Year: 2015

Gerry Ritz Reminisces About His Time as Minister of Agriculture

The Hon. Gerry Ritz served as Canada’s agriculture minister for eight years — from the summer of 2007 to the fall of 2015. Not everybody agreed with his politics or his personality, but there’s no question Ritz had a big impact on the direction of Canadian agriculture. From ending the Canadian Wheat Board’s monopoly to… Read more »

Versatile to Bring Back Red and Yellow Paint for Anniversary Models in 2016

As part of the company’s 50th anniversary in 2016, Versatile has announced it will be bringing back its historic red and yellow paint scheme for a limited number of tractors. Founded in Winnipeg by Peter Pakosh and Roy Robinson, Versatile was the first manufacturer to mass-produce articulated four-wheel drive tractors, starting in 1966 with the… Read more »

Weak Loonie Offering Up Basis Pricing Opportunities

With the U.S. Federal Reserve raising interest rates for the first time in almost a decade and the Bank of Canada suggesting it’s considering negative interest rates, how much lower can the Canadian loonie drop relative to the U.S. dollar? It’s an important question when determining whether to lock in basis levels, as movement in the currency… Read more »

Corn School: What We Learned From an Incredible Crop in 2015

It’s been quite a year for Ontario corn growers. Of course there are always exceptions and not everybody is the benefactor of timely rains and optimal growing conditions, but for the most part 2015 produced an incredible corn crop that averaged better than 170 bushels per acre. In this episode of Corn School, Pride Seeds… Read more »

Pulse School: How High Will Pea Acres Go in ’16?

Pea prices in Western Canada are at record levels and showing no signs of weakness, largely due to the pulse crop shortage in India. Old crop yellow peas are fetching spot bids over $11/bu while contracts for 2016 are in the $9.50 to $10/bu range (most with Act of God clauses). “At this stage of… Read more »

Saskatchewan Farmland Ownership Laws to Come into Effect January 4, 2016

The highly anticipated amendments to The Saskatchewan Farm Security Act will come into effect January 4, 2016. “The people of Saskatchewan provided very clear direction during the consultation process,” Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart said in a release.  “The legislation reflects the views of Saskatchewan residents, provides clarity around farmland ownership and gives the Farm Land Security… Read more »

How Will the Market Respond to the End of COOL?

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack declared on Friday afternoon that “effective immediately” the U.S. Department of Agriculture would not be enforcing country of origin labeling rules for beef and pork. It’s been over seven years since American packers were forced to segregate Canadian animals and meat. How quickly can they go back to operating how they… Read more »

Early Results: National Dairy Study Shows Herds Open, Livestock Moving

Dairy — milk, in particular — is facing big challenges from the likes of pop companies and juice manufacturers. They’ve marketed their way into the lunch buckets of Canadian children over the years, and taken hold. A study underway now by University of Guelph researchers has found milk is not considered cool by adolescents, one… Read more »

Dairy Robots — 25 Years Later

North America’s first dairy milk robot was installed in 1999, less than 50 kilometres from Jack Rodenburg’s Woodstock, Ontario office. The long-time OMAFRA dairy specialist was sceptical at first, but he quickly realized that robot technology could revolutionize Canadian dairy farms. He says early models had their issues, but he quickly realized the potential for… Read more »

39 (and 5) Reasons to Manage for Calm Cattle

Darrell Busby of the Tri-County Steer Carcass Futurity talks about the monetary benefits of calm cattle. For those of us who work in the livestock business, stories of injury are all too common. Often, the blame lies with the animal being managed. But, is there more that we can do to manage for quality disposition… Read more »

This Week in the Markets — Dollar Shifts, Interest Rates and COOL

Grain prices have swayed back and forth this week thanks to some aggressive reactions to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s interest rate increase on Wednesday, as well as a little short-covering, and (barely) bullish weather concerns out of Brazil. Most of the complex ended the week lower though than it started, with oats being the biggest… Read more »

COOL Repealed

After 13-plus years of opposition — the last seven of those in legal and trade disputes, Canadian livestock producers and their organizations are celebrating the end of U.S. country of origin labeling legislation for beef and pork today. Both the U.S. House and Senate voted in favour of the omnibus appropriations bill that includes text… Read more »

OmniTrax Plans to Sell Port of Churchill, Hudson Bay Rail Line to First Nations

OmniTrax has accepted a letter of intent from a group of Northern Manitoba First Nations wanting to purchase the Port of Churchill and the Hudson Bay Railway. It was first reported several weeks ago that the Denver-based transportation company was considering selling its Manitoba assets. The letter triggers a 45 day due diligence period in which both parties… Read more »

Canola School: Farmers and Canola Proved to be Resilient in 2015

The Canola Council of Canada’s Curtis Rempel on some of the key take-aways from the 2015 growing season. A misleading start to the 2015 growing season had many canola producers hopeful of record-breaking crops. But, as we know, drought took hold of much of the prairies, and challenge ensued. Farmers were left wondering whether to… Read more »

A Very TWORA Christmas

A special(?) holiday edition of TWORA: ‘Twas the week before Christmas, and all through the land RealAggies (or Agros?) were thinking about the year we’ve had Not our regular podcast this week, not the same TWORA, We’re looking back on 15 — officially, the year of our soil So as the stockings are hung by… Read more »