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Grain by rail fails to keep up

Rail transportation is the biggest bottleneck in the grain-handling system

Western Canadian grain shipments are moving well this crop year, but exports could be even higher. The limitation, according to Mark Hemmes, Canada’s grain monitor and president of Quorum Corporation, is the ability to move the crop between country elevator and port terminal by rail. “Grain companies generally do not market grain based on global […] Read more


KAP president Bill Campbell has lots to do

Campbell, who was acclaimed at KAP’s annual meeting, says farm issues get more complex the deeper one digs

Leading Manitoba’s general farm organization is, and isn’t, like farming. A farmer’s work is never done. It’s the same for the president of the Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP). But the deeper one digs into farm policy, the more complex it gets, Bill Campbell said in an interview Feb. 6 following KAP’s 35th annual meeting in […] Read more



Education tax model ‘flawed’ says Eichler

The agriculture minister agrees farmers pay more than their share, but says there’s not much he can do about it

Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler concedes Manitoba farmers get a raw deal on farmland education taxes — but he also says relief won’t be immediate. “We know there are a number of funding models that would look better,” Eichler said during a question period following his speech at the Keystone Agricultural Producers’ (KAP) 35th annual meeting […] Read more


Yield Manitoba turns 20

It was 20 years ago today, Yield Manitoba came into play. The annual publication is marking its 20th anniversary and is based on the Manitoba Management Plus Program. This year marks the data program’s 25th anniversary and Yield Manitoba 2019, included in this issue of the Manitoba Co-operator as a supplemental publication, summarizes and adds […] Read more



Wheat and Canadian Money or dollar or currency in double exposure shot, concept for earnings or spend in Agriculture

KAP carefully considering seed ‘value creation’

KAP doesn’t have a set plan, but it has set out its principles on the issue

The Keystone Agricultural Producer’s (KAP) policy on how farmers should fund new cereal variety development remains a work in progress. The seed industry has proposed two models — trailing and end point royalties. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) has been consulting farmers about them. But KAP delegates attending their 35th annual meeting in Winnipeg Feb. […] Read more


MWBGA offers ‘principles’ on ‘value creation’

It says AAFC must continue to bring new cereal varieties to market

Government and farmer-funded plant breeding has benefited Canadian farmers greatly, the Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association (MWBGA) says in the preamble to its principles on seed value creation. “The MWBGA emphasizes many critical questions remain unanswered concerning which value creation model proposed by AAFC/CFIA (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada/Canadian Food Inspection Agency) best serves Manitoba […] Read more



Seed royalty costs discussed at Ag Days

Wheat deregistration as an anti-competitive tool is on regulators’ radar

There’s more word on just how big the bill could be under proposed new royalty models intended to fund variety development. A slide presented at Ag Days Jan. 23 showed a range of $1 a tonne or $1.30 an acre to $3 a tonne or $3.90 an acre. A farmer who grows 300 acres of […] Read more


If farmers must pay more for seed, they want more say

A third option has emerged for funding new crop varieties — one that keeps farmers in the driver’s seat. An agricultural economist says it has merit

[UPDATED: Feb. 22, 2019]* When it comes to funding the development of new crops varieties, there could be a third way. Western Canadian farmers collectively should consider partnering with plant breeders to fund new varieties as an alternative to the two new seed royalty options farm leaders say lack widespread farmer support. The idea has merit, […] Read more



Taking a closer look at a farmer-breeder partnership on seed

Canada can learn from Australia’s value creation experience

The ‘value creation’ model both University of Saskatchewan agricultural economist Richard Gray and the Alberta Federation of Agriculture (AFA) are talking about has some commonality. Both say a farmer ‘entity’ should be formed to collect a levy — probably mandatory — from farmers at the point of sale and then funnel that money to breeders […] Read more


Manitoba poised to replace P.E.I. as potato king

Simplot’s expanded Portage potato-processing plant will put Manitoba at the top of the heap

Bud the Spud will soon see less of Prince Edward Island’s bright-red mud and more of Manitoba’s sandy loam. The Keystone province is set to overtake the “Garden of the Gulf” as Canada’s biggest potato producer. Last February J.R. Simplot announced it was doubling the size of its potato-processing plant in Portage la Prairie. The […] Read more