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 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

Intercropping advantage is not just yield

Intercropping has garnered a significant amount of interest in recent years. The jury is still out on whether this practice will grow to be hundreds of thousands or even a million or two acres across Western Canada, but there can be significant advantages to growing two crops together and separating the seeds after harvest. For […] Read more

Sask. drainage rules ratchet up the tension

In areas of Saskatchewan where water drainage is an issue, the new Water Security Act appears to be a disaster in the making. Drainage is contentious, but many observers say the new act is going to raise tensions between neighbours and result in ridiculous restrictions on even minor drainage efforts. Online surveys are the new […] Read more

Cropping shifts already evident on Prairies

The 2019 growing season will see some big cropping shifts. It’s unusual for trends to be this clear so far in advance, but we’ve seen some unusual factors in the marketplace. In general terms, durum, lentils and soybeans will be planted on much fewer acres with canola, spring wheat and barley picking up most of […] Read more

This important ag group keeps a low profile

Working quietly behind the scenes on difficult and complicated issues, the Canada Grains Council has become the country’s most important agriculture lobby organization. You may never have heard about it. The council is rarely in the news and most farmers across the country have only a vague notion or perhaps no notion at all about […] Read more