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. Read more
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 Read more
“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. Read more
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 Read more
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." Read more
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. Read more
Fowl play
The poultry industry's central role in the bird flu crisisBackyard or free-range poultry are not fuelling the current wave of bird flu outbreaks stalking large parts of the world. The deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu is essentially a problem of industrial poultry practices. Read more
Oligopoly, Inc. 2005: Concentration in Corporate Power
etc group -- November/December 2005It’s no secret that transnational corporations wield unprecedented power to shape social, economic and trade policies. Today we are witnessing ever more concentrated control over – not only the food system – but the products and processes of life and the fundamental building blocks of nature. Read more
Much confusion around WTO
There has been a torrent of news reports lately about the World Trade Organization talks and the role they may play in a variety of agricultural issues. The so-called Doha Round of these talks is supposed to reach agreement on agriculture at its Hong Kong meeting in December. The chances for such an agreement are fast fading as countries of all sorts bicker about what should happen. Read more
Empowering Canadian Farmers in the Marketplace
A report by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food -- July 2005Table of ContentsTerms of ReferenceLetter to the MinisterThe Farm Economy in CrisisFarm Income ConsultationsImpact of Government RegulationImproving Farm IncomeThe Need for InvestmentConclusionRecommendationsSourcesAnnex 1 - Government Actions Taken Read more
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