Manitoba premier Brian Pallister announced this morning that Ralph Eichler has once again become the province's agriculture minister. | Screencap via YouTube/Government of Manitoba

Eichler returns as Man. ag minister

In a surprise move, a former agriculture minister in Manitoba has been re-appointed to the job. Manitoba premier Brian Pallister announced July 15 that Ralph Eichler has once again become the province’s agriculture minister. Eichler served in that role from 2015-19, following the Progressive Conservatives’ election in the spring of 2015. He will replace Blaine […] Read more

Precipitation statistics reveal year of struggles

Precipitation statistics reveal year of struggles

Heat has also been a problem, and market analysts believe canola yields could be 50 percent of normal on many farms

Winnipeg is short an entire foot of moisture. In a normal year, the city and much of eastern Manitoba receives about 520 millimetres of precipitation in the form of rain and snow. However, from Aug. 1, 2020, to July 15, 2021, the Environment Canada weather station in Winnipeg has recorded 232 mm of precipitation, which […] Read more

Health Canada’s proposed new maximum residue levels for glyphosate would move them closer to American and international regulations. | File photo

Glyphosate MRLs may be increased

In May, Health Canada proposed increasing the maximum residue levels of glyphosate for commodities such as oats, lentils, peas and beans. Canadians had 75 days to comment on the changes. The consultation period ended July 20. For certain crops, the proposed MRLs are higher than previous levels. The Canadian Organic Trade Association said this is […] Read more


A coalition of farm groups is asking Manitoba producers to consider all options before harvesting a drought-damaged crop this summer. | File photo

Greenfeed and silage needed in Manitoba

There’s an abundance of poor-looking crops across Manitoba this summer. Many cereal and oilseed crops are short with thin stands and low yield potential because of a drought that stretches back to the fall of 2019. That problem, though, represents an opportunity to help livestock producers in the province who are facing a shortfall of […] Read more

There is some green vegetation on this pasture west of Langruth, Man., but 85 percent of the grass was brown in the first week of July. Pastures across much of Manitoba’s Interlake and Westlake region look similar this summer because of a drought that stretches back three years. | Robert Arnason photo

Cattle head to auction markets as Manitoba pastures dry up

The Ashern Auction Mart doesn’t normally hold sales in the summer. That’s because cows and calves are on pasture and producers don’t have a need to market their cattle. But in early July, the auction market, about 180 kilometres north of Winnipeg, held a sale “due to the drought,” its website says. On July 7, […] Read more


A buckwheat de-hulling plant in Manitoba says contracted acres are down this year because fewer growers were interested in the crop. | File photo

Strong price competition affects buckwheat

Acres are expected to be down this year because of high prices for other commodities such as canola and soybeans

In most years, a contract price of $17 per bushel is sufficiently high to entice farmers to grow a crop. That’s not the case in 2021 for buckwheat. With canola at $15 to $18 per bushel and soybean futures around US $14.50, it’s difficult to convince a farmer to try an unfamiliar crop like buckwheat. […] Read more

Manitoba premier Brian Pallister announced this morning that Ralph Eichler has once again become the province's agriculture minister. | Screencap via YouTube/Government of Manitoba

Eichler returns as Man. ag minister

In a surprise move, a former agriculture minister in Manitoba has been re-appointed to the job. Manitoba premier Brian Pallister announced this morning that Ralph Eichler has once again become the province’s agriculture minister. Eichler served in that role from 2015-19, following the Progressive Conservatives’ election in the spring of 2015. He will replace Blaine […] Read more

Canola futures have exploded since last Friday as buyers have realized that 35 C weather and the drought across much of Western Canada could severely cut into canola yields this summer. | File photo

Canola futures inch toward $1,000 a tonne

As of 11 a.m. CDT this morning, canola futures were trading at $920 per tonne. That is $20.80 per bushel, and perhaps the highest price ever for a new crop canola contract. At one point in the morning, canola briefly touched $949 per tonne. Canola futures have exploded since last Friday as buyers have realized […] Read more


New crop barley prices reached more than $5 a bushel this year, prompting many growers to add it to their rotations. | File photo

Strong prices prompt recovery in barley acres

Analysts think some acres were lost to canola this spring, but seeded area for the crop still higher than it has been for years

Barley acres in Canada will top eight million in 2021, the first time barley has reached that level since 2009. Statistics Canada, in its June forecast, pegged Canadian barley acres at 8.3 million. That’s up 10 percent from last year and an increase of 45 percent from 2017, when acres sank to a low of […] Read more

Even the dogs went in search of shade last week as temperatures reached the high 30s C to mid-40s C across much of the Prairies, but this is not the first time that heat waves have caused problems for the region. | Mike Sturk photo

Hotter nights cause problems for crops

The historic, unprecedented, scorching, roasting and record-setting temperatures across Western Canada in late June and early July have been bad news for canola crops on the Prairies. Canola prefers cool weather during the crop’s flowering stage because prolonged temperatures above 30 C usually cause heat blast, which shortens the bloom period and reduces yield. Temperatures […] Read more