Carbon taxation

A federal mandate to reduce Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions by levying a tax on fossil fuels, emissions and fertilizers has not been well received. Are farmers justified in their fears that the new tax will place undue economic costs on the ag sector?

Canada’s plan to implement a tax on greenhouse gas emissions has caused a fair bit of hand wringing among prairie farmers. However, the financial impact of a carbon tax on the western Canadian agriculture sector could be far smaller than expected, according to agricultural economists at the University of Saskatchewan. That’s because biological emissions, which […] Read more


Alberta’s carbon tax plan may offer insight for others

Many Alberta farmers say program exemptions mean the new carbon tax isn’t as costly as some feared it would be

There has been much hand wringing in the farm community about carbon taxes but the experience hasn’t been too bad so far in the one prairie province that has one. “The hit wasn’t as hard on a lot of producers as we thought it was going to be,” said Lynn Jacobson, president of the Alberta […] Read more


Adapting to change

James Hofer is always looking for a way to shave production costs at his Hutterite colony’s hog barns in eastern Manitoba. Ractopamine, a feed additive that can cut costs by $2 to $5 per head, sounded like a good idea to try — until he heard from his packer in 2008. “HyLife was saying, ‘no […] Read more



The road ahead for farming is branching out — and that’s how consumers like it

Public polling shows that millions of Canadian consumers remain hostile to growth hormones and GM foods, despite overwhelming evidence showing the technologies are safe. If explaining and defending ag practices with science isn’t feasible, what are the alternatives for Canadian farmers? Western Producer reporters Ed White and Robert Arnason explore this question.

Kevin Folta took more than a decade to understand why science isn’t a great way to change people’s minds in the debate over genetically modified foods and pesticides. “It only took me 12 years, of really working hard to share science and give people facts, to realize that it wasn’t working,” said Folta, professor and […] Read more


The catch is in the rye

Once a popular prairie crop, rye has taken a backseat to more profitable crops in recent decades. But  factors are coming into play to put fall rye back in our vocabulary: KWS hybrid rye varieties are now available through a Regina-based farmer-owned company called FP Genetics. About 20,000 acres of those hybrids are growing on […] Read more



A guide to big rye

Hybrid rye variety yields 100 bushels per acre in bad conditions and double that number in Saskatchewan test plots

With a proven potential of 200 bushels per acre in prairie conditions, treating hybrid rye the same as conventional open rye varieties or winter wheat will guarantee you a disappointing harvest. “We’ve seen 200 bushels an acre in Western Canada. That was at Indian Head. It was just kissing 200 bushels in research plots,” says […] Read more


Farmers sing praises of hybrid rye

Morris, Man. — David Hamblin, an FP Genetics shareholder, has one Brasetto harvest under his belt. After getting hit with 25 percent hail damage in 2015, his 60-acre field still averaged 95 bushels per acre. “We would have been well over 100 (bushels) if we hadn’t gotten the hail. I wish we’d had 1,000 acres […] Read more


Canadian rye high in whiskey business

If award-winning Crown Royal doesn’t put the words ‘fall rye’ back in your mouth, potential yields of 200 bushels per acre might do the trick

Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye Whiskey from Seagram’s Gimli distillery grabbed Canada’s attention by winning the Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible 2016 World Whisky of the Year Award. The fact that Northern Harvest is distilled with 95 percent real rye no doubt drew the attention of some prairie farmers. After all, rye whiskey seems to be […] Read more



Navigating the trade waters

This is the final instalment of our series on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union. Writers from Glacier FarmMedia, which includes The Western Producer, interviewed experts to assess the value of CETA to Canada’s agricultural community. The previous stories in this series are all linked below. With a consumer […] Read more


Exporters must understand unique issues of EU buyers

Companies that are considering exporting to the European Union must first get to know their customers. Although similar to Canadian consumers in many ways, there are significant differences among European consumers that could make or break a product in the sophisticated, mature European Union marketplace. Alan Rownan, analyst at Euromonitor International, said European consumers continue […] Read more