Many producers have been practising direct seeding and minimum tillage for 20 or 30 years. Just think of all the sequestered carbon and how much money is involved. | File photo

Carbon credit expectations likely unreasonable

A carbon offset system is unlikely to be as easy as getting gobs of money for the minimum tillage you have already been doing. For years now, decades really, farmers have been told about the carbon sequestering power of minimum tillage. Now, with a rising price on carbon emissions, do some basic math and it […] Read more

Most producers have become astute at purchasing their fertilizer early. | File photo

Variety of factors complicate seeding these days

Every year, the rush to spring seeding has new wrinkles and complications. That’s certainly the case with the 2021 seeding season just weeks away. With plant breeders’ rights protection increasingly prevalent, accessing new varieties isn’t as simple or as inexpensive as it used to be. As for cleaning farm-saved seed, there are many proficient seed […] Read more

AgriStability had many predecessor programs and while the acronyms were different, the programs all worked in much the same way. If there’s some new and better approach, let’s see it. | File photo

Farm groups line up behind the feds in AgriStability

The three prairie provincial governments each enjoy a great deal of farmer support. The same cannot be said for the federal Liberal government. And yet, the situation is completely reversed when you consider the ongoing stalemate over AgriStability enhancements. Farm groups far and wide are calling on the provinces to accept the federal offer on […] Read more


Farm Credit Canada is reporting average farmland prices last year increased six percent in Alberta, 5.4 percent in Saskatchewan and 3.6 percent in Manitoba. | Screencap via fcc-fac.ca

Farmland continues to be a great investment

It’s not quite like the 2011-15 timespan when farmland prices increased by 10 to 20 percent annually, but land prices continued to rise in 2020. Considering the grain price outlook for 2021, values should continue to boom. Farm Credit Canada is reporting average farmland prices last year increased six percent in Alberta, 5.4 percent in […] Read more

In all three provinces, there are options for producers to buy insurance that will more accurately reflect where prices actually end up this fall. | File photo

Get price protection with your crop insurance

Significant differences exist between the crop insurance programs offered in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. One of the major differences comes in how each province handles insured crop prices. While they all rely on crop price estimates issued by Agriculture Canada, Manitoba announces its program details earlier than the other two and therefore uses an earlier […] Read more


As Canadians, we need to figure out how we’re going to reconcile economics with morality when it comes to China. | File photo

Canada must find an answer to the China problem

Got to love China for all the products they buy from us. At the same time, got to deplore China for their human rights record. As Canadians, we need to figure out how we’re going to reconcile economics with morality. The Conservative opposition in Ottawa scored a big political win against the governing Liberals with […] Read more

Amidst the post-pandemic uncertainty, one ramification seems likely — onerous new taxes. | File photo

Post-pandemic tax increases considered likely

By the end of this year, if the worldwide vaccination rollout proceeds on schedule, economies should start to emerge from the crippling effects of the pandemic. Unfortunately, the ongoing economic fallout is difficult to predict. Runaway inflation? Surging interest rates? Wild fluctuations in currency values? Economists seem to have no better clues than usual, but […] Read more

Yes, both major railways continue to make large investments in infrastructure and rolling stock. New hopper cars are shorter while carrying a larger volume of grain. This increases efficiency. The railways deserve some accolades.
 While this is all good news, the situation isn’t quite as rosy as it looks.
 | File photo

Issues persist despite record grain movement

Yes, the railways have continued to set grain movement records month by month, and yes it’s a welcome change from last year when a railway strike, derailments and illegal blockades created yet another grain transportation nightmare. Yes, both major railways continue to make large investments in infrastructure and rolling stock. New hopper cars are shorter […] Read more


Current grain rally has ramifications; be prepared

The seismic shift in grain prices over the past few months has wide-ranging ramifications, some of which we’re already seeing and others that are likely to materialize. While many factors have combined to generate the rapid rise in fertilizer prices, strong grain prices are front and centre. When corn, canola and wheat prices all increase […] Read more

The most watched seeding intention is canola, and Agriculture Canada is predicting a three percent increase to about 21.4 million acres. | File photo

Decisions to be made as battle looms over acres

A monumental acreage battle is shaping up for this spring. Viewed in isolation, most grains, oilseeds and specialty crops appear to be a good bet for profitability and therefore an acreage increase, but there are only so many acres to go around. The Market Analysis Group of Agriculture Canada has taken a stab at predicting […] Read more