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

Climate change: is it science or religion?

How can one believe in the safety of genetically modified foods and not fully believe in man-made climate change? As a supporter of science, how can you support the former while still having qualms about the latter? For me, it’s because the science has to mesh with personal observations and experience. Otherwise, I’m left with […] Read more

No easy answers to CGC’s systemic issues

What to do with the big surplus accumulated by the Canadian Grain Commission has polarized producer opinion more starkly than any debate since the end of the Canadian Wheat Board monopoly. When the CGC announced that it would provide enhanced services to producers to whittle away $90 million of its surplus, a flurry of news […] Read more

Persistently dry conditions taking their toll

Colour me skeptical, but I don’t think the prairie crop will be as big as some think. Like lots of people, I was fooled last year. The crop turned out much better than expected, but abundant subsoil moisture buffered the lack of rainfall experienced by many regions during the growing season. This year, not so […] Read more

There’s power in individual farm decisions

As farmers, we make important decisions according to what we think will be best for our operations. Taken together, those individual decisions often change the overall economic conditions for the industry. As financial returns tighten in the grain sector, do we try to grow less as a way to decrease the supply and support prices? […] Read more

Healthy skepticism on new technology is good

If you attended Canada’s Farm Progress Show back in Regina in June or the recent Ag in Motion outdoor farm show near Saskatoon, you heard lots of sales pitches for new technologies. As farmers, we’re bombarded by sales pitches all the time. Whether it’s a new seeder, a new seed treatment or a new variety […] Read more

Crop insurance prices out of line with markets

Market prices have declined on some commodities, making the insured price from crop insurance look generous by comparison. This has ramifications for producers who may be hit with low yields this fall. The great debate about the size of the prairie crop will intensify in the weeks ahead. While crop potential is good in many […] Read more

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