Dig Deep Archive

Protecting your farm and family from trespassers

Several provinces want to update trespass legislation and tackle rural crime

By Kate Ayers
Staff Writer
Better Farming

Given the growing concern about rural crime across Western Canada, provincial government officials are pushing for legislation updates to better protect farmers and other rural residents. Below, we recap the recent developments in each province.

Rising interest in specialty grain

While a niche market exists for these crops, farmers and plant breeders face several hurdles

By Jim Algie

Farmers considering niche grain production for emerging artisanal markets operate within what one close observer calls “an informal seed system” that generally lacks supply and reliable data about productive varieties.

Producers churn out a new market niche

Dairy farmers must follow certain feeding protocol to qualify under the grass-fed milk standard

By Jim Algie
Better Farming

Dairy Farmers of Ontario’s (DFO’s) interim grass-fed milk standard protocol requires forage or grass feeding of at least 75 per cent of total dry matter intake for qualifying cows and at least 120 days on pasture for a minimum of six hours daily during the gazing period.

The ag industry’s fight for government support

The long-term trend in American support payments to farmers has shifted

by Jim Algie
Better Farming

Until U.S. President Donald Trump began working trade policy in earnest in 2018, the trend for government support payments to farmers in both the United States and Canada had shown a 30-year period of almost continual decline, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) analysis showed.

Industry leaders take a bite out of food fraud

IBM is developing an e-tongue to fingerprint beverages and complex liquids

By Kate Ayers
Staff Writer
Better Farming

While food fraud has been a challenge in Canada for decades, food supply chain stakeholders and consumers have recently become more aware of the issue. The intentional adulteration of food can harm the reputation of the entire agri-food industry and affect producers’ bottom lines.

Conservation Authority Act changes

Staff and industry stakeholders are shocked by recent government directions

By Nicholas Van Allen

In midsummer, “conservation authorities (CA) and Conservation Ontario (were) stunned” by a letter from Jeff Yurek, minister of the environment, conservation and parks, Conservation Ontario said in a Aug. 19 press release.

CAs are required by the Conservation Authorities Act to “re-focus their efforts on the delivery of programs and services related to their core mandate,” Yurek said in his Aug. 16 letter.

Ag’s position in the national food policy puzzle

The Canadian Produce Marketing Association president provides his perspective on how the policy could affect the fresh produce sector

By Kate Ayers
Staff Writer
Better Farming

In June, the federal government launched Canada’s first food policy, which is a $134.4-million investment over the next five years.

Through this policy, the government aims to address a range of challenges that the agri-food industry and Canadians face, such as food insecurity, food waste and food illiteracy.

How to beef up your feed supplies

While cattle will generally steer away from toxic weeds, livestock can be poisoned by grazing on certain plants or eating contaminated feed

By Kate Ayers
Staff Writer
Better Farming

Volatile weather conditions can significantly affect farmers’ abilities to produce and maintain quality feed and forages for their animals.

Prolonged dry or wet periods take their toll on pastures and forage fields, and can result in thin feed supplies throughout the year.