Latest articles


Farm and food talks bring new voices to the policy table

The national food policy development process will pull many out of their comfort zone

The meeting the Canadian Federation of Agriculture hosted in Ottawa June 5 wasn’t the usual assembly of farmers. Participants included a broad spectrum of stakeholders with an interest in food, including Food Secure Canada, the Nutrition Resource Centre of the Ontario Public Health Association, the Maple Leaf Centre for Action on Food Security and the […] Read more


Still a lot to learn about hog nutrition

Ideas for small but significant changes may be difficult to incorporate into large-scale operations

As the hog industry becomes more integrated, small changes in nutrition can have significant financial impacts across large systems. That means that swine nutritionists and academics are challenged to think about what level of proof is needed for changes to be implemented in the barn. That is one of the conundrums facing swine nutrition, says […] Read more



U.S. study questions neonics for soybean aphid control

The effectiveness of the insecticide has diminished by the time the plants 
are at the stage when the insects arrive

A multi-university study says that neonicotinoid insecticide seed treatments have little effect on soybean aphid populations, as the pesticide has disappeared in plant tissue by the time the aphids arrive. The two-year study was a joint effort of Purdue University, Iowa State University, Kansas State University, North Dakota State University, the University of Minnesota, South […] Read more


Pig trial a PR disaster for industry

It was never going to end well for animal agriculture. When a farmer called the police after a protester fed a pig on a truck some water at a stoplight, it started a process that has been absurd and head shaking. The process came to an end May 4 with the acquittal of Anita Frajnc, […] Read more



Goat milk producers voting on mandatory checkoff

Ontario is the largest goat milk-producing jurisdiction 
in North America

Ontario’s goat producers will be voting from Feb. 27 to March 10 on a proposal to create a producer association under the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Act. The designation would allow Ontario Goat to collect a mandatory licence fee of $0.005 per litre of goat milk marketed from licensed goat farms. The $0.005 is the […] Read more


Agriculture major contributor to Lake Erie algae blooms

Better on-farm management would go a long ways towards solving the problem

There are two easily identifiable solutions to the Lake Erie algae blooms, said an American researcher, but success will require the co-operation of thousands of farmers. Jeffrey Reutter, a researcher at the Lake Erie island-based Ohio State University Stone Lab research station, has seen both the 1970s sewage-driven algae bloom, and the current blooms that […] Read more



Intercropping wheat and soys makes for tighter rotation

The Kutz family has had to improvise but their ideas are working

At Kutz Farms LLC in Wisconsin, the Kutz family decided that planting corn on corn repeatedly may be good short-term economics, but it was bad long term for their soil’s health. As a result, John Kutz, his father and father-in-law created a new system that gives them three crops in two years, but doesn’t include […] Read more


Bernier makes supply management an issue

Dairy farmers are taking out Conservative memberships to vote against him

The future of Canada’s supply management system for milk, eggs and poultry has been thrust onto the national political agenda like never before by leading candidate for the Conservative party leadership, Maxime Bernier. Bernier is calling for the abolition of the system after a new levy on dairy products builds up enough funds to reimburse […] Read more



British no-tillers worry about potential loss of glyphosate

But Tom Sewell says he’ll still find a way to continue his no-till system

A pioneer in British no-till farming said there’s a good chance European farmers will lose access to glyphosate. “It’s a French and German thing,” said Tom Sewell at the Innovative Farmers Association of Ontario conference recently in London. The politics of those two countries mean that there is pressure to ban the herbicide which is […] Read more


Hand over wheat field in early summer evening.

Changing the discussion on genetic engineering

A genetic engineering researcher who is married to an organic farmer is trying to bridge the gap between consumers and science

The evolution of genetic engineering will continue, with more diverse options, giving scientists more flexibility to breed crops better for farmers and human nutrition. But farmers and researchers will continue to have to explain the technology to consumers focused on the genetic level, said Pamela Ronald. Ronald, a genetic engineering researcher at the University of […] Read more