Residue testing, traceback critical to Canada’s reputation

Richardson International’s assertion that it can trace grain samples containing pesticide residues back to original producers is a wake-up call for Canadian growers to adhere to proper application procedures. If this practice becomes widespread among grain companies, it will help protect Canadian producers’ reputation as quality suppliers. It will also reduce the chance that problems […] Read more

Hazard vs. risk analysis a vital distinction to make

Editor’s note: This editorial is updated from an earlier version to address the terminology of hazard versus risk, and is a correction of the print version. The tug-of-war between conclusions based on hazard versus risk studies continues. The most recent example is the University of Saskatchewan study that shows that canola seed coated with imidaclophrid […] Read more

Sask. position on climate change plan may backfire

Saskatchewan’s climate-change plan is being met with plaudits from oil and agricultural groups, but it will not meet federal requirements and thus will force the Trudeau government to impose a plan on the province that could leave key decisions up to Ottawa rather than the provincial government. That is not a responsible plan. The federal […] Read more

On the Prairies, charity goes beyond writing cheques

It is 18 days until Christmas and nine days since Giving Tuesday, a newly designated day designed to encourage charitable giving. That special Tuesday appears to be an American-instigated event that somewhat ironically follows Black Friday and Cyber Monday, when spending is rampant and remaining discretionary funds are most likely to be in short supply. […] Read more

India’s pea import duty best addressed by closer ties

There is justifiably much concern about India’s sudden decision to impose a 50 percent import duty on peas, leaving Canadian farmers wondering what hit them. While the size of the duty — rather than the policy itself — was a surprise, this is how India works. The government is using import duties available to it […] Read more

‘Buy Local’ OK if voluntary but not when forced by gov’t

Canadian honey producers are being stung by a “buy American” campaign employed by U.S. honey packers. It is vexing that this development is lowering the price that Canadian honey producers get south of the border, but given that the campaign is voluntary, there is little to do. We have examples here in Canada where “buy […] Read more

Election ideal time to hatch new plan on climate change

The Saskatchewan government has now had a look at how other prairie provinces are handling climate-change plans. Rather than following the stance of outgoing Premier Brad Wall, who vowed to go to court to fight a federal order to enact a carbon plan, the candidates vying for leadership of the Saskatchewan Party should consider the […] Read more

New food policy should include input from agricultural experts

To make good decisions, you need good information. Decisions or policies made with limited information or diversity of input often fail when they meet the real world. The Liberal government’s recent attempt at tax reform is a prime example. A superficially attractive desire to make the tax system fairer crashed when it became clear that […] Read more

Canadian pursuit of TPP a wise trade strategy

Canada’s decision to pursue a Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement with 10 Asian countries, including Japan, should be a given, but it’s worth noting just why this matters, especially with the fate of the North American Free Trade Agreement in doubt. Canada stands to benefit in most sectors of the economy with a TPP11 deal, even more […] Read more

Time to squelch agriculture’s outdated red barn image

Rising on the horizon, emerging from the valley’s floor, peeking out from behind a tree line, the gambrel-roofed red barn is an iconic rural image. It’s a utility building with an inexpensive linseed- and fungal-resistant iron oxide paint that is burned into the collective memory. Our culture associates the red barn image with food production […] Read more