Latest articles

Editorial: Rubber meets road on trade deals

It’s an article of faith in many parts of Canada’s agriculture economy that trade is good, the freer the better. In the run-up to recent deals with the European Union (CETA) and a group of Asian-Pacific trading partners (CPTPP,) many of your industry groups were among the loudest and most supportive voices. Both are now […] Read more

Editorial: Back to business

I’ll never forget my young daughter’s reaction a few years ago to the first day back to school after Christmas break. As I tried to gently shake her awake and tell it was time to get ready for school, she peered at me bleary eyed and wailed: “So there’s no more holidays? You mean it’s […] Read more

Doggerel — 30th anniversary edition

The holiday is over, with all its big meals epicurious You know what that means: it’s time to get serious And start the new year with a bit of reflection On how the past year went in an agricultural direction Then look ahead to advise which crops to be seeding And give you one or […] Read more

Editorial: The meat industry has a lot on its plate

Predictably, the Canadian Meat Council doesn’t take kindly to the suggestion that consumers are showing increased interest in plant-based proteins at the expense of meat. The council came out swinging at the Canadian Food Price Report released earlier this month, calling the report misleading and noting that demand for meat is “only” set to fall […] Read more

Editorial: The slow road to rural Internet growth

The other day I had the opportunity to sit down with some of the equipment manufacturers developing the latest precision agriculture technology. The discussion was both interesting and informative and hinted at some tantalizing developments as this system really begins to get going. But it also revealed just how dependent the whole thing is going […] Read more

Editorial: Staying safe on the farm

Agriculture regularly tops surveys and studies of dangerous professions. Despite the process of going high tech, every season there’s still a heaping helping of manual labour, heavy equipment, confined spaces and moving parts. Add the exhaustion of long hours and mental stress and it can be a recipe for disaster. This all added up to […] Read more

Editorial: Getting it right

It’s early in the winter farm meeting season but already seed royalties are promising to be one of the year’s evergreen topics. That’s hardly surprising, after all, seed is a fundamental building block for any grain farm. It’s also something that’s seen a lot of changes over the past few decades. Most of the crops […] Read more

Editorial: Hung out to dry

It’s a tall order trying to obey rules when you don’t know what they are, but that’s exactly the situation some Manitoba farmers are facing as they try to preserve this year’s weather-damaged crop. The German novelist Franz Kafka captured this nicely in his 1925 novel The Trial, where the protagonist, one Josef K. is […] Read more

Editorial: Volatility likely to linger

When you are as dependent on exports as Canadian farmers, the ability to weather volatile markets has to be part of the business plan. The Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance says Canada exports half of the beef and cattle produced, 70 per cent of its soybeans, 70 per cent of its pork production, 75 per cent […] Read more

Editorial: Feeding the world — but with what?

It’s commonly believed that the world is at risk of running out of food and enough land to produce it. It’s true that the world’s population continues to grow and an emerging middle class in developing economies is increasing the demand for a higher-quality diet. It’s also true that the number of hungry people on […] Read more