Latest articles

Emerging opposition

An informal network of drainage advocates has formed in Manitoba

Stung by what they see as a lack of response and downright indifference from the province to the plight of local landowners, drainage advocates have begun to organize into an informal network across the province. In October 2017, a dozen of them sent a letter to Rochelle Squires, who then had just been appointed the […] Read more

Drainage licensing in Manitoba: Policy or politics?

Landowners say some municipalities are bending the rules when it comes to water management and the provincial government is turning a blind eye. Concerns are boiling over into the courts as the province considers off-loading the responsibility for drainage licensing onto municipalities

Flood forecasts are as predictable as spring in Manitoba and the latest ones have Elm Creek-area landowner Pat Houde bracing for yet another showdown over water. He’s been fighting with the RM of Grey for years over drainage around his home and land he owns between Elm Creek and St. Claude. The blunt-talking Houde doesn’t […] Read more

Editorial: Politics as usual

It’s tempting to ask the Chinese government to pull the other leg now. As anyone who grows canola is likely aware by now, Canada’s largest single customer for canola, accounting for 40 per cent of this country’s exports, threw a monkey wrench into Prairie export canola. Officials quietly banned imports from Richardson International, Canada’s largest […] Read more

Editorial: About time

The world of Canadian agriculture made a couple of big strides in the field of gender parity this week. The Canadian Federation of Agriculture elected its first female president, Mary Robinson. While the name might be new to western Canadian members she’s well known in Atlantic Canada agriculture. She’s managing partner of a sixth-generation family […] Read more

Concept of making money agriculture

Editorial: Multi-tasking

Manitoba’s farmers can chalk up a small victory in their battle to have the way education taxes are levied on farmland revised. At the recent Keystone Agricultural Producers annual general meeting, held in early February in Winnipeg, the provincial government delivered the clearest signal to date that this message is getting through to policy-makers. Provincial […] Read more

Too big to be true?

Can really large organic farms stay true to the spirit of the sector?

Travis Heide knows many look at One Organic Farms in Waldron, Saskatchewan and wonder if it’s really an organic farm. The question isn’t whether it technically qualifies — the farm meets all the required standards and ticks all the right boxes. It’s whether it hews to the spirit of organic farming, long known as a […] Read more

Editorial: Seed royalty proposal no slam dunk

At first the discussion around seed royalties seemed largely a foregone conclusion. At question wasn’t if royalties would be collected on cereals crops to fund varietal research. Rather, the debate centred around how they’d be collected, with two models discussed under the supervision of the federal government. The options presented to farmers were a trailing […] Read more

Organic production an economic winner

The latest cost-of-production estimates for organic crops paint a picture of resilience

Manitoba Agriculture has released its latest organic crops cost-of-production figures and once again the production system is stacking up well against conventional agriculture. Higher production costs are typically met by higher prices, which more than offset the production lag organic growers can experience, Roy Arnott, a farm management specialist with Manitoba Agriculture’s Killarney office, told […] Read more

Editorial: Weathering winter

It’s always amusing when places that don’t usually expect it get a taste of what to us is a typical winter. That was fully evident earlier this month when large swaths of the U.S. were hit hard by cold. Suddenly U.S. schools and universities were closed and private businesses, including many in agriculture, were calling […] Read more

Editorial: A shifting paradigm

Since the start of the Second World War, food guides in the western world have all shared a similar singular focus. Military recruiters of the time were shocked to learn that many men at the time wouldn’t make adequate soldiers because their basic nutritional needs had not been met in the depths of the Great […] Read more