Category: The Grower

Growers are anxious to spray with drones, but…

With increasingly fierce competition from nearly all corners of the planet, Canadian growers are anxious to have access to new technology. After all, technology uptake has long been one of their defining characteristics, and helps them compete against growers who enjoy larger economies of scale.

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Brazil’s agri-food exports snap global attention

Jaws dropped earlier this year when export figures showed Brazil was becoming the global top exporter in grain and oilseeds, surpassing the the likes of soy. And now, as 2024 unfolds, it’s clear there’s even more to come in other commodities from the South American powerhouse.
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Soil: Out of the silo, into the spotlight

Soil, once a supporting actor in agriculture, is finally finding its way to the spotlight. It hasn’t quite made it to the red carpet yet, but integrated soil health and management are well on the way to getting top billing, even outside of agricultural circles.
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For now, Mexican fruit growers have reason to smile

Jalisco, Mexico native Vivian Ibarra studied to be a dental hygienist – it’s steady work, decent pay and rife with opportunities to get in and out of the workforce to start a family. But upon graduation, she decided to forgo the dentist office. Instead, she returned home to help run the family berry farm…which these days, with the Mexican fruit sector in high gear, also means steady work and decent pay.

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The Pandemic is changing how we share information

There’s no doubt that we’re increasingly receiving more of our information from on-line sources. And COVID19 seems to have accelerated the trend, with traditional conferences and industry events replaced by virtual gatherings. But what will happen after the pandemic? Will the benefits of our face-to-face interactions be outweighed by on-line safety and savings? Photo: The Grower.

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Food packaging must help reduce waste, but not at all costs

The packaging industry largely prefers to manufacture its products from cheap, virgin plastic. Packaging technology can be key to less food waste, but if it’s damaging to the environment with its reliance on non-renewable resources, what’s the point? A new report aims for some positive actions for growers, industry and government to address these conflicting priorities.

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These are not foreign workers. They are professionals .

Canada is critically dependant on the skills and knowledge of the folks who prepare, plant, pick and prune our horticultural produce every year. It’s not expertise that can be gained overnight, and we benefit hugely from the fact that many – if not most – return year after year. Let’s recognize these essential workers for the professionals that they are.

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Urban Cowboy

Raising awareness and promoting dialogue about current food and agriculture issues.


Headshot of Owen Roberts

Owen Roberts is a faculty member in the Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications program at the University of Illinois. As an agricultural journalist, he is the past president of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists and a lifetime achievement award recipient from the Canadian Farm Writers' Federation. His programs and research papers have been recognized nationally and internationally through awards from the Journal of Applied Communications, the National Agri-Marketing Association, the Association for Communications Excellence, and others.