At the end of each year, we like to share with readers the most popular online stories from the previous 12 months. This gives us an indication of what people like to see, and readers can take the measure of what fellow farmers like to read. So here are 2017’s top stories:
10. Grain bag slashing angers farmer. Published in January, this story detailed how vandals had slashed 13 grain bags belonging to seven different farmers in the Rouleau, Sask., area.
9. From zero to 5,400 acres in five years. This story from July described how Kindersley, Sask., farmer Darryl Klassen parlayed a custom spraying business into a successful farm.
8. Heartbreaking harvest for young farmer. Published in September, this story detailed how Dallas Moneo, a 24-year-old farmer from Assiniboia, Sask., was hit hard by the drought conditions.
7. Farmers overcharged nearly $100 million in CGC user fees. In January, the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association demanded that nearly $100 million in surplus user fees collected by the Canadian Grain Commission since 2013-14 be returned to grain farmers.
6. An isolating illness: talking about mental health. In August, cattle farmer Trewett Chaplin, near Craik, Sask., explained that social isolation and stress takes its toll on farmers.
5. Glyphosate on feed affects livestock: vet. Published in October, a Saskatchewan veterinarian blamed glyphosate in feed for his livestock’s health issues, but Monsanto disputed that.
4. Drought predicted for Alberta this summer. In May, AccuWeather predicted that central and northern Alberta should brace for a summer drought.
3. Sask. budget: PST, land, education farm fuel taxes increased. Premier Brad Wall’s last budget, issued in March, increased the sales tax to six percent and expanded the PST, but a $1.3 billion deficit was projected.
2. Dumped canola kills cattle. In November, a pile of treated canola seed that Harris, Sask., farmer Bill Laing discovered lying on the ground in a pasture killed his Black Angus bull and two pregnant Charolais cows.
1. Tax changes impact could be ‘humongous’. In August, the federal government announced tax changes that could affect incorporated farms, making it more difficult for full-time farmers to share income with spouses and children, among other issues. The changes were eventually altered.