Farming scholarship application deadline looms — April 15, 2014

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Applications for the 2015 Canadian Nuffield Farming Scholarship Trust are due by April 30. Up to three scholarships of $15,000 each are available. Application forms are available online. Nuffield scholarships are awarded to enthusiastic individuals with a passion for agriculture and a desire to expand their knowledge, pursue new ideas and to share their findings […]


World food prices jump again in March, FAO says — April 3, 2014

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Rome | Reuters – Global food prices rose to their highest in almost a year in March, led by unfavourable weather for crops and political tensions over Ukraine, the United Nations food agency said on Thursday. The Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) price index, which measures monthly price changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, […]


Pricier beef ‘here to stay’ as food costs seen higher: USDA — March 25, 2014

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Washington | Reuters — U.S. food prices are expected to rise more rapidly this year after a very tame 2013, led by gains in beef, poultry and egg prices, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Tuesday. The food price inflation outlook assumes normal weather, the USDA said, adding that the California drought poses a risk […]


World conservation ag congress coming to Winnipeg — March 19, 2014

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“We are running out of dirt, and it’s no laughing matter.” So says Dr. David Montgomery, professor of earth and space sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle, and author of Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations. Montgomery, who sees the recent rise of no-till farming as “the hope for a new agricultural revolution that […]


Same EI premiums, no benefits for seasonal farm workers: study — March 17, 2014

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Foreign workers brought to Canada for seasonal farm employment are seeing no employment insurance (EI) benefits for what they and their employers pay into the EI program, a union study shows. While the workers — who come to Canada for specific jobs and are shipped home at the job’s end — don’t usually qualify for […]


two men standing beside crates of sweet potatoes

Second look

Adding value to a sweet operation

When I first crossed paths with John Weniger, it was 2009, and it was because a contact at a food-service company had told me about Weniger’s sweet potatoes. At the time, Weniger had about 40 of his 300 acres in the crop, and he was selling most of his harvest to grocery stores and the […]


Two older men talking outside with each other.

Ottawa’s gamble

A year after pulling the plug on the Canadian Wheat Board monopoly, Ottawa is funding a new generation of Ukrainian co-ops

When Camil Côté landed in Ukraine’s capital Kiev last July, he was on a mission to establish grain co-operatives in a country that used to be the breadbasket of the Soviet Union. But if there was any irony in a Canadian going to the heartland of communism to build new co-ops, it wasn’t on anyone’s […]


Ukraine: The world’s next breadbasket

Who will be the big winners when the struggling country gets its agricultural act together?

The world has its eyes on the Ukraine. What it is seeing there is nothing less than a new El Dorado in agriculture, based on some the world’s most fertile and most underutilized soils. For centuries, Ukraine was Asia’s breadbasket, but since the collapse of the Soviet Union, much of its potential has essentially lain […]


Farm groups hail field-levelling trade deal with Korea — March 11, 2014

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Negotiations are officially completed and terms finalized on a free trade agreement between Canada and South Korea, with a long line of enthusiastic Canadian farm export sectors in their wake. A trade pact between the two countries has been in the works since they agreed to formal talks in 2005, but stalled for months at […]


Two men standing in front of grain bins.

Turn around

When brothers Ryan and Noel Flitton signed up for business school with their father, it helped their Alberta farm turn a critical corner

The allure of farming runs strong in the Flitton family, so neither Gary Flitton nor his sons Noel or Ryan make any apology for having been drawn for the same reason back to the family’s 12,000 acres of scenic Alberta grain land east of the Rocky Mountains near Vulcan. They want to live a rural […]