This is the season for new crop pricing information

Starting next week with Crop Production Week / CropSphere / Crop Production Show in Saskatoon, this is the season for crop marketing information. And this doesn’t necessarily mean the market outlook presentations featured at the various meetings. Oh, I still like listening to a good analysis of supply and demand, but predicting what a crop […] Read more

Analyst sees aura of stagnation around productivity

Agriculture has been the productivity star of the Canadian economy for the past 50 years, says John Stackhouse of the Royal Bank. But he also says that predictable productivity improvement seen almost every year is flagging and he’s not sure why. He told the Ontario Federation of Agriculture’s annual meeting that for agriculture to become […] Read more

Letters to the editor – January 9, 2020

Neonics report questioned Re: “Wetland data may point to lower neonic risk,” (WP, Dec. 6, 2019). Recently, The Western Producer ran a news report that gives an industry lobby group a platform to cast doubt upon widely accepted scientific opinion on the environmental risks of neonicotinoid use. In the article, the vested-interest position of the […] Read more


Producers are justifiably upset over a carbon tax that applies to the propane and natural gas used for grain drying, particularly in a year when such a large percentage of grain has had to be dried. Gasoline and diesel for farm use is exempt. Why not propane and natural gas?
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Government support for farmers seldom simple

Increase AgriStability support to 85 from 70 percent of the reference margin and compensate producers for the carbon tax expense on grain drying. Farmer and farm group seem to have galvanized around these two requests, but neither are as simple or effective as they seem. Producers are justifiably upset over a carbon tax that applies […] Read more

The federal government’s recent estimates show it doesn’t have a problem spending money — just not, apparently, on business risk management programs for agriculture.  |  File photo

Bibeau buys time; BRM not a priority

The federal government is buying time when it comes to making drastic improvements to AgriStability and other business risk management programs. Last month federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau announced minor, cost-free tweaks to AgriStability during the same week the public was given an updated look at Canada’s fiscal situation. That update shows the Liberal government […] Read more


EU COOL rules can be difficult to sort through

An access to information and privacy request acquired by The Western Producer shows how complicated the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement is to sustain. A Nov. 30, 2018, email between Agriculture Canada staff included a background document on Poland’s move to introduce mandatory country-of-origin labelling for fresh potatoes, despite the Canada-European Union trade deal’s tariff […] Read more

The relationship between the assets and liabilities of a business is a key measurement that farmers should watch carefully.  |  File photo

Making sense of what your balance sheet is telling you

Balance sheets and statements of net worth both include assets and liabilities. The difference between the two is that a statement of net worth will have capital assets, such as land and quota, reported at fair market value. Balance sheets have capital assets valued at original cost, minus amortization for depreciable assets, such as buildings […] Read more



A look at sustainability and its implications for farming

Last year in this space I wrote that agriculture has the potential to change the world. This year in our “Issue 52” edition, we focus on what it will take to change the world in a sustainable manner. These approaches to agriculture — sustainable, regenerative: what they mean and why they matter — are partly […] Read more

The sooner your succession conversations happen, the better. Farm families should start writing down what the deal looks like to ensure everyone is clear on the terms.  |  Getty illustration

Succession planning crucial for financial sustainability

Tough decisions and conversations will need to be made, say experts, but it will ensure a smoother transition

Families that are beginning the process of transitioning the farm should follow a number of general rules for it to be financially sustainable, say tax specialists. The key to any succession plan, no matter what stage it’s in, is communication between family members, said Riley Honess, a senior manager in tax with KPMG in Lethbridge. […] Read more