People’s Party platform requires a closer look

Farmers who take a close look at Maxime Bernier’s platform — that of the People’s Party of Canada — will find some things to like. The question lies in the bigger picture — are these agricultural policies compelling enough for farmers to accept the massive cultural change the party would put the country through? And […] Read more

New trespass laws welcome, but come with cautions

The most ominous signal surrounding proposed changes to trespassing laws governing rural land in Saskatchewan came from Chief Bobby Cameron of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, who offered that he hoped “there are no more tragedies” as a result of the law. It is important to heed this. The proposed changes come two years […] Read more

Trust in food system falls, but opportunities still exist

It was a surprise to see public trust in the food system drop in the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity’s 2018 survey of consumers, but it might not be as bad as it looks, and there is opportunity in consumers’ hunger for more information. For the first time in 12 years, consumers who feel the […] Read more

Canada’s trade advantage over U.S. will cause trouble

It was tempting there, for a moment, to imagine that Canada’s strained relationship with the United States over trade in agriculture was easing. Not so fast. Canada is pursuing a distinctly different course with respect to trade in agriculture than the United States. And it will get noticed. At the recent Grain World conference in […] Read more

Canada shows rational approach to gene editing

It is one of those neat little unexpected treasures that pops up from time to time: an international statement that lays out — without the appearance of politicking — a sensible, scientific approach to an issue. That’s what we saw earlier this month when the governments of Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, […] Read more

Canada must do more to defend its food quality

It is a salient observation: “Our food has never been safer, ever, in the history of mankind and it’s never been more scrutinized, either.” That timely conclusion comes courtesy of Alberta feedlot owner Les Wall of KCL Cattle Co. while chatting with a Western Producer reporter. It’s timely because we are seeing Canada’s grain reputation […] Read more

Antibiotics survey leaves wrong impression on meat

A CNN report in mid-October started this way: “Six consumer interest groups are now sounding the alarm about the use of antibiotics in meat served at the 25 largest burger chains in the United States.” The issue of antibiotic resistant infections, mainly due to overuse of antibiotics in humans, is important and well-known. The alarm […] Read more

Digital infrastructure key to protecting mental health

It is the message we hear repeatedly in addressing agriculture and stress: the things that draw farmers to the business — resilience, independence, hard work — are the very characteristics that can prevent farmers from getting help when they become overwhelmed. Farmers, it is known, are supposed to tough it out. Fortunately, that culture is […] Read more

Canadians must address non-market trade clause

Is article 32.10 in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement a tempest in a teapot or a slow-building hurricane? Whatever it is, it could have an effect on Canada’s agricultural trade with China. Article 32.10 says any country that pursues a trade agreement with a non-market country must provide the text of the deal to the other […] Read more

Clubroot stigma may help spread the canola disease

It is the news that any farmer dreads: a field of canola doesn’t look right. Samples are sent off, there is a desperate feeling of hope, but the truth is obvious: tests confirm the presence of clubroot. This process isn’t confined to canola, but unlike say, fusarium in wheat, discovery of clubroot seems to bring […] Read more