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Editorial: Opening up

The non-farming public, especially in Western Canada, continues to be interested in agriculture and rural life. Evidence of that can be seen in a pair of features in this week’s issue of the Co-operator. In the Country Crossroads section, our Lorraine Stevenson writes about the Argyle fall supper, celebrating its 135th anniversary this year. Every fall, […] Read more

Technology troubles in the agriculture sector

Human nature and the cycle of technology adoption affects commodity price cycles

Today, we are in the middle of an agricultural downturn. Just a few years ago, the production agriculture sector was booming, along with most input suppliers. Now, net U.S. farm income has fallen 81 per cent and the near-term prospects are not positive. Production agriculture has been through this phenomenon many times in the past, […] Read more

Editorial: Talking taxes

A few years back I found myself watching an HBO Canada series set in Winnipeg called “Less than Kind.” One of the key characters was the patriarch of the Blecher clan, Sam, played by Maury Chaykin. Sam was a part-time driving school operator and full-time wheeler-dealer. Another recurring character was Tito, whom Sam had taken […] Read more

Are days numbered for supply management?

If they are it will be because of NAFTA 2.0 and Donald Trump

Canada’s supply management system is a textbook case for food sovereignty. But the social contract the system represents may need to be redrafted as we head toward North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiations. Supply management is a social contract between farmers and consumers. Canada’s heavily criticized quota regime for the dairy, egg and poultry […] Read more

Opinion: Thinking the unthinkable on NAFTA

The bottom line is, either we stand up and defend our rights or we’ll simply have traded 
one colonial master for another

Everyone who’s ever done business with Donald Trump knows his favourite tactic: don’t negotiate; intimidate. Well, he’s at it again, threatening to pull the plug on NAFTA because Canada and Mexico are being “very difficult.” This broadside is the equivalent of rolling a live grenade into the room when trade talks have only just begun. […] Read more

Editorial: Let’s all stay safe at harvest-time

There are few industries that feature a concentrated and ongoing effort like harvest time on a farm. The culmination of an entire season’s work rests on your efforts between now and the arrival of winter. It really is sometimes now or never. That was certainly the case at times on our family’s operation. My hometown […] Read more

Editorial: Drilling for data

The recent headline in the tech magazine Wired cut straight to the point. “Data is the new oil of the digital economy,” it proclaimed. Data is everywhere, it said, an immensely valuable and untapped resource that will drive the digital economy forward just as oil fuelled the industrial economy. Vast fortunes are available for the […] Read more

Editorial: The taxman cometh

Canadian farmers could soon be swept up in a looming taxation crackdown. The Trudeau government has promised to lower the boom on what it characterizes as the abuse of private corporations by high-income individuals to avoid taxation. Doctors have been especially vocal in their condemnation of the move, saying they have forgone fee increases in […] Read more

Editorial: Appoint a farmer to the Senate

On one hand it’s tempting to say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” because the Senate Agriculture and Forestry Committee certainly isn’t broke. Reading transcripts of meetings of the House of Commons Agriculture and Agri-Food Committee can be a bit of a chore, as members often engage in partisan politics. That’s not only a […] Read more

Editorial: Preparing for an uncertain future

It’s a hot, dry summer on the Prairies, so much so that farmers farther west have started to harvest their cereal crops for livestock feed. A heat wave nicknamed “Lucifer” is scorching much of Europe this summer and climate change experts are suggesting these are a greater threat to human life in the short term […] Read more

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