Wise call to delay new livestock transport rules

The federal Ministry of Agriculture’s decision to soften the introductory period for new livestock transportation rules by allowing a two-year wait time before enforcement begins is a welcome move, one that came after requests from cattle associations. One can argue that the ministry jumped the gun on setting next month for implementation, since there is […] Read more

What agriculture needs from Santa this year

It’s customary at this time of year to make a Christmas list, but we won’t ask Santa Claus to put our suggestions in farmers’ stockings. That would be reaching. Besides, Santa isn’t really a fixer. We’ll just call this an appeal to get his elves on the case. You know producers have been good citizens […] Read more

Canada must work to stay ahead of wheat markets

Canada sells a lot of wheat, but we cannot take our position in the wheat trade for granted. Canola has been getting a lot of attention lately, mainly because of its export growth and China’s obstinate moratorium, but it’s interesting to note that Canadian wheat exports to China are on a record pace this year. […] Read more


Farmers should help design water drainage regulations

At first glance, the Saskatchewan government’s attempt to address drainage issues appears to be a no-win scenario. However, if the process is done well, it can make life better for many farmers without causing undue hardship for others. The province is trying to provide leadership on an issue that must be addressed. Some farmers will […] Read more

Gene editing, which has gained traction quickly since it was introduced in 2012, has been described as a search-and replace-technique through which scientists can alter the genetic sequence of a plant to develop a trait with precision.
 | File photo

Canada should consider adjusting biotech regs

Canada’s approach to regulating biotechnology — evaluating novel traits for plants — strikes the right balance between scientific evaluation and public concern. However, there is now an opportunity to provide precision in the process, given how other countries are approaching gene editing. CropLife Canada — whose membership includes a compendium of plant science companies such […] Read more


The Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Crops plans to consult with producers, farm organizations and scientists to develop a code of practice for crops over the next 30 months. | Screencap via sustainablecrops.ca

Grain code of practice proposal has drawbacks

The quest for a code of practice governing grain growing is admirable, but the result will be a complex document that may cause farmers to adopt some of these practices whether they like it or not. The Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Crops plans to consult with producers, farm organizations and scientists to develop a code […] Read more

Producers must have a say in seed research dollars

If more private investment is needed to develop seed varieties, the two models proposed by Agriculture Canada are not going to work. In reality, we have to wonder if the federal government has lost its drive to do this, given the intense resistance by producers to the process so far, and frankly — given the […] Read more

Canada needs to consider tougher approach to trade

Should Canada stop being nice when it comes to agricultural trade? That seems to be the gist of October’s policy note by research firm Agri-Food Economic Systems. The argument in the report is solid. The options for Canada range from nice to naughty. So, at what point should Canada’s government and the agri-food industry accept […] Read more


Parties address agriculture using a variety of promises

All major parties have vowed to put agriculture at the heart of their decision-making. A review of their policies that affect prairie farmers places agriculture in various stages of importance. Farm groups have issued their priorities. Addressing market access issues is on everyone’s list. A federally funded program to address damage from market issues has […] Read more

Stress must be managed properly in this tough fall

In recent days, the warmer weather returned, the snow left the fields and the combines were back at work. It should have been a good time for farmers, drinking up the fields with their machines, but instead it will be another intensely stressful harvest. And if forecasts are correct, they’ll be facing snow again shortly. […] Read more