Drones Hit New Turf: U.S. Farmland – May 7, 2013
Farmers are starting to investigate the use of drones for a decidedly nonmilitary purpose: monitoring crops and spraying pesticides. As the spring growing season unfolds, universities already are working with agricultural groups to experiment with different types of unmanned aircraft outfitted with sensors and other technologies to measure and protect crop health.
What We Can Learn About Open Markets From Wine and Wheat – April 24, 2013
Canadian history is filled with tales of protected industries destined for oblivion because of free trade, foreign threats or lost subsidies. But the worst-case scenario rarely plays out as predicted. Consider two prominent examples from the past quarter-century: the advent of free trade for Ontario’s wine industry and the end of the subsidized freight rates for Western grain farmers. In both cases, disaster was predicted. Yet both sectors adapted and emerged stronger.
Mark Lynas - Lecture to Oxford Farming Conference – January 17, 2013
I want to start with some apologies. For the record, here and upfront, I apologise for having spent several years ripping up GM crops. I am also sorry that I helped to start the anti-GM movement back in the mid 1990s, and that I thereby assisted in demonising an important technological option which can be used to benefit the environment.
Stop Feeling Sorry for Farmers – September 12, 2012
Everyone feels sorry for farmers when they are hit with a disaster like this summer’s drought. Politicians are called on to do even more to supplement government’s generous support programs, and no one much questions it.
Manitoba Fishers Protest Massive Seizure of Mullet – August 18, 2012
A group of about 35 western Manitoba fishers demonstrated in front of the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corp.'s Transcona plant Monday, protesting the federal agency's seizure last week of mullet destined for Illinois.
Charting the Course to True Free Trade – July 16, 2012
Not many New Zealanders might have realised, until reading the Weekend Herald, how important a role their country is playing in talks to liberalise international trade
Time to End Supply Management – But it won’t go Quietly – July 6, 2012
For a brief, shining moment in the early 2000s, Canada had a small but thriving milk export business. Georgian Bay Milk Co., based in Barrie, Ont., would buy milk from a clutch of farmers operating outside Canada’s tightly controlled supply managed dairy industry and ship it to dairies in New York state.
Why Protecting Dairy, Poultry Farmers is no Sacred Cow for Harper – March 12, 2012
Is the Harper government willing to dismantle the supply management system that protects poultry and dairy farmers from competition? You should bet that it is.
Canada Risks Being Left Empty-Handed in Asia – March 2, 2012
Far from the truculent finger-pointing that once characterized his government’s attitude to China – an attitude it still displays elsewhere – Mr. Harper buried whatever criticisms he made of China’s terrible human-rights record in closed-door meetings. In public, it was all sweetness and light, trade deals and photo ops with pandas.
Government Cold on Coal – February 10, 2012
The provincial government has blindsided rural Manitobans again with their announcement of a complete ban on the use of coal for space and water heating in 2014. While coal doesn’t have a good reputation when it comes to clean energy, it’s cheap and it generates a lot of heat and in areas that are poorly served by alternatives, such as natural gas, its use is widespread.
Milking Our Gullibility – November 10, 2011
Why we pay more for dairy products couldn’t be simpler: Our dairy cartel artificially restricts supply. Now, according to economic theory, industries with literally thousands of competitors, as there are in dairy, aren’t able to form cartels. It’s too easy for members to cheat by cutting prices on the sly. Even the world’s most famous cartel, OPEC, with only a dozen members, often has trouble keeping oil prices high.
Wheat Board Stacks the Deck in Effort to Retain its Monopoly – August 25, 2011
The Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) is using old tricks to justify its monopoly over prairie wheat and barley sales. The board is conducting a mail-in plebiscite among western farmers that is rigged to give it the result it wants – namely the appearance of widespread support for its “single-desk” marketing of all wheat and barley harvested for human consumption.
The $25,000 Cow – August 19, 2011
If it were proposed today to tax food—even at five per cent, never mind such punitive rates as these—it would be instant political suicide: consider the ruckus that erupts whenever some stray academic suggests the GST should apply to groceries. But because it is the status quo, and because the tax is implicit rather than explicit, and because “it’s to help farmers,” the policy is not only tolerated, it is impossible to remove. Or at least, it has been until now.
The Tories’ Massive Contradiction on Supply Management – June 23, 2011
True to his name, the new International Trade Minister, Ed Fast, was quick out of the starting blocks following his elevation from the backbenches to the front line of the Harper cabinet.
It's Getting Harder to Bring Home the Bacon – May 13, 2011
Mr. Pope is the chief executive officer of Smithfield Foods Inc., the world's largest pork processor and hog producer by volume. He doesn't mince words when it comes to rapidly rising food prices. The 56-year-old accountant by training has been in the business for more than three decades, and he warns that the higher costs may be here to stay.
Flee the Land of Quota – March 4, 2011
Ten months ago we sold our eastern Ontario dairy farm and relocated on another dairy operation 20 miles away as the crow flies, in northern New York. Money and freedom were the reasons for our decision.
Oat Farms Blossom Without Wheat Board – January 10, 2011
"This past harvest season, a lot of Western Canadian farmers who grew oats, myself included, took something for granted. That was the ability to sell and deliver our crop to market at a time of our own choosing. Not so long ago, this was not the case. We have one man in particular to thank for this: Charlie Mayer."
Attention Whole Foods Shoppers – May 7, 2010
"Though it's certainly a good thing to be thinking about global welfare while chopping our certified organic onions, the hope that we can help others by changing our shopping and eating habits is being wildly oversold to Western consumers."
Can't We All Drink From The Same Cow? – November 19, 2009
Canada is a dairy industry production backwater. Over the past 10 years, the value of Canadian exports of dairy products has dropped by 30% to $255-million. Last year, Canada had a dairy product trade deficit of $422-million.
The Man Who Defused the 'Population Bomb' – September 16, 2009
"Without high-yield agriculture," Borlaug said, "increases in food output would have been realized through drastic expansion of acres under cultivation, losses of pristine land a hundred times greater than all losses to urban and suburban expansion." Environmentalist criticism was doubly puzzling because in almost every developing nation where high-yield agriculture has been introduced, population growth has slowed as education becomes more important to family success than muscle power.