National Newswatch

Saskatchewan researchers crack complex wheat genome

Aug 20 2018 — Alex Binkley — OTTAWA—A team of crop scientists at the University of Saskatchewan played a leading role in sequencing the genome of wheat variety that could lead to better varieties in the future. “Essentially we have completed the wheat genome jigsaw puzzle with all the pieces put together in their correct positions and order, providing an enormous advantage […]

Canada to host WTO reform ministerial in October

Aug 1 2018 — Alex Binkley — Trade spats and U.S. tariff challenges set the stage for the session.   OTTAWA—Canada will host a meeting in October of trade ministers from countries supporting reform of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and its rules for ensuring fair international trade. Jim Carr, Minister of International Trade Diversification, has invited ministers from around the world […]

Academics suggest Russia, China or environment activists could be behind mystery GM wheat discovery

Jul 27 2018 — Alex Binkley — CFIA needs to keep investigating how unknown GM variety ended up in Alberta roadside. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency needs to keep investigating the still unknown variety of genetically modified wheat found in Alberta last year, says the Canadian co-author of an article that speculates on who could have planted it. Rob Wager of Vancouver […]

Canada should aim for a higher ranking among agrifood exporters

Jul 19 2018 — Alex Binkley — Having inspired the agrifood industry to aim for a bigger role in feeding the world, Dominc Barton has spelled out four growth barriers and four building blocks the sector needs to deal with to succeed. The barriers are an underdeveloped value chain, low productivity, trade impediments and regulatory obstacles to trade with the United States, […]

Supply management has unexpected supporter

Jul 17 2018 — Alex Binkley — OTTAWA–Canadian dairy farmers and by implication their fellow poultry producers have an unexpected ally in historian and internationally renowned author John Ralston Saul. Saul came to the defence of Canadian dairy farmers in a recent article in the online publication TruthDig. In an interview with veteran writer Chris Hedges on the sorry state of American […]

International uncertainty is a weapon for Trump, study says

Jul 3 2018 — Alex Binkley — Trying to make sense of American trade policy under the Trump administration essentially boils down to understanding that its goal is creating international uncertainty, says a new study by the C.D. Howe Institute. Weaponizing Uncertainty is an unsettling read as its academic authors Meredith Crowley and Dan Ciuriak track the withdrawal from the TPP, its […]

U.S. claims about Canadian dairy protection are simplistic and disingenuous, says ag economists

Jun 26 2018 — Alex Binkley — Canada should be as critical of American dairy policy as Washington is of the Canadian system. The U.S. attempt to cast itself as a victim of Canadian dairy tariffs is a smokescreen to hide its highly trade-distorting dairy protections, say two agriculture economists. In a policy note distributed by Agri-Food Economic Systems (AFES) based in […]

Parliamentarians will be hearing about the importance of the CPTPP bill this summer

Jun 22 2018 — Alex Binkley — Farm groups want passage of the bill to be a priority when Parliament resumes in September. OTTAWA—MPs and Senators can expect to hear plenty from farmers all summer about the importance of quickly passing the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) bill when they return to Parliament in the fall, farm group representatives vow. They […]

Alberta-based pork producer says mid-sized processors need financial assistance

Jun 19 2018 — Alex Binkley — Labour shortage for rural employers is a major headache. An Alberta-based pork producer says farming operations in Canada face more obstacles and less support than in the United States and are losing ground competitively compared to international competitors. Ray Price, President of Sunterra Farms Ltd., which also has operations in Ontario, South Dakota and Iowa, […]

Consumer tastes changing rapidly in food sector

Jun 18 2018 — Alex Binkley — Canada has to become better at adding value to food products. The food business is undergoing tremendous change as consumer tastes change and Canada needs to take advantage of that trend, says Don Buckingham, President and CEO of the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute. “Consumer preferences and retail food markets are changing extremely fast and food […]