Latest articles

Editorial: Beggar-thy-neighbour

To steal a line from “Star Wars” filmmaker George Lucas, on the night of Nov. 8, 2016, I felt a ‘great disturbance in the force.’ The occasion, of course, was the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president, and the subsequent horror of many. At the time I was more sanguine. He may arguably be […] Read more

Silage is a growing trend for beef cattle operations

Weather woes and labour shortages are all adding up to a new case for parking the baler

As beef cattle herds get larger, the case grows stronger for silage instead of bales. Dwayne Summach, livestock and feed extension specialist with Saskatchewan Agriculture told a session at last week’s Ag in Motion outdoor farm show here that larger operations can better absorb the higher overhead costs, and benefit the most from parking the […] Read more

Editorial: Follow the dollars

Most financial professionals will tell you to keep one hand on your wallet when someone doesn’t want you to look at the books. From non-profit community groups to major corporations, the numbers don’t lie. If funds have been misallocated or things aren’t quite on the level, it can’t truly be hidden. No matter how hard […] Read more

Editorial: Mystery meat

A paradigm shift appears to be coming quickly down at the fast-food drive-thru. Last week A&W Canada announced a new meat-free burger, touted as just as good as ground beef. It has partnered up with Beyond Meat, a company that’s attracted capital from sources such as Microsoft mogul Bill Gates and A-list actor Leonardo Dicaprio. […] Read more

Editorial: Unknown origin

“Life, uh… finds a way.” Those words, uttered by actor Jeff Goldblum in the 1993 science fiction blockbuster “Jurassic Park,” leapt to mind last week with word that a genetically modified wheat had been found along a field access road in southern Alberta. Goldblum’s character was blue-skying about exactly how a cohort of all-female dinosaurs […] Read more

Editorial: Come together

Probably the single word that best expresses the fundamental nature of the agriculture sector when it comes to policy is ‘fractious.’ Looking at the synonyms for this word is a revealing exercise: stubborn, irritable, testy, unruly, disorderly, ornery, scrappy, touchy, and my personal favourite, indomitable. It’s a sector that loves a good fight and, by […] Read more

Editorial: Similar but not the same

After decades of watching the sector consolidate around them, it seems as though agriculture industry associations and groups have now decided this is also the right strategy for them. We’ve seen a handful of Manitoba commodity groups working together and now promoting the concept of a merger into a single larger group. The aim is […] Read more

Editorial: In the weeds

Canada has a brewing weed problem, and we’re not talking about the looming legalization of cannabis. This is an older problem, but with a modern twist, in the form of constant selection pressure from chemical control products and the resulting herbicide-resistant weeds. Manitoba farmers have the dubious distinction of being among the first in the […] Read more

Editorial: End of an era

[UPDATED: May 17, 2018] This week a chapter in the agriculture history of Manitoba quietly closed. Winnipeg has loudly proclaimed itself the heart of Canada’s grain trade since the early days of commercial agriculture on the Prairies. Nothing represented that more than the trading of grain-based derivatives, an important economic activity in the downtown core […] Read more

Editorial: A silver lining

No one would look at the ongoing struggle to move grain to port position this winter as a positive thing. It’s been a long and exhausting grind for everyone involved from the farmer through to the railways. Challenging weather met understaffed and underequipped railways and the result was poor service, scant grain movement and expensive […] Read more