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

What’s the real story at G3 Canada?

To be a little mouse in the corner listening to boardroom conversations at G3 Canada would no doubt be very interesting. G3 has unflinchingly advanced nothing but positive news on all its country terminal and port terminal projects. Of course, its crown jewel is the big export terminal with loop tracks under construction in Vancouver. […] Read more

When hitting India, save some vitriol for Italy

Indian tariffs on pulse crops have received a great deal of attention. Less well known, but arguably more offside, are the measures keeping Canadian durum out of Italy. Indian tariffs are blamed for decimating pulse prices in Canada, particularly for red lentils. Truth is, pulse exports had practically stalled before the tariffs were applied last […] Read more

It’s not quite deja vu in grain transportation

Railway performance may seem like the same old problem resurfacing, but in many ways, it’s different this time. In the horrible grain backlog of 2013-14, the problem wasn’t universally recognized until the situation was well advanced. The ugliness started early in the winter, but wasn’t fully acknowledged until mid-winter. By then, it was a full-blown […] Read more