Latest articles


It’s time to make soil great again

Continuing to lose topsoil will make it harder to feed a growing population

David R. Montgomery is a professor of earth and space sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle. He is author of the award-winning non-fiction book, Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations, and his latest book, Growing A Revolution: Bringing Our Soil Back to Life was to be released in May. This article was originally published […] Read more


Comment: Agriculture’s greatest innovation

Farms are still dangerous, but they’ve got a lot better over the years

In my youth, May brought two noticeable changes to the big Lutheran Church my family faithfully attended. The first was heat. No building on earth better held daytime heat from Mother’s Day through Reformation Day than that century-old house of worship. The second was the season’s short-sleeved parade of lost limbs, a brutal testament to […] Read more



Sonny’s big adventure

The putative U.S. agriculture secretary has a tall order ahead of him to boost trade

Those Wisconsin dairy cows at the centre of another trade kettle now boiling between the United States and Canada, a friend suggests, aren’t really black and white Holsteins. They’re tiny, yellow canaries, he opines, and their tweets — not President Donald J. Trump’s — are a warning that America’s reign as the world’s ag export […] Read more


Comment: Trump’s milk shake

Our dairy producers are now facing change, forced upon them by outside forces

For the first time U.S. President Donald Trump has acknowledged that he knows of the existence of supply management, also known by the global community as Canada’s milk cartel. For years dairy farmers in Canada have been resistant to any change or reform to their policies. With NAFTA 2.0 on its way, Canadian dairy farmers […] Read more



Government support for agricultural innovation vital

With the agriculture policy framework up for renewal, 2018 promises to be a critical year for the future of research

The federal government has been applauded by leaders in agriculture, research, and agribusiness up and down the value chain for the promises contained in the 2017 federal budget, released just over two weeks ago. The government’s goal is to increase Canada’s agri-food exports to at least $75 billion annually by 2025. With such an ambitious […] Read more


soil

Healthy soil is the real key to feeding the world

It’s sustainability, not one production system or the other, that is the real solution

One of the biggest modern myths about agriculture is that organic farming is inherently sustainable. It can be, but it isn’t necessarily. After all, soil erosion from chemical-free tilled fields undermined the Roman Empire and other ancient societies around the world. Other agricultural myths hinder recognizing the potential to restore degraded soils to feed the […] Read more



Hand going through the field

Growing pains for Canada’s agri-food sector

The federal budget injects some new life into Canada’s agricultural industries, but not enough funding or clarity

Canada’s agri-food sector has underachieved for too long. The new federal budget gives the sector the opportunity to reimagine its potential. Finally, Ottawa wants to make the agri-food sector a place to invest and foster innovation. The Liberal government aims to increase Canada’s agri-food exports to at least $75 billion annually by 2025 (from $56 […] Read more


Blooming rapeseed field at sunset

Cinderella crop is the child of immigration

Early Polish settlers were the first to grow rapeseed, near Shellbrook, Sask., 
spawning the multibillion-dollar industry of today

Much of the attention focused on newcomers to Canada these days is laced with fear that they will bring change. What is often overlooked however, is that change can bring good things to a country — including economic growth. Canada’s canola story — a stunning success by any measure — is a case in point. […] Read more



Brazil and the mother of all food fraud cases

As one of Brazil’s main livestock industry competitors Canada will likely gain from this scandal

Brazil, the largest exporter of meat products in the world, faces a food fraud crisis — and it seems federal authorities have been complicit. There’s a lesson here for Canada. Brazilian authorities recently announced they would investigate several companies, including meat-packing giants JBS SA and BRF SA. The companies are accused of bribing licensed inspectors […] Read more


Is Ag in the Classroom a corporate shill? Far from it

What one group sees as education, another views as propaganda

Classrooms across the country were getting some special visitors in March as volunteers for the non-profit organization Ag in the Classroom Canada (AITC-C) did their bit to promote Ag Literacy Month. In this province, those volunteers included Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler and fellow cabinet minister and Portage la Prairie farmer Ian Wishart, who took turns […] Read more