Based on current soil sampling frequency data and anecdotal evidence, all farmers are not convinced it is a practice worth the annual expense. | File photo

Invest in consistency, curiosity and conscious analysis

Records indicate the first analytical soil sample was taken in 1914 in Ontario and the practice came to the Prairies in the 1950s and 1960s. Based on current soil sampling frequency data and anecdotal evidence, all farmers are not convinced it is a practice worth the annual expense. A few weeks ago, I conducted a […] Read more

Designing smaller facilities with personalized care allows residents to age in place and to avoid being separated from their spouses. This factor alone is crucial to health, given the fact that perceived loneliness is the No. 1 predictor of premature mortality. | Getty Images

Now is the time for long-term care reform

Canadians have lobbied for long-term care reform for 50 years, but the urgent need for it has become painfully obvious to everyone during the past eight months. Pandemic pressure has resulted in isolation protocols, capacity restrictions and clear examples of unethical patient treatment. There is growing evidence that long-term care needs to move toward a […] Read more


Farmers are known for their long work days and often inabilities to take time off. Going so far as to take pride in their lack of work-life balances. Maybe the next generations of producers will spend more time on family, community and even themselves than the ones who came before them.  |  MIke Raine photo

Why do we work so much?

It was a beautiful late September day, 24 C with a light breeze. I had just finished spraying for the afternoon and was scheduled to switch my uncle off the combine around 4:30 p.m. With an hour to spare, I had an idea. So, I announced on the radio “Just finished spraying. I’ll go for […] Read more

Modern farms need to be healthy: financially, mentally and physically.  |  File photo

COVID sheds light on importance of health on the farm

Farmers have always been connected to several aspects of a healthy lifestyle. As food producers, we’re closely connected to the lifecycle of food, from field to fork. We’re also early pioneers of the concept of community, which happens to be a primary factor for self-reported happiness. But as agriculture has evolved, have we lost aspects […] Read more


Shelves that normally, pre-COVID-19, would hold bathroom tissue are wiped clean at a grocery store in Warman, Sask. March 26.  |  William DeKay photo

Context is everything and trade-offs exist with COVID-19

Likely the most prominent question on most farmers’ minds is, “what impact will COVID-19 have on my farm business?” With so many unknowns, the impacts will be immediate and multifaceted, yet also long-standing from an economic, environmental, and social perspective. The largest mobilization since the Second World War prompts important questions. What unaccounted for positive […] Read more

Farmers are often forced to obtain their spray water from deep wells when dugouts dry up, but this water can have high concentrations of bicarbonate, which can cause problems with herbicides.  |  File photo

Spray water quality top of mind during dry conditions

Spray water has become a hot topic in the last few years as surface water dries up and farmers seek out new water sources for spraying operations. Knowing the quality of your water is important for effective spray operations, yet it’s surprising how many farmers haven’t had their water tested. A water analysis is the […] Read more

Water quality is critical to successful herbicide applications. |  Michael Raine photo

Spray water quality top of mind, especially when it’s dry

Spray water has become a hot topic in the last few years as surface water dries up and farmers seek out new water sources for spraying operations. Knowing the quality of your water is important for effective spray operations, yet it’s surprising how many farmers haven’t had their water tested. A water analysis is the […] Read more


As farms work to discover what lies beneath the data of their operations there are many things is consider, including the provider of choice.   |  Michael Raine photo

Farms adopt digital ag platforms for better decision making

Generating digital data has been a part of many farms for a few years, but only within the last couple have digital ag platforms flooded the marketplace. A digital ag platform is software that allows farmers to generate meaningful information from equipment for crop scouting, farm management, soil mapping and record keeping. A lot of […] Read more

Sustainability, best practices and processes should be verifiable.  |  Katelyn Duncan photo

Verification systems necessary for best practices

The word sustainability means something different to everyone, and this is somewhat problematic. If I were to ask an entire room of farmers if their farm is sustainable, likely every one of them would raise their hands. It seems odd, considering that no two farms are the same. Current sustainability dialogue for grain crops is […] Read more