More transparency needed on fertilizer prices

Many analysts complain about a lack of grain price transparency in Western Canada, but grain prices are readily available compared to pricing information for fertilizer. Scores of analysts weigh in each day on what’s happening in the marketplace and whether prices are likely to go higher or lower. By comparison, fertilizer pricing is a black […] Read more

News flash. Small to medium sized grain farms can be profitable and progressive. While the trend to larger operations will continue, don’t judge a farm’s success simply by its acreage.
 | File photo

Acreage not best way to judge a farm’s success

How many acres do you farm? It may seem like a straight-forward, natural question, but it isn’t always a comfortable question to answer. Plus, the answer can be open to a lot of interpretation. You’ve probably been asked the question repeatedly if you engage in conversations at farm trade show booths while talking to vendors […] Read more

Big acreage shifts predicted for the Prairies

Agriculture Canada’s Market Analysis Group is forecasting sizable acreage shifts in the upcoming growing season. The predictions are in the Jan. 25 edition of Canada: Outlook for Principal Field Crops. Released regularly, these reports include supply and demand projections from long-time federal analysts. With durum prices running at a discount to most classes of wheat, […] Read more


Farm equipment is a big expense for producers

How many dollars per acre does your farm equipment cost you each year? With the huge range among producers in their equipment investment and the different opinions on how to translate that into a cost per acre, estimating the true cost isn’t an exact science. In Saskatchewan Agriculture’s just released Crop Planning Guide 2019, it’s […] Read more

Crop production cost estimates now available

If you like cropping budget calculations, check out Guidelines for Estimating Crop Production Costs 2019 in Manitoba. It’s freshly posted on Manitoba Agriculture’s website. The publication includes a great deal of detail, even going so far as to estimate fuel use with assumptions for the number of field operations and the consumption of fuel per […] Read more


Grain prices compare favourably to last year

There’s a general impression that grain prices are weak and unimpressive, but comparing prices to those of one year ago paints a different picture. Most commodity prices are better as we start 2019. The Saskatchewan agriculture ministry publishes market trends on its website at saskatchewan.ca/agriculture with information sourced from various grain companies, the Price and […] Read more

Decline in civic duty is a discouraging trend

With the New Year comes farm meeting season. Unfortunately, the business meetings for many of the commissions and associations are often poorly attended. In fact, producers show an amazing lack of interest in the organizations they fund and govern. Quorum requirements differ for annual general meetings, depending on the organization and the province, but sometimes […] Read more

Accelerated capital cost allowance is changed

With the tax changes announced in the federal government’s fall economic statement, farmers can get more capital cost allowance sooner on the purchase of equipment. Some equipment dealers are using this accelerated investment incentive property (AIIP) as a sales tool. Here’s what has changed and what it means in actual dollars. Taxes are certainly not […] Read more


Producers who see the potential merit of more private investment in variety development were also in attendance at the Saskatoon meeting, but since that wasn’t a popular view, those producers didn’t have a lot to say. | File photo

Farm-saved seed royalties not unreasonable

“If this goes through, I’ll be out of business,” said a producer attending the Dec. 4 consultation in Saskatoon on options for farm-saved seed royalties. The comment is indicative of the level of concern — concern out of proportion to the actual proposals. Under the rules imposed on media, comments made during the meeting are […] Read more

Developing a cropping plan is like 3-D chess

Do you have your 2019 cropping plan figured out yet?” I asked an acquaintance recently. “Well,” he said, “I have the October plan and a November plan and soon I’ll develop a December plan. Version 3.0 will probably look quite a bit different than the previous two.” For those who ponder a wide range of […] Read more