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

Agreement’s outcome was fairly predictable

Upon completion of the original Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement in 2015, a dairy farmer told the Western Producer, “how would you feel if you were told you were losing (3.25 percent) of your income?” Add to that additional access to Canada’s dairy market given up in the deal between Canada and the European Union in 2014, […] Read more

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