RealAgriculture's top 21 stories of 2021


In looking back at the top stories of 2021, a few themes emerge: the year was one of uncertainty, friction, and rising costs.

Yes, there were some high points, such as the dream of a snack-fetching drone and announcements of planned domestic processing, but for most of the year, labour issues, supply chain disruption, and escalating prices dominated the news cycle.

The year was also one of policy movement, too. A federal election late in the year was less of a focus than the policy bent of both the previous and current government — that is, looking at all problems through a climate action lens. In 2022, we’ll continue to follow how agriculture will be treated by the carbon tax system, and how emission reduction targets may impact fertilizer use or access. Assuming, of course, farmers can get their hands on what they need for the #plant22 growing season.


Fertilizer emissions, supply chain challenges, and priorities for a new mandate — an interview with Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau

Following a third consecutive win in her riding in the Eastern Townships of Quebec, the prime minister has once again tapped Marie-Claude Bibeau to represent agriculture. Kelvin Heppner had the opportunity to speak to the minister after her appointment.


Cargill serves lockout notice to unionized High River employees

Eventually the employees at Cargill’s High River plant voted in favour of the offered deal – but for ten days, strikes and lockouts loomed.


Temporary foreign workers to be exempt from 3-day hotel stay until mid-March: Bibeau

COVID-19 restrictions and precautions have been notorious for their rollercoaster changes; but back in February, the fact that TFWs could skip the quarantine hotel was welcome news.


Corteva releases list of high risk herbicide carryover products

The concerns around drought on the Prairies continue into the 2022 growing season.


Grain Commission working through producer complaints about delayed payments from Cargill

Farmers in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba filed complaints against Cargill over delayed payments.


Hey drone! Fetch me a wrench, a new shear pin, and more snacks, please

Advances in technology open up a world of possibilities for drone use in agriculture.


No guarantees for fertilizer pricing in 2022

This August conversation between Shaun Haney and StoneX’s Josh Linville focused on looking forward to the 2022 fertilizer markets.


Third party inspections and the role of the CGC: grain companies seeking changes in the Canada Grain Act review

Shaun Haney and the Western Grain Elevator Association’s Wade Sobkowich spoke about the WGEA’s wishlist for review in the Canada Grain Act.


Ten thousand Deere employees go on strike

More labour action this year, this time at John Deere, where union members were on strike for a little over a month.


Beef Market Update: The tide has turned for wholesale, packing plants need to keep the foot on the gas

Shaun Haney and Anne Wasko took a look at the beef markets following U.S. Thanksgiving.


Farmers Edge set to become publicly-traded

Manitoba-based Farmers Edge went public this year, a business move that was followed by a year full of acquisitions and partnerships.


Federal government delays implementing Bill C-208, despite the bill becoming law

Manitoba MP Larry Maguire’s private member’s bill went into effect this past summer, but the Ministry of Finance is delaying implementation until January 1, 2022.


Federal ministers promise carbon tax rebates as Conservative bill to exempt on-farm propane and natural gas passes 2nd reading

Originally introduced in February 2020, Bill C-206 passed its second reading this year.


The good, the bad, and potentially ugly weather for Western Canada

Shaun Haney and World Weather Inc.’s Drew Lerner forecasted the weather early in 2021 – Lerner’s predictions, unfortunately, turned out to be accurate.


Regulated fertilizer reduction would cost Canadian farmers $48 billion by 2030: report

With a report completed by MNP, Fertilizer Canada took a look at the potential impact of the government’s emissions reduction target.


Immediate expensing measure in federal budget expected to make farm capital purchases more attractive

Shaun Haney and MNP’s Ryan Kehrig had a few conversations this year, including this one around capital purchases.


Roquette powers up $600 million pea protein plant

Between announcing projects and starting production in newly finished ones, agriculture infrastructure grew in 2021.


When marketing becomes policy: the trouble with regenerative agriculture

Shaun Haney’s op-ed warns about the dangers of creating government policy fueled by buzzwords.


Let´s talk about butterfat, palm oil, and customer feedback

Remember #buttergate? Lyndsey Smith and Lactanet’s Daniel Lefebvre break down the science.

Also on our top 2021 list: Why are people squeezing butter?


Thousands of truckers prepared to walk due to vaccine mandates, warn Canadian trucking groups

2021 could be defined by two things: vaccines and supply shortages. The two collide in the transportation industry.

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