Crop protection guides provide vital information

What is black and white on the inside, often green on the outside and always blue throughout? The Alberta Guide to Crop Protection, that’s what. Also known as the Blue Book, the annual provincial pesticide tome, 628 pages in 2020, contains nearly everything a prairie farmer could want to know about herbicides, insecticides, seed treatments […] Read more

Pandemic should be off limits in war on agriculture

The world’s ability to feed itself is under steady threat from pests, some of them two-legged. Those who wish to halt proven and safe agricultural practices may not understand the damage they could do or the potential they have to leave people starving and their global environment compromised should the items on their wish list […] Read more

Alta. agriculture staff cuts plunge deep into research

Tough times in the energy economy have left Alberta’s government in a difficult position. Cuts to nearly every sector were inevitable, no matter what brand of politicians were running the show. But cuts to agriculture are hard to swallow. Given the challenges for the economy, with low returns from mining, oil and gas and manufacturing, […] Read more

Science cannot be seen as a shovel-ready project

The Parliamentary Budget Office isn’t impressed with work done so far by the various research superclusters launched by the federal government in February 2018. Applied science is likely harder to measure than the budget office thought it would be. Science isn’t a shovel-ready project. The five superclusters, created to enhance Canadian capacity for developing technology […] Read more

International trade must become part of our culture

Do you remember when Canada was finally going to be the international trade winner? If your short-term memory isn’t too bad, you should. The Trans-Pacific Partnership listed Canada as its biggest beneficiary — big country, small population, lots of exports. In case we need a little more information, the TPP was an agreement that was […] Read more

Deregulation of hemp production is long overdue

It is madness, not reefer madness, to keep hemp on the Canadian list of restricted crops. Low THC hemp is often referred to as a form of marijuana, with all the gravity that giggling about it will allow. But for Canadian farmers, the restriction is no laughing matter. It’s a restriction on a potential crop. […] Read more

Gov’t must do more on African swine fever front

It’s critical to get the agriculture portion of the next federal budget right. Then Canada can use the relative health of the farm economy to help rebuild the post-COVID future. The things the Trudeau Liberal government identified several years ago as being potential growth areas for the economy remain in place, despite the economic damage […] Read more

Farmers can change quickly if market signals are right

There are many facets to agriculture but the farmers within it generally share a mindset in the ways they respond to market signals. Canadian producers do not differ from their American cousins in that regard simply because the land or the weather is particularly unique. They differ because of public policy. An Ohio-based research company […] Read more

Don’t look to new movie for historical accuracy

Hollywood tells some interesting tales. Some are based on true stories. Others, such as the soon-to-be-released move entitled Percy, appear to be based on untrue stories loosely connected to events. Based on the pre-release movie trailer, the narrative pits a prairie farmer and his collection of home-bred, saved seeds against an evil, multi-national genetics and […] Read more

Merging speed too high for country’s seed growers

Seed growers sent the rest of their trade a message last week — trust for farmers is earned. A multi-year project to bring five groups involved in the seed growing and development business together under one umbrella entity was shut down at the 11th hour by producers. The four other groups involved — the Canadian […] Read more