Discerning readers will notice that we’ve been writing a lot about farmers’ use of chemicals lately.
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Our coverage of chemicals worthwhile

Discerning readers will notice that we’ve been writing a lot about farmers’ use of chemicals lately. There are four stories in this week’s Western Producer: one about the low thresholds used by Health Canada for neonicotinoids, one detailing how beekeepers in Western Canada are worried that a ban on neonics will result in farmers using […] Read more

‘Fake news’ tag harms useful info

I have, for the first time in my 25 years at The Western Producer, heard from farmer-readers that the professional press, including us, is “fake.” Lately, the term is being thrown around a lot. I was sitting in the sprayer, not so very long ago, going back and forth, as these things do when everything […] Read more

Ag organizations must earn a “social licence” before new technology will be adopted, Kevin Folta said. “It breaks my heart to (see the solutions that are available), especially in the developing world, that don’t get to their target, that don’t serve the people they were meant to serve.”
 | Screencap via Twitter/@GlobalFoodSecur

Trust vs. facts in debate over agriculture

We have often championed the virtue of good communications about agriculture to consumers, but Kevin Folta, a professor in the horticultural sciences department at the University of Florida, has outlined a process to ensure the targets and the messages are effective. Folta, who spoke at the Global Institute for Food Security conference in Saskatoon last week, urged those […] Read more


Will supply management survive?

In April 2017, shortly after Canada closed the loophole on imports of ultra-filtered milk, Wisconsin dairy farmer Shane Sauer, told the CBC: “We don’t blame you (Canada)” for what was then a glut of product on the market. Sauer explained the explosion in production of ultra-filtered milk, used in milk byproducts such as cheese, came […] Read more

The Producer’s experienced staff covers agriculture with vigour and a journalist’s skeptical eye. 
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Is the Producer on the side of farmers?

It’s a question that arises from time to time when The Western Producer publishes a story or opinion that many farmers disagree with. Of course we are, but not because we act as a spokesperson for the industry. Rather, it’s because we place a lens on the industry to try to get a clearer take […] Read more


One of the top stories of 2017 was the federal government's announcement of tax changes that could affect incorporated farms, making it more difficult for full-time farmers to share income with spouses and children, among other issues. The changes were eventually altered. | File photo

Top stories of 2017

At the end of each year, we like to share with readers the most popular online stories from the previous 12 months. This gives us an indication of what people like to see, and readers can take the measure of what fellow farmers like to read. So here are 2017’s top stories: 10. Grain bag […] Read more

Repeat something enough times and it eventually becomes gospel. Thanks to Facebook and Twitter, two misinformation machines, it’s now possible to say “glyphosate probably causes cancer” 50 million times in a month. | File photo

Repetition trumps truth

Insight can arrive at the strangest times. I learned that in 2015 when I was working on a story about Canada’s Inuit people and how they have dozens of words for snow. As part of the piece, I spoke with Graham Nesbitt, who worked at an Inuit cultural centre in Iqaluit. He said there probably […] Read more

Cell service: a basic utility

Cellular signals have become an anchor for many of the precision agriculture tools that have been or are being developed for the industry. Trouble is, farming is small when it comes to telecommunications. Farming is relatively small for IT in general. Everything for ag costs more because developers and suppliers have to earn enough to […] Read more


WP top 10 online stories

It’s time for our semi-annual look at what our online viewers are reading. The results are always interesting and instructive for us at The Western Producer. Our 10th most read story this year is “Survey reveals ‘amazing’ soil loss in Great Plains region.” Published in January, this story pointed out that large amounts of nitrogen […] Read more

Introducing Farmzilla.com

Classified ads hold a special place in farming culture, and that includes The Western Producer. I’ve heard readers say they only get The Producer for the classifieds, in the same way that some say they only subscribed to Playgirl magazine for the articles. There is some truth in there, but you have to dig into […] Read more