Grain farmers, depending on size, location and luck, might have fairly large AgriInvest deposits or none at all. | File photo

Feds must provide details to back up AgriInvest claim

Details matter when making decisions on the farm, but critical details are missing from the federal government’s inventory of Canadian farmers’ AgriInvest deposits. They’re either missing or the government doesn’t want to release that information for some reason. Either way, the details matter when governments try to justify lack of additional financial assistance for producers. […] Read more

During a May 27 meeting, members of the Canadian Mushrooms Grower's Association raised

Ag committee hears mushroom farmers’ concerns

Members of Parliament sitting on the committee dealing with agricultural issues continue to hear concerns over the federal government’s response to COVID-19. During a May 27 meeting, members of the Canadian Mushrooms Grower’s Association raised “grave concerns” over the support they have received. Chief executive officer Ryan Koeslag said additional measures put in place by […] Read more

Two national campaigns launched for food supply chains

The Canadian Centre for Food Integrity is launching a new campaign to inform consumers on how the food system works. “It’s Good, Canada” will share personal stories of Canadians working across the food supply chain and provide information about farming, transportation, processing, retail and production on its website, “It’s natural for Canadians to have […] Read more

There are no timelines yet on when the system will be in place, but it's part of the government's staged approach in helping producers weather impacts caused by the crisis, said Agriculture minister Devin Dreeshen. | File photo

Alta. to set up bid system for backlogged cattle

The Alberta government will launch a bid system to identify which cattle should be processed, helping address massive bottlenecks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. There are no timelines yet on when the system will be in place, but it’s part of the government’s staged approach in helping producers weather impacts caused by the crisis, said […] Read more

Sylvain Charlebois, professor in food distribution and policy at Dalhousie University in Halifax, said the pandemic will result in higher costs for food in Canada, which until now has had the fifth cheapest food basket in the world, comprising about 11 percent of income. | File photo

E-commerce changes retail picture; brings opportunities

Unexpected markets could open up for farmers if buying groceries online becomes the new normal for more consumers

Canada is now in week nine of the COVID-19 crisis, although it may seem as though that span has been longer — much longer. In that time, grocery shopping has become a chore to be avoided, eating at home has become the norm and the entire social contract between the food industry and consumers is […] Read more

Canadian wheat is unloaded near Tokyo in this file photo from 2015. Canada recently set a new weekly export record for the crop.  | Reuters/Thomas Peter photo

Wheat exports hit the roof

Canada set a new weekly wheat export record in week 40 of the 2019-20 campaign, according to the Canadian Grain Commission. Terminal elevators shipped 926,000 tonnes of wheat and durum, shattering the previous record of 691,000 tonnes set the same week the previous crop year. “We had the demand in place, we had the mechanism […] Read more

Economists say cow-calf producers aren’t in bad shape now because they don’t have to sell calves, but they are fearful of the market six months from now.  |  Wendy Dudley photo

Pandemic not affecting all cattle sectors equally

The beef industry has been walloped by COVID-19, but that whupping has left some parts of the system bruised and wailing while other parts are OK for now. Who’s hurt and who’s fine could change dramatically, depending upon how long the crisis continues, say some analysts looking at the impact of the crisis. “If markets […] Read more

Empty grocery store shelves are among the factors that some point to when arguing for a wholesale overhaul of the country’s food production.  |  Reuters/Carlos Osorio photo

Food system a disaster or a success? The jury is still out

We don’t think well or wisely after suffering a shock. We haven’t even gotten past the shock of COVID-19 to be able to develop thoughts much beyond surviving. That’s why it’s so hard to tell if our farm and food system has proven itself to be an utter disaster or a screaming success. We’re too […] Read more

While there might be widespread and loud calls for the food supply system to be overhauled, there are other voices out there holding their tongues but viewing the calls for a food system revolution with skepticism. | File photo

Major overhaul not needed for supply chain: observers

There have been widespread predictions that North America’s food supply chain will be radically reformed after COVID-19 passes. Reasons for why the food supply chain should, in some people’s eyes, be restructured include: Shortages of flour, dairy and meat products. Shutdowns and slowdowns at meat packing plants. Worries about cross border agriculture trade and food […] Read more

There is hope that Alberta’s beef packing industry is turning the corner after being hit hard by the COVID-19 virus. Cargill is processing about 3,200 head per day and working toward full capacity of 4,000 to 4,500, while JBS is now processing about 2,000 per day with planned increases over time.  | Mike Sturk photo

Beef processors pick up the pace

The JBS plant in Brooks Alta., adds a second shift and adopts more than 100 preventive measures to boost worker safety

The JBS beef packing plant in Brooks, Alta., returned to operating a second shift May 21, a month after reducing activity to one shift April 22. An outbreak of COVID-19 among employees reduced the workforce and many were not coming to work for fear of contracting the virus. The Cargill beef processing plant in High […] Read more