Don’t miss out on money by ignoring CEBA

It’s called the Canada Emergency Business Account and it’s been expanded so that most farms now qualify. Don’t let your pride or your disdain for filling out forms prevent you from taking this $40,000 loan and having $10,000 of the loan forgiven. CEBA is part of the massive flow of funds from a wide range […] Read more

Farmer descriptions: if the shoe fits, wear it

In farming communities, your tendencies, successes and shortcomings are on display for all to see. The neighbours know your equipment and they regularly drive by at least some of the land you farm. See if anyone comes to mind in your community based on the following descriptions. Early seeders These folks are renowned for being […] Read more

Herbicide packaging could be more user friendly

In the grand scheme of things, this may seem rather unimportant, but after weeks of herbicide application while trying to dodge gale force winds, here are some thoughts on the packaging of crop protection products. See if you agree and if you do perhaps manufacturers will consider changes. Handling products in bulk is great, but […] Read more

Knowledgeable commissioners needed for CGC

Selection is underway for a new chief commissioner and commissioner for the Canadian Grain Commission. From the description of the process, anyone who doesn’t demonstrate “Canada’s diversity” could have a big handicap in the competition for these positions. A note from federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau says that back in 2016, the prime minister announced […] Read more

Statistics should be taken with a grain of salt

It has long been said that there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics. As long as statistics are accurate, they provide useful information for analysis, but in the case of farm income statistics, what the numbers actually indicate is often open to interpretation. Statistics Canada recently released a raft of numbers […] Read more

COVID-19 fears diminish in many rural areas

I attended a farm auction sale recently and bought a couple hopper bottom bins and an old welder. It wasn’t large by farm auction standards, but it was still a significant gathering of people in this era of physical distancing. People were asked to come alone and only attend if they were interested in buying […] Read more

Farm kids at home may have long-term benefits

Some eternal optimists claim there’s good in everything. While it may be difficult to find much positive in a global pandemic, one side effect may be farm kids with a whole new appreciation for the farm and the work their parents do. This is a broad generality, but kids raised on cow-calf operations tend to […] Read more

Positive indicators can be found in grain sector

Grain farmers should be counting their blessings rather than singing “woe is me” and lobbying for a chunk of the money flowing from Ottawa in a river of COVID-19 support. Other sectors of agriculture have real problems caused by the pandemic and they deserve a lot more attention than the Trudeau government has provided. That’s […] Read more

Much to think about when planning farm inputs

Some farmers stay relatively loyal to one dealer of crop protection products, while others shop for the best price and the cheapest generic. Many have a foot in both camps. Significant dollars are often at stake. A dollar or three or five an acre saved on one specific application may not sound like much, but […] Read more

It may not be the lowest cost, but there’s value in having food producers more directly connected to the consuming public. And there’s security in having small and medium-sized processors capture a much larger share of the market. | File photo

Meat processing sector needs smaller players

The hog industry is in crisis mode, cattle feedlots are losing buckets of money and cow-calf producers are sweating bullets. Few anticipated the magnitude at which meat-processing plants would be hit with shutdowns and slowdowns due to COVID-19. Our food supply chain is proving to be fragile, due largely to the high level of concentration. […] Read more