Access to fertilizer might be a challenge this spring.
 | File photo

Producers urged to lock up their fertilizer supplies

Weather problems prevented many farmers from applying fall fertilizer last year, which may cause bottlenecks this spring

Focusing on price might not be the smartest thing in the fertilizer market today. Just getting the fertilizer they need might be a farmer’s biggest challenge this spring. “Storage is going to be key again,” said Ryan Dyck of Archer Daniels Midland during Farm Days held recently in St. Jean, Man. “If you have storage, […] Read more

Ottawa funds plant protein processing facility in Winnipeg

Boosting the value of western Canadian canola and peas is a foundation of new government funding for a plant protein company planned for Winnipeg. While the Merit Functional Foods plant and its processing is expected to add about 200 jobs to the local economy, the underlying focus is on creating more value for the crops […] Read more

Being prepared is key to successful risk management

I was in a hall with more than 100 farmers and nobody was panicking. That was even though these Red River Valley farmers had almost no fall field work done, almost no fertilizer down, many will be facing deep ruts and all will be trying to put a crop into fields that are saturated. On […] Read more


Red River deadlines to be extra tight this spring

Soil is saturated, fields are rutted and covered with trash, almost no fall fertilizer was applied and flooding is expected

ST. JEAN BAPTISTE, Man. — Seeding is always a race against time. This year in the Red River Valley, as well as much of the rest of Western Canada, it might be a full acceleration tear into tight corners with little room for braking. That means farmers need to be set to hit the fields […] Read more

Brendan Grant and Marcelle Paulin farm in northern Ontario with their baby, Lowell Grant.  |  Ed White photo

Northern Ontario farm serves local market

On the Farm: A farm near Thunder Bay supplies people with vegetables through a community-supported program

What kind of crazy people would set up a vegetable farm from scratch outside Thunder Bay, Ont.? Two southern Ontarians with no agriculture education or background, that’s who. And 10 years later, Marcelle Paulin and Brendan Grant have turned Sleepy G Farm into a model for how a small farm can successfully serve a regional […] Read more


Farmers have different approaches toward technology depending upon their general approach to farming, including whether they are risk-maximizers or risk-minimizers, as well as how long they intend to keep farming. | File photo

When should farmers embrace new tech?

When should you embrace the bold technologies that promise to transform your farm? “Figure out when they pay,” says Kansas State University agricultural economist Terry Griffin. That simple approach isn’t easy to apply, with multiple ways of assessing a technology’s return on investment, but it helps simplify the anxiety some farmers experience when they are […] Read more

Older farmers have been quick to embrace auto steering even though they are much less enthusiastic than millennial generation farmers about adopting other kinds of today’s cutting-edge technologies.
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What motivates farmers to upgrade their tech?

Millennials are keener than their baby boomer parents to adopt new technologies. Except for automated steering for farm machinery. Why would that be? Unravelling that mystery revealed much to Kansas State University agricultural economist Terry Griffin about the complexities of technology adoption on today’s farms. Related story: When should farmers embrace new tech? “What’s the […] Read more

Measurements and data can’t eliminate uncertainty for farmers

Farmers farm in situations of great uncertainty. There are many risks. Those two things aren’t the same. That might be why much advice coming from economists and other experts often faces resistance from farmers. “They (economists) rarely talk about uncertainty. They talk about risk… as though you could calculate it. But in many cases you […] Read more


Economists say uncertainty over the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union played a major role last year in dampening growth. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s resounding election victory last month is seen as a signal that a resolution is on the horizon and that the economy could soon accelerate.  | REUTERS/Toby Melville photo

Global economic outlook brightens (a little): expert

The world’s economy should experience better times in 2020 than 2019, say some major market prognosticators. It won’t be a boom, but relief from recent worries should let the globe’s economy keep growing, they guess. “Now, with trade tensions and monetary policy easing concurrently, we think the macroeconomy can continue to make forward progress,” writes […] Read more

Whether it’s predictions about the weather or grain markets in the upcoming year, “reversion to the mean” probably makes the most sense.  |  File photo

Bracing for ‘normal’ markets year seems like a safe bet

At the end of 2018 a dominant proportion of the world’s market prognosticators thought 2019 would host a recession and perhaps a market meltdown. Since then the world’s stock markets have rallied with the Standard and Poors 500 rising more than 20 percent with no general recession appearing. In 2017 and early 2018 the world’s […] Read more