Latest articles


Corn sizzles, then fizzles

A major buyback by speculative funds drove the recent market action

Speculators axed a massive short position in the corn market within 11 days earlier this month. And what do they have now to show for it? Lower prices. Specs, usually hesitant to become buyers in such an oversupplied market, bought nearly one billion bushels of corn in the form of CBOT futures and options – […] Read more


Woman reading food labelling

Comment: Are you at risk?

Risk assessment, not blind fear of hazards, lets us all live our lives

Should GM be labelled? Is organic healthier? Does glyphosate cause cancer? Do you put your kids at risk if you feed them meat or is the caveman diet the way to go? Your good friend and neighbour thinks Gwyneth Paltrow is right about all this stuff, is she correct? All of these questions, and a […] Read more



Serving up an unpalatable minimum wage

The effects of artificial intelligence and the rise of the digital world will force us to rethink 
how we produce, process and distribute food

Governments jumping on the $15-an-hour bandwagon are missing an opportunity to look at how the next technological revolution will affect our food systems. And that’s a shame. The minimum wage is rising in many parts of the country. Recently, Ontario announced it would raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour, to match Alberta. In […] Read more


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