Chinese officials in charge of importing wheat will visit the United States sometime in early to mid-February for a first-hand look at the U.S. wheat market and to consider purchases, a U.S. industry group told Reuters News Service Monday.

Recently I flew to Calgary, picked up my Hertz rental car and trekked down to Lethbridge, Alberta, for a conservation association meeting. Arriving at midnight, I drove down the isolated Canadian highways going through communities such as Vulcan (I didn’t see Spock!) and Fort MacLeod, one of the first settlements in Western Canada. The moon setting over the Canadian Rockies and an occasional glimpse of the northern lights while listening to light jazz made the evening go by fast.

The next day I was listening to the farm radio talk show program “Wild Country Rose.” They presented some interesting perspectives on Canadian agriculture. First, 90 percent of the household income on Canadian farms comes from non-farm income sources. Farms and ranches of more than $250,000 in annual revenue are the fastest growing segment, and farms of less than $250,000 in revenue are declining in number. In the U.S., this group is actually increasing mainly because of the lifestyle farms.

People immigrating to Canadian farms are 4 to 1 European descendants. However, people from Asia dominate the new arrivals for the remainder of the Canadian population.

Equal Treatment by EPA

I would like an investigative reporter either in Canada or the U.S. to examine the dumping of raw sewage in our Great Lakes. Agriculture often gets the blame, but what about our large and small population centers that don’t have capacity for their waste? We need to hear the rest of the story.

Great Introduction

I was delighted to be introduced by Orin Samuelson at the Agricultural Retailers Association meeting in Nashville. The famous farm broadcaster of WGN Chicago and I have conducted many programs together. I marvel at his passion for agriculture and that distinguished broadcaster voice. He has been a great coach over the years in helping me overcome my bad public speaking habits. Thanks Orin!

My e-mail address is:sullylab@vt.edu

Editors' note: Dave Kohl, The Corn and Soybean Digest Trends Editor, is an ag economist at Virginia Tech. He recently completed a sabbatical working with the Royal Bank of Canada. He is now back at Virginia Tech with his academic appointment, which is teaching, extension, and applied research.

To see Dave Kohl's previous road warrior adventures type Dave Kohl in the Search blank at the top of the page.

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