For perhaps the first time in several generations, Canadians have been faced with real uncertainty in their food system. The fallout of the COVID-19 economic shutdown and panic buying led to shuttered processors, dumped milk, and empty grocery store shelves. Most consumers wouldn’t normally think about or talk about food security or agriculture on a… Read More

Since the fall of 2019, beef packer profits have received major attention by ranchers and feedyards. Much of the discussion started after the packing plant fire in Kansas, but has exploded recently due to the results of the COVID-19 pandemic. Packers have struggled to stay online due to COVID-19 cases related to the plant, and… Read More

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s become abundantly clear to many that Canada’s livestock processing industry is incredibly concentrated to a handful of federal plants. Now, as these plants face partial or short-term closures, many farmers and consumers alike are lamenting the lack of small, local abattoirs. The trouble is, it’s not easy… Read More

The decision to close a processing plant as it relates to COVID-19 infection of staff is a complicated one. Food processing plants have strict protocols and clear guidance on food safety issues, but the advent of a human disease pandemic is a new territory for all — processors included. Ultimately, the decision to close a… Read More

Custom applicators and farmers looking to use drones to apply herbicides to crops in Canada are still in a holding pattern. Operator licensing and certification is now available from Transport Canada, but Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) requirements continue to ground herbicide application from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), reports Don Campbell, owner and and founder… Read More

Convincing policymakers and politicians that agriculture matters is easy; it’s getting them to push for changes and advancements that are tricky. Part of the reason for that is the compartmentalization of the industry, sure, but there are plenty of overarching issues that impact most farmers — and that’s where change needs to start. Mary Robinson,… Read More