Latest articles

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

From farm to fork, brought to you by artificial intelligence

With AI, yields can be improved and grocers can understand consumers — and predict 
their behaviour — better than consumers know themselves

Many Canadian consumers have noticed that lettuce and celery prices have skyrocketed recently. Such fluctuations happen all the time. But artificial intelligence is about to change that. AI has us on the cusp of a revolution in how we make decisions and how we manage virtually every aspect of our daily lives. The agri-food sector […] Read more

The case for a carbon tax (and refund system)

Only with a well-structured refund mechanism will a carbon tax be fair to farmers

Carbon taxes are controversial. Especially contentious is the question of whether such taxes should be applied to farmers. Before farmers make up their minds about carbon taxes, it’s important that they encounter a clear explanation of how a well-structured agricultural carbon tax could work, and how such a tax could help increase net farm incomes. […] Read more

There goes the neighbourhood

Farmers and ranchers pride themselves on neighbourliness, and rightly so. Rare is the season, after all, when the local newspaper or radio station doesn’t carry a lump-in-the-throat story explaining how neighbours of an ill or injured member of a farm or ranch family gathered for a day or two to do a month or two’s […] Read more

India is the wild card in global wheat production and consumption

Some estimates are calling for an increase of 15 per cent, to 100 million tonnes for the looming harvest

India will be the first major wheat-growing country to harvest the 2017-18 crop, and most of its wheat will be cut by the time the U.S. Department of Agriculture rolls out its first production estimate in May. Despite the early glimpse this should provide to the wheat market, the Indian government’s data could actually downplay […] Read more

The Capitol Building in Washington DC at night, capital of the United States of America

New boss, same brawls

The fate of the U.S. Farm Bill is far from certain in this new landscape

The Trump administration’s turtle-slow start with the Republican-led Congress bodes ill for what it and Republicans said would be a busy legislative year. Tax reform, replacing Obamacare, raising the debt ceiling, and a 2018 budget all await initial action. The GOP chairmen of the House and Senate ag committees, however, aren’t waiting on any White […] Read more

Huge U.S. corn exports face hurdles: Braun

Record-high stockpiles and looming record crops from rivals are causing headwinds for the crop

The United States appears well on its way to exporting the largest volume of corn in nine years, but there will be some hurdles to overcome in order to meet the full expectation for the season. The United States is the world’s No. 1 source for corn and while not the primary form of domestic […] Read more

Promises made, promises kept

U.S. farmers are reaping the whirlwind of their bargain with Trump

Of all the words used to describe President Donald J. Trump during his first weeks in office — bold, boastful, alternative facts — here are two that almost no person or pundit uttered: promise keeper. Love him or loathe him, Trump took no time in checking off key items from his unconventional campaign’s list of […] Read more

Female hands holding a vegetable

Food production for and by consumers

A strong consumer connection can let a 
small farm be a big economic success

Technology has significantly changed agriculture, reducing the amount of labour required to produce food. As a result there are larger farms with more acres and many more animals per farmer. This means a small percentage of farmers produce a large percentage of the total. However, this does not mean that big is the only way […] Read more