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Fewer usually not better, and that includes ag offices

Manitoba might be doing it right. Time will tell, but closing agriculture offices that serve producers in their home regions is never a popular decision. The province announced last week it would close 21 offices, citing it as a way to retain and better use the agricultural budget. Other provinces have made similar changes over […] Read more

Cycling food waste toward livestock feed may seem like a noble approach to handling trash, but it’s not necessarily a safe practice.  | Getty Images

Should livestock be fed our leftovers?

Whether it be from supermarkets, restaurants or household kitchens, people throw away a lot of food. Or rather, they feed it to animals. In many countries such as Canada, close to 40 percent of total food loss comes from these later stages of the supply chain. While cycling food waste toward animal feed may seem […] Read more

Attending pro hockey games, when we're eventually allowed to do that again, is a very different pastime from what it once was. | photo

Watching pro hockey not for the poor folk

Freelancer Mark Kihn wrote a great piece for us recently about what it was like to grow up as a hockey-mad kid in rural Manitoba in the 1970s. If you missed it, you can find it here. As Mark often does, he sent along photos to illustrate the piece, including one of a ticket stub […] Read more

Let’s start with seed. If buying certified seed, your level of assurance is good, but no matter the seed source, we should all be saving seed samples for each crop going in the ground just in case there are problems or questions later.  |  File photo

Potential seeding problems require preparation

This year, more than ever, it will be important to monitor and document all the aspects of crop production where things can go wrong. In the midst of a worldwide pandemic, disruptions are more likely than usual at every step of the supply chain. Let’s start with seed. If buying certified seed, your level of […] Read more

If you’re getting married or moving in with your partner, it may have tax implications. Here is a quick introduction on how these decisions might affect your tax return. | Getty Images

Changes to marital status can have an impact on taxes

If you’re getting married or moving in with your partner, it may have tax implications. Here is a quick introduction on how these decisions might affect your tax return. Common law vs. married Do you have to be legally married for the government to consider you a couple when filing your tax return? The answer […] Read more

Changing faces in U.S. Congress present an opportunity for ag

While 2021 is not 2009, it’s easy to see how some Americans — and many farmers and ranchers — might get confused. After all, a quick look around Washington, D.C., this Jan. 20 will reveal several similarities to the same day 12 years earlier: Joe Biden is in the White House, Nancy Pelosi reigns as […] Read more

Letters to the editor – January 14, 2021

Alta. coal mining approval questioned Re: water allocations for coal development in southwestern Alberta. I am writing in appeal to Alberta ranchers, farmers, and perhaps primarily those who irrigate, with respect to the imposed development of the open pit coal mines endorsed by our current provincial government. I don’t wish to provide lengthy commentary so […] Read more

How much has Western Canadian grain transportation changed in 25 years? A lot, and not at all

Some things have never and probably will never change in Western Canadian agriculture. Number One of those things is farmers’ and grain companies’ constant and chronic complaints of poor and unreliable rail transportation. From 26 years of working at this newspaper, I’m pretty confident stating that grain transportation has been farmers’ biggest problem of the […] Read more

Pintail ducks’ tendency to nest in sparse cover, such as cropland, has resulted in a declining population. | Dave Duncan photo

Pintail — it is the not-so-lucky duck

Although ducks were once maligned by numerous producers because of crop damage to barley and wheat swaths, they are more widely accepted today. That is a result of reduced crop damage due to the prevalence of canola and peas, the advent of straight combining and crop damage prevention and compensation efforts. Many duck populations have […] Read more

Gurdeep Pandher has single-handedly introduced thousands of Canadians to Banghra dancing, the Yukon and an infectious urge to smile.
 | Screencap via

Dancing for the sake of national unity

It’s that time again when news organizations announce who they think did the most to influence the events of the previous year. The most well-known of these is Time magazine’s Person of the Year, and I thought this year’s choice — U.S. president-elect Joe Biden and vice-president-elect Kamala Harris — was less than inspired. What […] Read more