No time for foot-dragging as drought gets serious

No time for foot-dragging as drought gets serious

There’s nothing much worse than drought when it comes to agricultural afflictions. Floods, insects, disease and low market prices aren’t fun either but when the rain stops falling and the mercury soars, nothing grows. And when nothing grows, there’s not much that can be done. “Hopelessness” is how a Manitoba cattle producer recently described the […] Read more

Sound science, ethics make a valuable combination

Sound science, ethics make a valuable combination

Norway has one of the most restrictive genetics-use rules in the world, which makes most new plant breeding tools off-limits. Many countries look to its well-debated positions for influence, and anti-GM advocates tout the nation as having taken the right path. Could the rules be shifting for that northern nation? Norway is now in the […] Read more

Sector’s big bets on biofuel likely to pay off in Canada

Sector’s big bets on biofuel likely to pay off in Canada

New canola crushing capacity will provide an expanded, ready market for western Canadian farmers. The underlying demand comes from government policy changes that support an increase in biofuel use. While markets can be fickle when based on policy rather than practicality, this market seems to have solid underpinnings. The flurry of new domestic crushing project […] Read more


Are Americans becoming more Canadian? Nope

Are Americans becoming more Canadian? Nope

Trade discussions with the Americans always seem to start with their implication that Canada needs to evolve its agriculture and food industries to be more like the United States. But maybe they need to be more like us. The U.S. secretary of agriculture, while new to the job this time, knows the score when it […] Read more

‘Just add water’ not part of grain quality recipe

‘Just add water’ not part of grain quality recipe

Dry crops and high prices increase the temptation to add water to grain before delivery to increase weight and volume. It is a dangerous practice and the dangers are not limited to the risk of getting caught and sanctioned. The bigger problem is potential damage it can do to the Canadian reputation for providing quality […] Read more


Farmers in Europe seem able to keep the attentions of their politicians and the public and thus maintain significant support.
 | Getty Images

EU farmers always manage to get what they want

How do they do it? In spite of large, professional European bureaucracies and huge urban voting pools, farmers in Europe seem able to keep the attentions of their politicians and the public and thus maintain significant support. American producers also seem able to use the power of their organizations’ lobbying and their votes to maintain […] Read more

Recent JBS cyberattack shows wider vulnerability

Recent JBS cyberattack shows wider vulnerability

The North American food system found itself struggling last week under the weight of news that JBS, the world’s largest meat packer, had been hacked by miscreants. The company temporarily halted some operations to deal with resulting computer network issues. Computer criminals based in Russia have been targeting North American businesses and extorting payments in […] Read more

The UN Food Systems Summit scheduled for this fall in New York  is farming’s equivalent of the meetings that birthed the Paris agreement on climate change. Western Canada needs to ensure that its regional reality is recognized in that process. | Screencap via un.org

Nine billion people or not? Producers need new focus

A few years from now, in about 2028, there will be eight billion people on the planet. The possibility of growing to nine billion, a 2050 United Nations’ projection, has captivated speakers in the food and agriculture realm for the past 15 years. But now there’s growing skepticism about that predicted growth. A global population […] Read more


At its surface, Bill C-208 is about fairness. Currently a farmer who sells assets to a family member can ultimately pay more in taxes than a farmer who sells to a third party. Bill C-208 potentially puts the farming relative who receives the land on the same footing as any other buyer. 
| Getty Images

Taxation rules need review in farm transfer cases

Taxes are inevitable unless you can convince governments that they are unfair or impractical. This week the Canadian Senate has the job of considering a private member’s bill that passed the House of Commons and would potentially reduce the cost of passing on a farm to a family member. Farmland has grown in value over […] Read more

U.S. ag pollution study has Canadian implications

U.S. ag pollution study has Canadian implications

Farming, like most industrial activities, generates byproducts from its operations. Those can generate headlines. It can be difficult to determine which byproducts and which headlines are important for the sector to address. A recently released study, the first of its kind, has generated headlines across North America about American livestock operations located in highly populated […] Read more