Farmer-built robot tractor catches readers’ attention

Every once in a while you just know a story is going to be well received. Such was the case when I received an email from WP managing editor Michael Raine a couple weeks ago. Raine is normally a pretty cool customer, part and parcel — I imagine — of the many responsibilities he shoulders […] Read more

Conventional versus organic

When it comes to conventional versus organic yields, it seems the only consensus is that the subject generates a good deal of commentary from WP readers on social media. Last week, WP Brandon reporter Robert Arnason looked at whether organic agriculture, if properly supported with research and extension, could produce a sufficient volume of grains […] Read more

Map collection shows Prairie moisture improving

The moisture situation has improved in the western Prairies in the last couple of weeks. This has relieved stress on crops and pastures, but yield potential has already been severely limited in some areas of Saskatchewan and Alberta. This first map is from Statistics Canada’s Crop Condition Assessment Program. It shows normalized difference vegetation index […] Read more


The Parrish and Heimbecker elevator in southwest Saskatoon is felled using explosives early on the morning of June 20, 2015. | Robin Booker photo

105-year-old grain elevator’s fall captured on photos, video

If a 105-year-old grain elevator falls in the middle of the city, very early on a weekend morning in the spring, does it make any noise? According to the buzz being generated in both traditional and social media this week the answer is an explosive “yes.” The elevator in question was owned by the Parrish […] Read more

Growing season captured beautifully in reader submitted photos

It will be a few months before most producers see the results of their #plant15 efforts, but our photo contest of the same name has already produced a spectacular crop. Nearly 500 entries — 473 to be precise — spanning several countries and two continents were received. My Twitter and Facebook notification sounds can once […] Read more


Readers buzzing over Arnason column on the politics of neonics

Our Brandon-based reporter, Robert Arnason, has proven he’s not one to shy away from the hornet’s nest when it comes to tackling challenging stories. This week, it’s his work on bees and neonics in Ontario that’s really got our readers buzzing via social media. Arnason wrote an opinion piece for his blog stating, “Ontario’s debate […] Read more

Twitter alight with frost talk

Usually in this space Robin Booker and I talk about what’s been popular — the stories already generating traffic — on our website and on social media feeds recently. This week is different. We’re discussing a story whose eventual scope is, unfortunately, just beginning to be understood. As I sit down to write this column, […] Read more

Quill Lakes flooding spawns differing opinions from posters

There’s always a bit of mystery as to why one story “takes off” in social media while another doesn’t. This week, I think a powerful aerial photo may have helped boost one story’s wild popularity. The story is the flooding taking place near the Quill Lakes in east-central Saskatchewan, specifically how it’s affecting the farm […] Read more


Safety of organics prompts fierce debate on Producer’s website

Canada’s food safety system was a popular topic on Western Producer social media channels this past week, thanks largely to the refreshingly candid comments of a University of Saskatchewan professor interviewed by WP reporter Dan Yates. In conjunction with World Health Day, the WHO released a study ­— From farm to plate, make food safe […] Read more

Gordon and Sharyn Bell operate a mobile seed cleaning business from their farm near Herschel, Sask. | Paul Yanko photo

Seed cleaning slideshow

Gordon and Sharyn Bell recently rolled their mobile seed cleaning operation into the farmyard of Bruno Heinrichs, who farms near Herschel, Sask., about 30 km west of Rosetown. Heinrichs had some barley to be cleaned.