What’s best — fungicide by air or by ground?

With all the science touted within modern agriculture, it’s amazing how many simple questions are not easily answered. For instance, what gets the best bang for your buck — fungicide applied by air or fungicide applied with a ground rig? Aerial applicators are quick to point at the advantage of no tracks in your field, […] Read more

Good equipment available at reasonable prices

It has become fashionable to complain about the high price of farmland and how it’s difficult or even impossible for young people to get a start in farming these days. However, if you look at the selling price of older farm equipment, this is a great time to start farming. You can be very well […] Read more

Discovery of GM wheat plants highlights risk

So why even announce to the world that a few plants of genetically modified wheat have been discovered on an oil rig access road somewhere in southern Alberta? The obvious answer is that you want to be honest and transparent. Even though there’s absolutely no health risk from this GM wheat, a failure to go […] Read more

Producers must prepare for unexpected losses

You always assume (hope) that it won’t happen to you, but I happen to be one of the producers unpaid by Canadian Exotic Grains of Eston, Sask. I’m darn glad that the company was licensed and bonded by the Canadian Grain Commission and I’m hoping the bond is adequate to cover what’s owed to producers. […] Read more

The fact and fiction behind farmland prices

Who or what’s to blame for high farmland prices? It’s interesting how that question is being asked, implying that there must be blame involved and that we all agree that high land prices are bad. A Canadian Senate committee recently came out with an underwhelming report saying that farmland prices are threatening the viability of […] Read more

Using older equipment means living with quirks

Running older equipment certainly has its challenges. Sometimes nagging little problems can be fixed. Other times, you just live with the quirks and learn to work around them. The farm has a lot of equipment refinements and modifications. Some probably look silly, but they work. We like our seed cart, but the loading auger is […] Read more

After predictions of a record canola acreage and a drop in pulse crop acres, traders and analysts are doubtful of Statistics Canada's predictions for smaller canola acreage, much larger wheat acres and only minor reductions in pulse acres. | File photo

Statistic Canada’s credibility is on the line

It appears to be a pivotal juncture for Statistics Canada and its field crop reporting. When the highly anticipated seeding intentions report was released on April 27, most of the grain trade dismissed the numbers as completely wrong. It’s not unusual for the trade to second guess information from StatsCan surveys. Often, it’s a timing […] Read more

Take time to breathe this seeding season

Overwhelming — that’s how spring can feel as you try to get everything lined up for seeding. Initially, it’s too wet for a lot of preparatory jobs. You can’t start working on the drill until you can get hooked to it and get it parked on a dry spot in the yard. Some producers have […] Read more

Long-term view needed on wheat quality

You shouldn’t shoot the messenger, or in this case the regulator sending out the message. On April 20, the Canadian Grain Commission issued a news release announcing that five more varieties of Canada Western Red Spring wheat are being moved to the Canada Northern Hard Red wheat class effective August 1, 2021. The reassignment comes […] Read more

Intercropping still faces unanswered questions

Many producers, myself included, are intrigued by the concept of intercropping — growing two crops together and separating the seeds after harvest. Interest is at an all-time high, but it’s tough to predict whether the practice will ever command a significant acreage. Some crops, such as chickpeas and flax, would seem to have natural synergies. […] Read more