The agricultural industry must work to ensure that misunderstandings about modern agriculture are not embedded in legislation and regulation.  |  File photo

Ag must work hard to woo new gov’t

The federal election is over and it is now incumbent upon all parts of agriculture to work with the government given to us by the people. There are good places to start. The Barton Report outlined the key role that agriculture will play in the development of the Canadian economy. Based on the report this […] Read more

Moe should reconsider all-or-nothing calls on carbon tax

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe’s unrealistic but unrelenting calls for a one-year break from the federal carbon pricing plan are not helping farmers resolve the legitimate grievances they have with the program. The federal plan, while not free of flaws, is more adequately equipped to deal with the realities of climate change than the one put […] Read more

Let’s have a Canadian conversation

Division happens with any election. Saskatchewan and Alberta saw some stark ones as compared to the rest of Canada in the most recent public contest of national direction. However, there weren’t too many Liberal and NDP members of Parliament in those provinces to begin with, so dropping a few more appears to be over-interpreted as […] Read more


Recent boom years have likely come to an end

Canadian farm income took a nosedive in 2018 and that could be a harbinger of what the numbers will do in 2019 and beyond. Statistics Canada has released an interesting analysis of realized net farm income going back to 2008. The StatsCan report digs deeper than just the raw numbers providing rationale for the major […] Read more

Variety of options available when saving for the future

Saving for the future is difficult. It is especially tricky when running cash-intensive operations such as farming or ranching. A lot of the cash flow may need to be invested in the farm to cover debt or to continue to grow. However, having diversity in savings and investments can be crucial for those tough times. […] Read more


Farmers’ attitudes and realities evolve over a quarter-century

(And so does the observer)

Farmers sure have changed in the past 25 years. Or have I changed in the quarter-century I’ve been covering farmers and farming for The Western Producer? Do the same things just look different to my older, more experienced and physically degraded eyes? It’s probably a bit of both, but looking back over these 25 years […] Read more

The Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Crops plans to consult with producers, farm organizations and scientists to develop a code of practice for crops over the next 30 months. | Screencap via sustainablecrops.ca

Grain code of practice proposal has drawbacks

The quest for a code of practice governing grain growing is admirable, but the result will be a complex document that may cause farmers to adopt some of these practices whether they like it or not. The Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Crops plans to consult with producers, farm organizations and scientists to develop a code […] Read more

Agriculture must be seen as a climate solutions provider.  |  File photo

Don’t throw agriculture under the truck

It is said that Albert Einstein once opined that everything should be as simple as it can be, but not simpler. Mark Twain is credited with saying that you should never let the truth get in the way of a good story. But when you get into the midst of an election campaign, or engage […] Read more


With many producers upgrading their systems this year, more used dryers are on the market, but some are decades old and look rather scary. The time to buy a used dryer is after a couple years without prolonged harvests. | File photo

Wet harvest makes producers look at grain drying

The 2019 harvest from hell has many producers assessing their grain drying capability. This includes upgrading current systems to add capacity and automation, while for others this means a first foray into grain drying equipment. In some regions, grain drying is a fact of life for most harvests. In other regions, there will be years […] Read more

Conversation around agri-food shows progress

The not-so-easy task of figuring out the best policy to sustain Canada’s food systems on a domestic and international scale recently took a step forward in Ottawa. In gathering more than 200 people involved in every aspect touching the agri-food industry — producers, processors, manufacturers, policy makers — Canada 2020’s National Forum on Agri-Food dispensed […] Read more