Get the most from your investment

A key motivation in farm business management is increasing shareholder or owner value. This is accomplished by sustaining profit over the years and leaving as much of it as possible in the business. A farm can increase its value through capital appreciation of land and quota. There is also an accumulation of machinery and buildings, […] Read more


Understanding cost per acre ensures profitable expansion

Producers spend a lot of money on labour, power and mach-inery. Management has the most control over this category of expenses. When analyzed together, it can give producers a clear picture of the real cost per acre of their operations. Unfortunately, many operators still wrongly believe that these costs — especially machinery, which is often […] Read more


Getting away for winter can have tax implications

Making the short trip to a sunshine state to avoid the cold Canadian winter does not seem like such a bad idea for western farmers. Since last summer, these “snowbirds” may have found it tempting to extend their stay in the sun because of the news that the U.S. Senate is considering changing immigration legislation. […] Read more




Separating family, business priorities creates challenges

When I ask farm families to list what they value most, “family” usually makes it into the top three positions, if not the top. However, mixing family and business can be tricky. It can be a strength and a weakness. It is a strength because the support of family can help individuals and the business […] Read more



EU farm payments an omen for Canada?

Reforms to the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy could have reverberations in Canada, says a farm leader. The European Parliament, the EU Council of Ministers and the European Commission recently reached an agreement on setting a new direction for a policy that accounted for 43 percent of the EU’s budget in 2011. “What’s of interest […] Read more


How to keep family healthy without breaking the bank

As a farmer, you manage the finances of your business and know how hard it is to earn and keep a dollar these days. Even tougher is spending that hard earned money on paying dental bills and medical expenses for you and your family. The key is to get the most out of your money, […] Read more


Schmidt joins Agrium board

Hedge fund unhappy | Former Viterra president wasn’t on largest shareholder’s wish list

The former head of Viterra has a new position of power on the board of a fertilizer company that could soon be in control of a sizeable chunk of Viterra’s old assets. Agrium Inc. has appointed Mayo Schmidt, former president of Canada’s largest grain company, to its board of directors. The Canadian fertilizer giant has […] Read more



Farmland ownership not a bad idea, but it must make sense

I’ve been advising farmers at kitchen and boardroom tables for 30 years and have been involved in many discussions about land purchases. The price being contemplated was usually well in excess of the productive capacity of the land in question and yet it has continued to increase in price almost without a break. Common pitfalls […] Read more


Growing Forward 2: Interpreting changes in AgriStability and AgriInvest

There is increased negativity these days towards the AgriStability and AgriInvest programs resulting from the recently announced changes that will affect the 2013 program year applications to be filed in 2014. The program budgets were cut; however, there have also been government cuts to areas other than agriculture. The changes have caused producers to question […] Read more