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

Farm-saved seed royalties are next battleground

Get ready for a heated debate over royalty payments on farm-saved seed. This contentious issue will be a centre of attention for the Canadian grain sector over the winter. All the players in the seed industry make a strong case for why more funding is needed for wheat and other cereals, and the same model […] Read more

A Canadian carbon tax won’t save the world

Those are great sentiments, but what “we” as Canadians do doesn’t mean a darn thing in the grand scheme. With an estimated 1.6 percent of global emissions, we could discontinue all economic activity and huddle together in igloos and it wouldn’t make a measurable difference in worldwide emissions. As silly as it sounds, some people […] Read more


Profitability lacking in many crops this year

As the accompanying table illustrates, returns in the grain industry are tightening. These are Saskatchewan numbers, but Alberta and Manitoba will show similar trends. While some producers will harvest 140 bushel per acre oat crops and 60 bu. per acre canola crops, provincial average yields are much lower and can serve as an indicator of […] Read more

Extra storage space likely well-used this year

It seems farmers never have too much grain and fertilizer storage. While 2018 won’t go down in history as the biggest prairie crop ever, storage will be at a premium for other reasons. With the lousy harvest weather, a lot of crop will be harvested tough or even damp. It won’t be feasible to sell […] Read more


‘Suck it up Buttercup’ not always helpful

Why all the talk about mental health issues among farmers? Has agriculture really become that tough or has our ability to cope become less with time? The delayed harvest is a major issue in many regions and that’s certainly frustrating and stressful, but it isn’t uncommon. In many recent years, September progress has been limited […] Read more

Glyphosate is under siege nationally and internationally. Stopping its pre-harvest use might be a logical step to quell the uprising and preserve the world’s most popular herbicide for other applications.
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It’s time to curtail pre-harvest glyphosate

Glyphosate is under siege nationally and internationally. Stopping its pre-harvest use might be a logical step to quell the uprising and preserve the world’s most popular herbicide for other applications. This wouldn’t stop activists from railing against what they view as an evil cancer-causing poison, but it would go a long way to addressing the […] Read more

Negotiating with a bully has its challenges

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government may be mishandling many issues, from illegal immigration to the carbon tax, but I do feel a bit sorry for it on the big issue of U.S. trade relations. Whether you think U.S. President Donald Trump is smart like a fox or dumb as a post, there’s no doubt he’s […] Read more


There’s no money to be made with a poor crop

Maybe it’s so obvious that no one bothers to talk about it. Maybe the full gravity of the situation is yet to sink in. Whatever the case, thousands of farms in dry regions of the Prairies are facing poor crops and big monetary losses. For example purposes, let’s assume yields that are near or just […] Read more

Harvesting short crops isn’t always a lot of fun

Crops in many regions of Western Canada are below average and in some areas they’re downright pitiful. You’d think a small crop would mean a faster, easier-than-normal harvest, but that’s not always the case. While less material to stuff through the combine and less production to haul away should theoretically equate to fast and easy, […] Read more