Latest articles


Analysis: AgriStability review welcomed, but can it be fixed without more money?

KAP says in 2013 the program switched from farm income stability to disaster relief

After cuts to AgriStability five years ago, then Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP) president Doug Chorney predicted “AgriStability will be losing support… from farmers because it really has got to be questionable if you’ll ever see a payment.” He was right. Participation is down. In 2013, there were 7,015 Manitoba farmers enrolled in the federal-provincial ‘business […] Read more


NAFTA ‘absolutely essential’ for U.S. dairy industry

Dairy executive fears U.S. could lose Mexican market share to New Zealand and EU

Excerpts from testimony by Stan Ryan, president and CEO of Darigold and the Northwest Dairy Association, to the U.S. House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade, July 18.
 As we look at how to ensure we can continue a positive track record of export sales supporting farms and good jobs back here at home, NAFTA, […] Read more



U.S. weather scares funds out of their shorts

Hot and dry conditions throughout much of the U.S. are causing supply concerns

Speculators have turned bullish across all three Chicago and Minneapolis wheat contracts for the first time in over two years. Funds are also buying back gobs of corn and soybean contracts after being record or near-record short in recent weeks. Crops in the United States are extremely sensitive to weather at this time of year. […] Read more


Amazon set to take a bite out of the food industry

Given its ability to fuse efficient distribution and strategic market insight, 
the e-commerce giant could well become the leading food retailer in North America

Amazon is intent on becoming the world’s most powerful retailer, with the help of food sales. Amazon’s US$13-billion takeover of Whole Foods isn’t shocking. It’s been rumoured for months. Now the mammoth Amazon, with its large revenues and small profits, has confirmed those rumours by making the biggest deal in its history. And acquiring troubled […] 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



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