War of trade giants precarious for Canada

The United States and China are not about to enter a shooting war any time soon, but their war of tit-for-tat is still damaging for those on the periphery. Countries including Canada are poised to be winners and losers in this fight between economic behemoths depending on how these giants throw their punches. Just when […] Read more

When fair’s fair

The fairs, agricultural exhibitions, fowl suppers and rural sports days have stopped this year in the name of safety. Many of these traditions were carried on through wars, financial and farming collapses and might be thought of as footnotes in the tales of Canadian culture. But that underestimates their role in rural society, where isolationism […] Read more

The UN tweeted that the meat industry was responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than the world’s biggest oil companies, but then later deleted the tweet. | file photo

Latest UN emissions report further reduces credibility

A week ago the United Nations managed to find another cow pie to step in. Taking to social media, the UN tweeted that the meat industry was responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than the world’s biggest oil companies. The forehand slap was for livestock production. The backhand was aimed at the petroleum industry. After […] Read more

Slide back to ag subsidies a troubling development

There was a time, not so long ago, when advanced economies were headed down a path where farm commodities were largely free from government subsidies or other supports. Compared to 40 years ago, this is still the case. It was good for global agriculture and especially good for Canada. However, farm subsidies have recently been […] Read more

Margin erosion leads to risk for all Canadians

This season might turn out to be one of the best for grain farmers since 2014 — provided the weather holds and prices remain steady or improve. Currently, most clouds on the horizon seem to contain thunder showers, yet producers appear edgy about extra costs, amounting to a dollar here or there per acre. Why […] Read more

It was politics and a lack of long-term economic vision by successive governments that stopped irrigation implementation in Saskatchewan in the 1970s and kept it halted. It’s time to take this job off the Prairies’ to-do list. | File photo

It’s about time the Prairies took irrigation off its to-do list

Irrigation expansion has its friends and foes. It doesn’t favour every farmer or segment of the industry or society equally. It picks regional winners and losers and requires all to share in some of the costs. Producers and municipalities in irrigatable areas generally pick up the lion’s shares of operations, but the expense isn’t exclusively […] Read more

Rural internet vital

How is your internet speed? If you live in rural Canada, almost half of you will say it’s not very good and about 10 percent will say “what high speed?” It’s a dismal situation in this modern age when connectivity is vital. Internet connection is integral to business, education and health care in Canada. That […] Read more

Plant technology rules need thorough review

Compared to other big crop-exporting countries, Canada has a unique way of looking at plant breeding regulations. No matter how a plant develops a new trait, that trait must be evaluated on its relative merits and potential threats. Whether a breeder uses gene dicing and splicing of a plant’s own genome or crosses and crosses […] Read more

World must remain on the globalization bandwagon

Not so long ago, in a land that is our backyard, lived a prospective trade environment. It was big and shiny and for all the world looked like it contained the best of what would be Canada’s future. It was full of promise. Canada would be one of the biggest winners, an exporter to all […] Read more

Fusarium off pest list; pleases Alta. farmers

In a wave from east to west, fusarium head blight has drifted and shifted its way across Western Canada. When it comes to Alberta’s history with the fungal foe, the battle to stop it by all means possible began in the late 1990s after a particularly bad few seasons of infection in the United States […] Read more