CETA enables giants in agriculture

(February 16, 2017)  The approval by the European Union of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) makes the world safer for the global agricultural cartels and much less pleasant for Canadian farmers and the consumers in both jurisdictions. Industry friendly farm groups, like the Alberta Wheat Commission, are accentuating the positive while closing their eyes...

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Looming problems in antibiotics a warning for plant breeding

(January 19, 2017) I had an aunt who only lived for nine days in 1919.  Like so many children and young women in the age before antibiotics she was killed by a simple bacterium that can now be cured with a short round of antibiotics. From the 1930s onward those antibiotics were developed by dozens of private companies driven by a profit motive usually provided by government procurements to...

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The year farms got smaller

(January 4, 2017) Like an old Queen once said of another year, 2016 was an Annus horribilis for most prairie farmers.  Bumper crops ended up snowed under or degraded by excessive rainfall.  The pull-type combine made a comeback with many farmers adding a four wheel drive tractor on standby to rescue combines stuck in the mud.  But hey, when not stuck in the mud or buried in snow, the yields...

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Farmers lose in port storage arms race

(December 22, 2016)  Some months ago I remarked on the amount of new grain bins farmers were purchasing (Prairie Arms Race) so they could store their crops for longer periods and ‘pool’ their returns by choosing when to give up ownership to one of the ABCD group’s agents.  This need for grain storage is another cost for farmers from Ritz and Harper killing the Canadian Wheat Board.  It...

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Shortest day of the year

(December 21, 2016)  Today is the shortest day of the year and as is traditional on the winter solstice farmers will be looking forward to longer days and spring planting.  Most will celebrate the season with family and friends. Unlike the sun which we can expect to stop hovering close to the horizon, the port price of wheat has been stubbornly flat for most of the season according to Ag...

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