Category: Western Canada

New Conservative leader to be determined Saturday

Conservative Party of Canada members from across the country are in Toronto this weekend for the conclusion of a leadership race that dates back to October 19, 2015, when Stephen Harper stepped down after losing the federal election to Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party. The winner will become the leader of the Official Opposition… Read more »

Livestock centre of excellence receives $4.5 million from federal gov’t

The federal government has announced another $4.47 million in funding for the Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence being built near Saskatoon. David Lametti, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced the funding on Friday at the University of Saskatchewan. Originally announced in 2015, the centre will have its physical… Read more »

Bulls or bears in the field? — This Week in the Grain Market

Grain markets headed into the American Memorial Day long weekend with a bearish tinge as a result of some better weather. The Canadian Loonie gained 0.45% for the week on the Bank of Canada keeping interest rates unchanged at 0.5%, which pushed canola prices down 1.1% since last Friday. Oats were the winner of the… Read more »

Numbers show power line incidents spike during seeding

There were 23 cases of farm equipment coming in contact with power lines or poles in Saskatchewan last week, according to SaskPower. At last count, there had been 67 incidents since May 1. Those numbers might seem high, but they’re not. At least relative to history. “Compared to last year, these numbers are consistent,” says… Read more »

Canadian net farm income grew 7.6% in 2016: StatsCan

StatsCan has released its net farm income report for 2016 and the results may surprise you considering the livestock and commodity market that producers faced. According to the report, revenue held fairly stable while it was declining operating expenses that allowed net farm income to rise. A full breakdown of the report, including provincial comparisons,… Read more »

New Alberta workplace bill would expand employment standards, allow unionizing on farms

The Alberta government has introduced legislation to overhaul workplace rules across the province, including expanding labour relations rights and employment standards rules to non-family farm workers. Bill 17, named the Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act, received its first reading on Wednesday. If passed, most of it would take effect on January 1, 2018. While many… Read more »

Wheat Pete’s Word, May 24: Insect alerts, head snag, and delayed corn strategies

As corn planting moves along in Ontario, the list of issues to deal with in the field is also progressing, as RealAg agronomist Peter Johnson has a pair of insect alerts on this week’s Word. Unfortunately there’s also been some frost in parts of the country, and Wheat Pete walks us through how to assess the… Read more »

Grain companies looking forward to taking proposed rail legislation for a test drive

“It’s not perfect, but it is better than we expected.” The new rail legislation introduced by the federal government checks off most of the boxes on the list for grain shippers, says Wade Sobkowich, who represents major grain companies as executive director of the Western Grain Elevator Association. Bill C-49 would give shippers the right… Read more »

Slow rural internet speed is our competitive disadvantage

Excuse my ranting, but I am so frustrated with slow rural internet. In fact I am getting to the point of pure outrage on most days in trying to function without reasonably fast internet as we try to run a media company from a rural farm office. The scary thing is that I am not… Read more »

Ottawa extends consultation on potential elimination of deferred cash tickets

The federal government is extending the comment period for its proposal to potentially eliminate the deferred cash ticket option for grain sales. The department of finance, on Tuesday, announced the consultation period that was originally scheduled to end May 24th will remain open beyond seeding season, until July 24. When delivering a listed grain (such… Read more »

Garneau aiming to pass new rail legislation “later this year”

Farm and grain industry groups are optimistic new freight rail legislation proposed by the federal government will shift the balance of power in the market toward shippers. Some are even saying the bill introduced by Transport Minister Marc Garneau goes further than they expected. If passed, Bill C-49 would give shippers the right to charge railways… Read more »

The 10 most troublesome weeds in broadleaf crops

After surveying nearly 200 weed scientists across Canada and the U.S., the Weed Science Society of America published its top ten list of “most troublesome” weeds in broadleaf crops this week. Fortunately, the most troublesome weed has not been found in Canada (yet), but there are certainly some familiar foes on this list. (Maybe there’s… Read more »

Should ‘vertical’ factory farms get a free pass?

In a recent Fast Company magazine article there was a feature on the benefits of using technology to produce food. The article praised the efficiency gains made by implementing the latest in what technology could provide. The farm in the article is located in San Francisco. That’s right, it’s a vertical farm. The company’s name… Read more »

Glencore eyeing acquisition of Bunge

Global commodity giant Glencore — the majority owner of Regina-based grain company Viterra — is looking to expand its agriculture business, and has approached Bunge about a possible takeover. In a statement on Tuesday, Glencore confirmed it has “made an informal approach to Bunge Limited regarding a possible consensual business combination.” Glencore notes “discussions may… Read more »

TechTour: Extra sets of eyes on machinery improve efficiency

For farmers with plenty of help, it’s the eyes and ears of others around the farm that help with spotting, moving, or monitoring equipment. For farmers like Jim Hale, from Lancer, Sask., cameras installed on some of his machinery have replaced some of that help. A cereal, pulse, and oilseed farmer, Hale runs his farm operation on his… Read more »