Category: Ag Policy

India agrees to ease pulse fumigation requirements before end of 2018

India’s government has agreed to work with Canadian officials to ease pest-related restrictions on pulse imports before the end of this year. “India and Canada will work closely together to finalize an arrangement within 2018 to enable the export of Canadian pulses to India free from pests of quarantine importance, with mutually acceptable technological protocols,”… Read more »

Manitoba farm group shuffle continues with new winter cereals management

The rearrangement of administrative duties as Manitoba farm groups seek opportunities to collaborate continues, with Winter Cereals Manitoba announcing a management change on Thursday. The provincial winter cereals organization has contracted the Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association (MWBGA) and the National Sunflower Association of Canada (NSAC) to lead day-to-day operations, research activities and communications…. Read more »

Quebec farmers will need a prescription to access these 5 pesticides

Similar to regulations introduced in Ontario in 2015, Quebec announced this week that farmers will require an agronomist’s prescription before accessing any of the three neonicotinoid insecticides, chlorpyrifos (also an insecticide), and the herbicide atrazine. Isabelle Melançon, Quebec’s Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change, cited the risk to pollinators as… Read more »

Grain backlog growing as railways fall behind

Canada’s two major railways supplied less than half of the hopper cars ordered by grain shippers last week, according to data from the Ag Transport Coalition. The farm group and grain shipper coalition’s weekly report says Canadian National Railway (CN) only supplied 34 percent of cars that were ordered in week 28 of the crop… Read more »

Mexico’s election adds more political risk to NAFTA

As if NAFTA negotiations weren’t complicated enough with trying to figure out what the U.S. administration wants, Mexico’s looming election is adding another layer of political uncertainty. The political threat to a successful renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement is particularly concerning for trade-dependent industries like agriculture, as highlighted by two of the… Read more »

Western Canada’s protein supercluster tapped for a cut of $950 million

Protein Industries Canada was named today as one of the winning proponents under the federal Innovation Superclusters Program. The funding model is part of the federal government’s Innovation and Skills Plan “to spark growth and help Canada realize its potential as a global leader in innovation” though creating large-scale industry partnerships. Protein Industries Canada, based… Read more »

Why Canada’s rural infrastructure will continue to fall behind

One of North America’s largest advantages has been the infrastructure in place to move agricultural commodities from inland to the coast for export. Farmers and ranchers complain about some of the bottlenecks and issues, but, comparatively speaking to Russia and Brazil, North American highways and byways have historically been in much better shape. That might… Read more »

Competing on more than price for rented land

Ontario’s soils are losing organic matter. What builds organic matter? Perennial and forage species! But if you’re going to plant perennial hay or pasture, you have to have something to feed it to or you won’t be farming long enough to see the value of the added organic matter. And that’s a slight problem, as… Read more »

The crux of populist politics for agriculture

Farmers and ranchers across Canada and the United States identify with a hard day’s work, family, and a life away from the hustle and bustle of the city. You would have to drive many dirt roads before you found a farmer in either country identifying with “the elites.” In the Right Honourable Stephen Harper’s recent… Read more »

MacAulay launches six federal programs under new Canadian Agriculture Partnership

With the five-year Growing Forward 2 agriculture framework wrapping up next month, federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay launched six federal programs under the new Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) at the Canada’s Agriculture Day celebration in Ottawa on Tuesday. CAP is the acronym for the new $3 billion, five-year federal-provincial-territorial agriculture funding agreement that begins on… Read more »

Market access “probably the biggest issue” facing the grains industry

While much of the focus over the past several months has been on the pulse industry, with India’s tariffs on pulse crops, Canada’s cereal crop value chain has also had its hands full working on market access challenges. Italy, with its new country-of-origin labeling legislation and campaigns spreading doubt about the quality and safety of… Read more »

MacAulay non-committal on dairy program to offset CPTPP concessions

The federal Liberals remain non-committal on whether they will offer compensation to the supply-managed dairy and poultry sectors for market access that will be conceded if the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is ratified. The CPTPP terms agreed to last month would open up an additional 3.25 percent of Canada’s domestic dairy… Read more »

U.S. dairy subsidies equal 73 percent of producer returns, says new report

Comparing government support for Canadian versus American dairy farmers is not a simple black and white process. While Canada’s dairy sector operates under a regulated supply management system, the U.S. government’s support for its dairy farmers is less direct. Support, in its various forms, equaled 73 percent of U.S. dairy farmers’ market returns in 2015,… Read more »

What happens to government funding when a plant closes down?

Let’s face it, the Powers That Be can’t win. When it comes to funding agriculture and food projects, we want support to advance agriculture and build capacity at a local level, but we also want to criticize where every penny (nickel?) goes. And when a company or organization that received funding goes broke or packs… Read more »

An old profession, but farmers are professionals — A Finnish farmer’s take on maintaining access to crop protection tools

Regulations, by their nature, are country or region specific, but they can have spillover effects into other markets. This is the case with many crop protection products between trading partners — a ban or restriction in one region can have trickle-down impacts on use and even access in another. Many North American farmers have been… Read more »