So history repeats itself

Consider for a moment what Canadian agriculture would look like today if farmers had never made the switch from horse power to tractor power. It isn’t such an absurd idea if you understand why farmers here actually resisted mechanization when it first appeared roughly a century ago. An interesting read is the text of the […] Read more


Spraying machine working on the green field

Goodbye glyphosate?

A flood of cancer suits in the U.S. threatens to topple farmers’ most valuable herbicide

Last September I warned readers of a growing public backlash against glyphosate herbicide, and I wrote of the co-ordinated attack on glyphosate by Avaaz, an online activist community that is claiming credit for the refusal by European regulators to renew the licence for glyphosate, instead only granting an 18-month extension to the expiring licence. But […] Read more



Close up of man reading at the digital tablet

Before you believe it

Because our vulnerability to misinformation is growing every day, the easy-to-use SMELL test needs to become like an app that we turn on every time we connect to the web, listen to a radio, or even talk to each other

If our food looks bad, tastes bad, or smells bad, we won’t eat it. So why don’t we treat information the same way? After all, we are told information is power. Information has value. Information is essential to modern society. So if information “smells” bad, shouldn’t we be wary of consuming it as well? Dr. […] Read more


Russia takes on the world

Millions of acres in Russia had been waiting for someone to farm them. Now they’re bursting with grain

For many Canadian grain growers, this year’s weather concerns, disease pressure, high input costs, and low crop prices made it seem like we’ve already been facing the perfect storm. However, there is an even bigger threat on the horizon — Russia. In the first week of October, while most Canadian growers were still busy with […] Read more



A general image of people protesting

The other glyphosate ‘resistance’

Who are the Canadian activists who are pushing for a glyphosate ban, and why are they so convinced they’re right?

In the September issue of Country Guide I wrote about the Avaaz movement’s effort to ban glyphosate in “The Target is Glyphosate“. As I reported then, if you haven’t heard of Avaaz, you should go to its website today. The prestigious Guardian newspaper says Avaaz (whose name means “voice” in several European languages) is the […] Read more


Farmer standing in field with combine harvester behind

We’ve been misinformed

Put this eight-page debunking handbook on the top of your reading list, and let’s stop making consumer misinformation worse

The good news is that farmers are finally recognizing the damage that misinformation is doing to our industry, and we are responding to it. The bad news is that the way we respond may actually be increasing consumer opposition rather than alleviating it. We’ve been misinformed about fighting misinformation. Agriculture is not the only industry […] Read more



Tractor spraying wheat field with sprayer in springtime, herbicides and pesticides

The target is glyphosate

It’s time to worry. The real goal of today’s anti-GMO movement is to kill the weed killer at the core of modern agriculture

As farmers, we have a question to ask ourselves. Are we getting played? Are we getting taken in, just like an audience at a magic show that gets fooled into watching the distraction instead of what’s really happening? Is agriculture reacting to the GMO debate when we should be focusing on protecting glyphosate? These are […] Read more


Out-competed by Ukraine

Massive Ukrainian farms are producing grain and getting it into export position for $100/t less than in Canada

In the last issue of Country Guide, I wrote of my travels in China, and of how that trip made me question the true competitiveness of Canadian agriculture. Unfortunately, a new Australian study validates many of my concerns. “Ukraine: An emerging challenge for Australian wheat exports” is the third study from the Australian Export Grains […] Read more



DNA strand

Hopes grow for gene editing

This safe new technology promises to take us far beyond GMOs. But will consumers let us use it?

A new technology called gene editing promises to pick up where GMOs have fallen short. In other words, with gene editing, farmers and consumers may benefit as much as chemical and seed companies. But for that to happen, farmers must become familiar with this new technology, they must understand what it can offer agriculture and […] Read more


Shopping cart full dairy grocery

Selling our consumers

While farmers strive to educate consumers, marketers bend the rules

On January 7, the New York Times covered the news that Campbell Soup would become the first major U.S. food company to come out in support of mandatory GMO labelling. It was the same day that Campbell’s CEO Denise Morrison sent a letter to her employees, saying the policy change came from the company’s focus […] Read more