For many farm families, this summer is almost beyond imagination — farms with zero production. It is difficult to understand how that happens, yet it has. Now, the question is, what to do? | File photo

Options to consider when coping with drought aftermath

Now what do we do? There were certainly concerns late into the winter, and then even more concerns as an early spring approached with a significant (severe in many areas) deficit in soil moisture. But, with every new year there is optimism that the new year comes with the chance for upside and good outcomes. […] Read more

Gut-wrenching decisions can test farmers’ risk tolerance

Some of you will know my background, but most will not. I farmed in western Manitoba for nearly 20 years. My brother still farms there. I watched it rain, freeze and blow. I watched when it didn’t rain. I watched as insects and disease ran rampant. I watched the stress creep into our lives. Always […] Read more


Sometimes the best way to solve a complex problem, such as maximizing farm profit, is to look at the basic aspects that work together to make it complex in the first place. | File photo

Clear understanding of financial details key to success

I’m sure you will have read something in the past that defines the vision and mission of a business, including farms. At the risk of repetition, I’m going to summarize. A vision describes the future state of the farm. It provides insight to the question of what it is you are working toward. Both vision […] Read more

While higher prices are better than lower prices, historically, there has been a consequence to them. | File photo

Commodity price spikes welcome but have consequences

What are your thoughts about the existence of a commodities supercycle? Whether we’re in one is open for debate. From some of the reading I’ve done, even economists aren’t all of the same opinion about the presence of a supercycle. What we do know is that the grain and oilseed sector has seen tremendous price […] Read more


Farm families could benefit by embracing the concept of a predetermined transition. | File photo

Predetermined transition could ease farm succession

Discussion centred around transition tends to focus quite a bit on the generation that is exiting. Thinking about that causes me to wonder how we could determine when someone actually started farming in the first place. We could say it was when someone started working on the farm, but that would be before they became […] Read more

Are farmers in a déjà vu-all-over-again situation? | File photo

Comparing today to the ’70s produces scary possibilities

Yogi Berra, the famous New York Yankees catcher, is credited with saying, “it’s like déjà vu all over again.” He had dozens and dozens of sayings that were funny but provided some meaningful life lessons at the same time. So, I’d like to pose a question: are farmers currently in a déjà vu-all-over-again scenario? Let’s […] Read more

The management activities resource is a step toward a defined management structure. | Getty iImages

Organizational chart can help develop management plan

There is an abundance of information and resources pertaining to a farm’s business vision, but there’s not so much written about a vision for management. In other words, resources to help a farm family determine what they are managing toward. I’m talking about management structure — who manages what, who does what. An organizational chart […] Read more


The goal is to create a purposeful role for the retiring farmer, one that benefits both generations and works to ensure the legacy of the family farm into the future. | File photo

Retiring producers can find meaningful roles on the farm

Here is a rhetorical but really important question. How do we take the wisdom and experience from the retiring generation and pass it on successfully to the younger, or incoming, generation? This wisdom and experience comes from life’s lessons. There’s a saying that you can’t teach experience but that you can teach from experience. Makes […] Read more

Start small and be specific when making changes to the farming operation.  | Getty Images

Many families unsure how to go about making changes

By the time you read this article, 2020 will be in the rear-view mirror. There will be lots written about 2020, most notably the pandemic and including how things have changed and how things will continue to change as a result. This will be a global discussion. Let’s drill the discussion down to the farm […] Read more