Boom in grain-handling facilities benefits farmers

In April 2016, The Western Producer published a story headlined, “Grain handling: a growth industry?” We needn’t have included the question mark. Statistics Canada numbers show grain exports from licensed elevators have increased 42 percent in the last 10 years. In the 2014-15 crop year, Canada exported 23.9 tonnes of wheat, topping exports from the […] Read more

Farmers depend on Ottawa to clean up pipeline mess

The Federal Court of Appeal’s ruling that effectively halted construction on the Trans Mountain pipeline wasn’t just about oil. By extension, agriculture will suffer, too. And when you consider that together they account for more than a quarter of Canada’s economy, that ruling by a three-judge panel had a much bigger impact than a single […] Read more

The author argues that it is wrong to favourably compare Australia’s decision to deregulate its dairy industry in 2001 with what some claim is Canada’s misguided intent to maintain its regulated system of supply management in the sector.  |  File photo

Aussie dairy disaster offers lessons

A recent article in The Western Producer by Alan Oxley, Dan Leroy and Jon Berry presented the Australian decision to deregulate its dairy industry in 2001. The three favourably compare that policy with what they claim is Canada’s misguided intent to maintain its regulated system of supply management in the sector. They could not be […] Read more


Neonic ban comes too early; more study needed

It’s concerning that Health Canada may have cast its net too wide in its decision to ban two more neonicotinoid seed treatments without a full set of information about whether such a dramatic move is required in Western Canada. Health Canada’s Pest Management Control Agency admits its information from Western Canada on whether neonics are […] Read more

Canada right to speak up on Saudi human rights abuses

How much inhumanity does a country get to inflict on people before countries with which it does business speak up? That question is central to the dispute between Canada and Saudi Arabia. How about beheading, crucifixion, leading the invasion of another country (Yemen, creating what the United Nations called a humanitarian catastrophe,) torturing confessions out […] Read more


Canada must send strong signal to U.S. on trade war

It was disappointing to hear federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay say Canada won’t do anything substantial to help Canadian farmers who will likely be affected by the growing trade dispute between the United States and China. In a scenario that will likely see prices affected worldwide, Canadian farmers will be caught up in the fray. […] Read more

EU’s gene editing ruling shows disdain for science

Canada is open for business and will welcome global agricultural researchers as they abandon less hospitable nations. While this is likely a gross over-simplification of the situation, our national science strategy will be a good fit for European companies, talented scientists and international state-funded projects looking to exploit the latest in genetic tools. Lack of […] Read more

Climate change plan must reward sequestered carbon

When it’s observed that current agricultural practices such as preserving grassland and zero- or minimal-tillage for crops help to sequester carbon — essentially turning farmland land into a carbon sink — the current climate-change policy response is: thank you for your service; now, what have you done for us lately? Canada’s climate-change plans do not […] Read more


Alta. opposition off base on farm safety legislation

Alberta United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney’s vow to repeal Bill 6 is unsavoury political opportunism. Such a promise ignores the fact that agriculture is one of the most dangerous occupations in Canada, and that while fatality and injury numbers are dropping, they continue to be significant. And Kenney would do nothing about it, decrying […] Read more

Feds must support farmers if trade war turns ugly

The machinations going on behind the scenes in the trade dispute between the United States and China spilled into the public realm last week, and it’s likely that Canada’s farmers will get caught up in the crossfire. If so, the Canadian government must be prepared to act. Early last month, Canadian officials submitted a question […] Read more