Laurie Thatcher-Craig and John Craig in their hops yard.

Hopping mad

Why a move by Clearview Township to restrict some on-farm processing could have implications for value-adding across the province

Clearview Township hops grower says a bylaw passed earlier this year means it has fewer rights than apple and grape growers to market directly to consumers. The bylaw passed in March means no farmers other than those growing grapes and apples can create consumer products on farm with an alcohol content. While apple growers can […] Read more

Agriculture organizations had more of a partnership with the AAC than they expect with OMAFRA administration of funding.

Agriculture best understands its own program needs

Letter to the editor: Moving CAP funding for organizations from agri-food to the bureaucracy makes little sense

Dear Editor, In the end, who understands the issues of farming, agriculture and agri-food better than the industry itself? Recently, the province launched a program, called “Place to Grow: Agri-food Innovation Initiative, – a program which will help drive innovation, reduce red-tape, and address industry priorities”. From their media release, “under the Canadian Agriculture Partnership (CAP), this initiative […] Read more

Ernie Hardeman, Ontario minister of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs.

Agriculture minister says progress made on reducing bureaucratic burdens

After a year in power, Ernie Hardeman touts attention to mental health by OMAFRA

The provincial Conservative government has found the first steps it has taken to reduce bureaucracy for farmers to be obvious and easy ones. After consultations “the things that were brought forward we could do without difficulty to make life easier,” said Ernie Hardeman, Ontario’s minister of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs in an interview to […] Read more

Canada's Agriculture and Agri-food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau.

Ottawa announces funds to attract youth in agriculture

Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau recently announced a new investment of up to $3.75 million designed to help bring youth into the agriculture industry. The Youth Employment and Skills Program will provide funding to employers in agriculture to hire Canadian youth, ages 15 to 30. It aims to create opportunities for Canadian youth, […] Read more

Don Lobb testifies at the Senate committee on Agriculture and Forestry.

Senate committee hears that soils need new priority

Soil experts testify that the federal government should take a greater role in soil research and data management

The Senate committee on Agriculture and Forestry recently heard that agricultural soil is declining, and the issue needs more attention from the federal government. Five presenters, including several from Ontario, told the committee that trends to less tillage have declined as crop prices have generally been strong and farms have grown larger. Why it matters: […] Read more

Editorial: Markets, trade variables disrupt usual farm outlook

New layers of challenge keep being thrown over farmers trying to run their businesses in Ontario this spring. Wait, it actually started last fall, with a late and burdensome harvest, marked by unprecedented corn quality issues. High levels of DON in corn across the province, but concentrated in unlucky pockets, meant some farmers had to […] Read more

African swine fever has yet to reach the Americas and officials are working to keep it that way.

Opinion: Swine fever brings trade adversaries together

Capital Letters with Kelsey Johnson of iPolitics

At a time of frosty diplomatic relations and continued trade disputes, the world’s top animal health experts, industry and governments are banding together to fight a deadly hog virus. More than 150 officials from about 15 countries descended on Ottawa recently for a global forum on African swine fever. Their goal: to share information, learn […] Read more

Grain Farmers of Ontario says politics are creating serious uncertainties in commodity markets and farmers are feeling the economic pressure.

Trade war fund needed for grain farmers: GFO

There are increased concerns now that it looks like the U.S. will further subsidize its farmers

Grain Farmers of Ontario is calling for the federal government to create a fund so that grain farmers are protected from losses during global trade disputes. Why it matters: American farmers received almost $9 billion last year from the American government to cover losses from trade and U.S. President Donald Trump recently promised $15 billion […] Read more

Researchers say the ultimate goal of retaliatory tariffs is to inflict economic loss on influential interest groups.

Politics often at heart of China trade retaliations

Researchers say the ultimate goal of retaliatory tariffs is to inflict economic loss on influential interest groups

China hasn’t just manipulated its regulatory system to block Canadian agriculture imports. Its use of phytosanitary standards to hurt foreign suppliers has been used against small countries similar to Canada and also against the United States. Why it matters: China is less restrained when using trade retaliation against smaller countries. “China refused bananas from the […] Read more

The USMCA trade deal is poised to replace NAFTA, but ratification has stalled thanks in large part to existing U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum.

Opinion: Hurdles remain for North American trade agreement

Capital Letters with Kelsey Johnson of iPolitics

The chance of the United States-Canada-Mexico Agreement (USMCA) being ratified before the next Canadian federal election has likely slumped after a new American commission report found the deal would have a moderate impact on the American economy. The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) released its highly anticipated analysis of the pending trade agreement in mid […] Read more