economy

Plenty of room to grow Ontario’s beef herd in the North

The price of land is a big barrier to growing the province’s beef cow numbers, but northern Ontario may offer a solution for farmers seeking new opportunities. “Northern Ontario, where land is cheaper and could work for cows, is a logical spot. There are 16 million under-used acres in the Great Clay Belt,” Beef Farmers […]

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Argentina no longer a global beef powerhouse

This is the final article in a short series about agriculture in Argentina, a country I had a chance to visit as part of the International Federation of Agriculture Journalists conference in 2013. Argentina has traditionally been amongst the world’s leading beef producing nations. Much of its proud rural history is based on cattle, ranching […]

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Biotechnology key to production growth in Argentina

Most of the time what I write about on these pages have to do with food and farming in Canada. This is the second in a series of articles about agriculture in Argentina – a key global competitor for Canada’s farming sector. Public perceptions and consumer attitudes can make some Canadian farmers think twice about […]

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Soy underpins Argentine economy

Most of the time what I write about on these pages have to do with food and farming in Canada. Every once in a while, though, I’m lucky enough to have a chance to experience agriculture in other parts of the world – as I did last month with a fascinating trip to Argentina for […]

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The farm labour side of local food

Ontario Conservative Leader Tim Hudak announced this spring that, if elected, he’d make convicted provincial prisoners work to clean up Ontario’s highways. According to a story in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a variation on this theme was recently launched in Georgia, where teams of probationers are working on fruit and vegetable farms. Many farm workers there […]

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New cluster promotes Ontario food and farming

Southwestern Ontario’s burgeoning agri-food sector received a boost earlier this month with the launch of the Ontario Food Cluster. My alma mater, University of Guelph, along with the City of Guelph and others are partners in this new initiative designed to attract more foreign investment and creating more businesses in our agri-food sector. In addition […]

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Healthy Ontario farms will help us as supplies decline

The crystal ball says we live in the best place in the world. Personally, I’ve long been convinced of it, having lived in this area for most of my life, but this is the opinion of a bio-economy expert who spoke at the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre recently. His perspective was a bit different […]

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Local food movement needs local processing

Ontario’s farmers and food processors suffered another setback recently when the J.M. Smucker Company announced it was moving its Bick’s pickling operations from the Ontario towns of Dunnville and Delhi to south of the border. This is just the latest in a seemingly ongoing string of food processing plant closures in recent years. Not only […]

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Measuring agriculture’s economic footprint in Ontario

Farming affects the daily lives of all Ontarians – what we eat, where we live and what we do to earn a living. Now, a newly released report spells out in stark detail the economic impact of the agricultural sector as well as the punishing effects of long term farm income losses on the Ontario […]

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Dispelling dispair about the future of food and farming

In Western Canada, student enrolment at various agricultural colleges is on the rise. And an increasing percentage of students flocking to programs in animal, food, life and environmental sciences are coming from urban areas, which spokespeople at these institutions attribute at least partly to the growing public interest in agriculture and food. Guelph’s Ontario Agricultural […]

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New Agri-Technology Commercialization Centre in Guelph

Guelph’s Agri-Technology Commercialization Centre is the only one of its kind in the country – and it’s being watched closely by other jurisdictions interested in boosting their efforts in this area. Although there are many research parks, the ATCC is the only one that houses organizations dedicated to market development and expansion and new company […]

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Food policy could end farming crisis

There’s a crisis in agriculture. It’s an oft-repeated statement, one that at times comes from beef and pork farmers, and other times from the grain or the fruit and vegetable growers. In fact, it seems as though there’s always a crisis in agriculture – perhaps in different sectors at different times, but it always seems […]

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New bioproducts resource for soybeans

Industrial Uses and Opportunities for Canadian Soybeans, a new brochure highlighting industrial market opportunities for Canadian soybeans, is now available. The goal of the 16-page resource, produced by Soy 20/20, is to generate awareness of the many new soy-based products and applications being developed, as well as those already commercially available.

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Our agriculture industry is at a crisis point

The word crisis is heard often at the moment. Unfortunately, it seems to be heard most often in conjunction with two other words: agriculture and farmers. In a country as wealthy and as entrenched in farming as ours, to me, there’s something fundamentally wrong with this picture.

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A young farmer’s plea – support us by buying local food

Those of us in the farming community have known for a while now that hog farmers are facing financial difficulties and need help. Thanks to the efforts of many, even mainstream media have picked up on the crisis in the pork sector. But although many use facts and figures to try to illustrate the point, […]

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