It’s like a scene from an old-timey western movie. A grizzled cowboy squints into the horizon and says “I don’t like the look of those clouds. Storm is a’ brewin.” I’ve witnessed similar body language as I cross the country talking to farmers about mobile technology and the new world of data management, but it’s… Read More

The role of genomics continues to expand in the beef industry, with the technology becoming increasingly cost effective. Besides determining parentage, genomics have the potential to assess feed efficiency, fertility and susceptibility to disease. To many producers, this may eventually mean genetic testing most animals, most years. To others, it may simply mean genome sequencing for breeding… Read More

First, an apology. Eagle-eyed RealAgriculture readers will note that this column was absent last week. After three days at FarmTech ’14 there was more than enough to share, but no time to do it, so I’ll work some of last week into this, if you don’t mind. It’s no secret I like trains. Furthermore, I… Read More

Chipotle Mexican Grill has launched a trailer for its four-part television series coming out in February. Branded as a satirical comedy, the series is an interesting (and extremely controversial) attempt at Hollywood-style advertising, boasting a scripted plot and professional directing. The show is a negative campaign aimed at conventional farming practices and revolves around the… Read More

We’ll start this week’s column on a somber note, because this is serious — yesterday it was announced that the first case of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus has been confirmed on a hog farm in Middlesex county in the southwest corner of Ontario. The details are still preliminary, but this deadly virus appears to have… Read More

This week the Canola Council of Canada released its long term objectives for 2025.  The Canola Council of Canada was bold in its plans to set the clear objectives for the industry. Is 22 million acres at a yield of 52 bushels/acre producing 26 million tonnes crazy? Is it too lofty? Is it out of… Read More

“It’s an atrocity to block the humanitarian gesture of improved nutrition,” says Kevin Folta, scientist and associate professor at the University of Florida, referring to opposition towards Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). We saw incredible public interest in food in 2013, with polarizing discussions often centred around biotechnology. Many, including Folta, argue the current debates are largely… Read More

Consumers want food that’s as cheap as possible. True, they want safe food, too, and all those other features such as wholesome, nutritious and environmentally sound food. But mainly, they want food cheap. The huge increase in grocery items at big box stores and discount outlets bears that out. Exceptions exist, particularly with the growing… Read More

I’m no psychologist, psychiatrist or sociologist, but I understand from discussions with experts that as social creatures, humans are prone to experiencing “group mentality.” Quite simply: we are easily influenced by the thoughts and actions of our associates. We also tend to associate with like-minded individuals, who reinforce our biases. It is my concern that… Read More