Looking for solutions to the China problem

There are no easy answers, no simple solutions on the issue of China and canola. Some measures and approaches are better than others, but none guarantees a satisfactory conclusion. Going back to the beginning of this mess, some pundits say Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou should have been discretely forewarned to stay clear of Canada. Alternatively, […] Read more

Significant disruptions underway to markets

The future of agricultural trade is in uncharted territory. Buckle up. It could be a rough ride. It’s very difficult to make sense of it all. The best analysis I’ve seen comes from Al Mussell, Douglas Hedley and Ted Bilyea of Agri-Food Economic Systems based at Guelph, Ont., in a just-released report called Disarray in […] Read more

Philosophical divide seen in ag policy making

The issue of royalties on farm-saved seed has given new life to the National Farmers Union. For many years, the NFU has been largely invisible in farm policy debates. With the seed issue, it has tapped into a farmer and public sentiment that’s more mainstream. In general, many if not most farmers believe they’re being […] Read more


Latest China-canola controversy not easy to fix

Whenever Canadian canola receives national attention, it isn’t usually a good news story. Officially, the Chinese say the cancellation of Richardson canola exports is due to some sort of pest problem in shipments. Although this is highly unlikely, it isn’t impossible. Remember back when traces of unregistered genetically modified flax were found in Europe? Canadian […] Read more

Tough times in pulse industry affect everyone

These are turbulent times in the pulse and special crops industry. If you think farmers have been hit hard, there’s arguably even more economic bloodshed among processors and exporters. Most of the problems stem from the loss of India as Canada’s top market for lentils and peas. Pulse crop exporters have scrambled to find alternative […] Read more


Renting out farmland can be tempting option

If you want to talk agriculture, just head south to a resort in Mexico this time of year. Interspersed in the Canadian crowd of sun seekers are many farmers, often older producers, who can’t help but reflect on their farming business back home and what the future holds. The key question for many: why don’t […] Read more

Peace-of-mind or preying on insecurities?

It’s the time of year when marketing cranks up for all the companies that peddle peace of mind products. In fact, when you think about it, almost everything sold to farmers is a peace of mind product. Did you know that you should treat your seed with Product X so you can sleep at night? […] Read more

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.
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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