Dairy farmers flex some political muscle

As colleague Jessica Murphy reported, Liberal MP Wayne Easter – a former dairy farmer — sent a sharp letter to leadership candidate Martha Hall Findlay pretty much telling her to back off on her call to dismantle the so-called “supply management” system which protects the Canadian dairy industry from foreign competition. (For more on the issue of supply managementand the fight for cheap cheese, see my blog post “The continuing fight for cheap cheese and innovation in agriculture”) Hall Findlay, above, responds to Easter’s argument on my program, Battleground, last night.

During our discussion, Continue reading Dairy farmers flex some political muscle

Canada has a new Apple! Say hello to "Salish"!

Salish Apple
The new Salish apple (Handout photo/Government of Canada)

I’m a graduate of the University of Guelph (Ontario) and, though I studied history there, you’ve probably heard that Guelph takes agriculture pretty darn seriously. I do, too. So I was pretty excited to learn today that Canada has a brand new apple variety and, based on the description in the official press release from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, it sounds like a tasty one.  The new apple is called the Salish and here’s what the government has to say about it in that press release: Continue reading Canada has a new Apple! Say hello to "Salish"!

As food prices skyrocket, "feeble" G20 considers talking about it

Rotting corn damaged by severe drought on a farm near Bruceville, Indiana, August 16, 2012.(AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB)

Earlier this week, the Financial Times reported that G20 countries were considering how and when it should step in some sort of co-ordinated way to deal with rapidly rising prices of corn and soybean, two fundamental crops central to the diet of much of the world’s population.

Citiing unnamed G20 officials, the Times indicated that the G20  was ready to convince an emergency forum after the U.S. Department of Agriculture slashed its latest corn crop estimates last Friday. The Times did not mention Canada specifically but, of course, as one of the leading G20 economies and as one of the world’s largest food producers, Canada would be keenly interested and, presumably, involved in these discussions. Continue reading As food prices skyrocket, "feeble" G20 considers talking about it