Romance of small farms is fine
The Jan. 15 Western Producer editorial entitled “Banish romantic notion of small farm” left me a trifle uneasy. While it seems to be a critique of very small farms in poor countries, it implies that North American romantic notions about small farms constitute some kind of danger.
Livestock support sorely needed
God help the beleaguered cattle producers of Canada. As prices plummeted like the proverbial stone in 2007, we were told it was because of the high cost of feed grains and the soaring Canadian dollar that briefly took on the American greenback and pummeled it.
Government Rewards Railways
In the last few weeks of his government’s 10-year reign, before the Liberals under Jean Chrétien officially took power, Mulroney signed an agreement with the railways that gave them renewed control over the hopper cars the federal government had purchased for the movement of prairie grain.
Rising Dollar, Rising Interest Rates, Falling Farmers
Two pieces of economic news this past week bode poorly for farmers, and both of them relate to factors far beyond their control. One is the continuing rise of the Canadian dollar against its American counterpart. The dollar neared 92 cents American, a level not seen since 1977.
Low Reform Expectations Realized
I have written frequently about problems farmers have experienced with rail service. Though my friends who work for the railways are quick to tell me I’m unfair to them (what else would they say?) I have always maintained the problem is not the railways.
Cheap food not good answer
I recently saw a story about farmers reducing fertilizer use in response to high prices. The story warned that this was dangerous, as farmers should not be reducing inputs in an age of food shortages. It went on to argue that farmers will benefit from maximizing production. Another news report the same day pointed out
“If the Railway Wins, We Are All Finished”
Most farmers are too busy this time of year to pay much attention to the level-of-service complaint an Alberta-based grain company has levelled against CN. Me too. But a chance remark by a friend shook me out of my preoccupation with pre-working and cost me a few sleepless hours.
Assistant Commissioner Role Misunderstood by Government
Changes to the Canada Grain Act and its child the Canadian Grain Commission have been under discussion for some time. More than a year ago, an Ontario consulting company, Compas Inc. was hired by the federal government to review the Act and issue recommendations for changes. Compas held sparsely attended hearings across the prairies, and
Questioning the Process Doesn’t Make You Arrogant
Agriculture columnists and commentators have declared that the debate over barley marketing is over. Agriculture Minister Strahl's plebiscite results are in, and we should accept them and get over it. One commentator threw down the gauntlet by declaring "anyone suggesting that voters are too stupid, simple or ill informed to make the proper choice is just being arrogant."
Producer Cars at Risk in CWB Change
RGV Loaders is a small producer car loading facility with a big success story. Located in the village of Golden Prairie, it sits at the end of the 17.8-mile Hatton subdivision. This branch line runs off CP's main line north of Maple Creek. The key to RGV's remarkable success lies in its geography. RGV stands for Richmound, Golden Prairie and Fox Valley.