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ATTACK OF THE LEGENDARY LOCUST

It defies imagination. A biblical-scale plague of locusts an estimated 500,000 square kilometres in size swept across the U.S. Midwest and into parts of Western Canada in 1875. The ravenous insects ate virtually everything in their path from crops to cloth. Described as a living eclipse of the sun, it is believed to have been the largest insect swarm in recorded history. Perhaps even more extraordinary, within 25 to 30 years of this legendary natural event, the Rocky Mountain locust (Melanoplus spretus) was declared extinct.

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RESPONSIBLE GRAIN RAISES QUESTIONS

A number of questions have been raised during the ongoing consultations on Responsible Grain. The new code of practice for Canadian grain production is now being developed by the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Crops (CRSC). Farmers ask, why is the industry doing this and why now? There are three broad drivers behind the development of Responsible Grain: to build public trust, support market access and prevent excessive regulation.

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SAFE WORDS

Canada participates in a web of global food supply chains that is one of humanity’s greatest trade success stories. We remarkably enjoy products from across the globe due to the expertise of farmers, processors, logistics companies, retailers and many others that comprise this complex system.

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THE 411 ON VAC

Canadian breeders have produced a promising suite of new malting barley varieties. Registered in recent years, varieties such as AAC Connect, CDC Bow and CDC Fraser are successors to older cultivars such as AC Metcalfe and CDC Copeland.

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GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY

This year marks a half century of barley breeding at the University of Saskatchewan’s Crop Development Centre (CDC). The program has created plenty of top-tier varieties for western Canadian farmers since 1971.

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RESOLUTIONS AND REQUESTS

One of the things that I love most about my job at the Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) is time spent thinking about the big picture. We consistently envision our long-term goals for Canadian agriculture and develop roadmaps to get there.

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A NEW HOPE

2020 relentlessly injected volatility, often negative, into everyday experience. COVID-19 is the obvious culprit. In addition, a decline in national and international co-operation has exacerbated the entire situation.

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