2, Canada Beef president Michael Young said there may be more demand for hamburger, and he expects demand to last throughout the crisis. He said […] Read more

Effort to manage COVID-19 results in welcome unity

Agriculture is one of the businesses that must keep operating if the world is to carry on. Canadians and their various levels of government seem to finally be agreeing on that point. It’s a ray of hope because political agreement in Canada is ordinarily not that common. In recent weeks a few of the cracks […] Read more

Kate Horsman delivers free lunch to the isolated Poelen family as part of a program launched by the Indian Head Bakery in Indian Head, Sask.  |  Christalee Froese photo

Sask. bakery treats the isolation blues

The bakery in Indian Head, Sask., delivers hot lunches to families forced to stay at home because of COVID-19 measures

INDIAN HEAD, Sask. — COVID-19 is hitting Alison Poelen’s family hard. The single mother of three boys has lost her entire income and she has to wait several weeks to find out about Employment Insurance benefits. But with one ring of her doorbell late last month, the whole family’s spirits were lifted. The Indian Head […] Read more

The Saskatchewan Health Authority released its modeling data April 8, including how its facilities will handle an increasing number of positive cases. | Government of Saskatchewan graphic

Rural health facilities part of COVID-19 plans

Rural health facilities are part of provincial pandemic plans, if COVID-19 cases overwhelm larger centres. The plans are based on models that are always changing depending on the severity of the pandemic, officials say, but have a role to play in surge capacity. In Manitoba, for example, Health Science Centre in Winnipeg is the main […] Read more

Truckers have been deemed an essential service during the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning they’re still at work and aren’t required to self-isolate unless they are exhibiting symptoms.  |  File photo

Public urged to take steps to support truckers

Drivers face extraordinary circumstances as they work, including restaurant closures and lack of access to washrooms

The top executive at the Saskatoon Trucking Association has a message for Saskatchewan residents and business owners during the COVID-19 pandemic: be kind to truckers and help them out if you can. Susan Ewart told The Western Producer that truck drivers are facing extraordinary circumstances as they move products throughout the province. Restaurant closures mean […] Read more

Some of the safety tools that agricultural researchers rely on might crossover into healthcare needs and potentially cause shortages in the crop research sector.  |  WP file photo

COVID-19 impacts agricultural research

COVID-19 is forcing agricultural researchers into a quandary. Much of the specialized white protective gear normally worn when dealing with chemicals is also in demand from the medical community. “Researchers are in a moral dilemma,” according to Tom Wolf, proprietor of Agrimetrix in Saskatoon. His company specializes in conducting research on spray applications. Obviously, Wolf […] Read more