Letters to the editor – June 13, 2019

We still don’t have responsible drainage Re: “Sask. farmers defend well planned agricultural drainage,” (WP, May 23). The rural municipalities and the Smith Creek Watershed Association proclaim that they take issue with “perplexed by environmental claims that we’re damaging the land.” Although agricultural drainage removes wetlands, it’s more than that. It is the redirecting of […] Read more

Important for farm families to be on same values page

If you find that you are regularly disappointed in things not getting done the way you’d like, it could be because not everyone on the team is working from the same set of core values. Values are core to what your farm business is and what you and your family cherish. Values are traits or […] Read more

Send Chretien to crack China’s coldness?

It was a nostalgic feeling last week to hear the names “Mulroney” and “Chretien” being batted around in the national news again, connected with each other. The former Prime Ministers weren’t fighting, but rather Brian Mulroney was said to be lobbying present PM Justin Trudeau to dispatch Jean Chretien to China to try to fix […] Read more

Growing season precipitation, defined as precipitation since April 1, is below normal in almost all of Western Canada. For a big chunk of central Saskatchewan, precipitation has been less than 40 percent of normal. This is surrounded by an even bigger area that’s between 40 and 60 percent.
 | File photo

Drought becomes top-of-mind issue for farmers

It’s an awful start to the growing season. Western Canada is on the brink of a major crop failure and a severe feed shortage. Miraculous turnarounds have occurred in past years and it’s amazing how much can sometimes be produced with very little rain, but the situation is quickly becoming serious. It’s not rare to […] Read more

Now is the time for farmers to join support programs

Canadian farmers had a rough time of it last year. They’re likely to have it rough again this year. And unless export disputes are settled, 2020 will be rough too. So it is prudent that farmers consider — or in many cases reconsider — registration in government-run business risk management programs. AgriStability and AgriInvest, in […] Read more

Canada can support rural transformation around the world by investing in agriculture, especially for women and small-scale farmers.  | REUTERS/Noor Khamis photo

Rural transformation needs support

June 17 is the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought. This year’s theme is Growing the Future Together and focuses on celebrating sustainable land management and the difference it can play in helping communities around the world lift themselves out of poverty. Walking through her five-acre farm with a smile, Ruth Mitila pointed to […] Read more

Low milk prices prompt U.S. dairy to eye supply management

You can tell every five to 10 years that the American milk situation is getting particularly dire — when they start having discussions about supply management. Dairy farms in the United States are in their fifth year of chronically low milk prices, which declined quickly in late 2014 from about $25 per hundredweight of milk […] Read more

Mental health worth the investment

There is reason for optimism in the latest report by the House of Commons standing committee on agriculture and agri-food on rural mental health. After hearing from 58 witnesses and receiving five briefs over eight months, the committee made 10 recommendations. The conclusions pretty much have it right, but much of it was already known. […] Read more

Families can overlook tax planning during a divorce

The breakdown of a marriage is one of the most challenging issues a family can endure. It tends to be very tense, which can cause tax planning to be overlooked. It is important to know the rules so the total farm assets and cash flow being divided is maximized. The farm In most cases, divorce […] Read more

The WP's Michael Raine talks trade with Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland. | Michael Raine photo

VIDEO: Freeland: the Canadian way for trade and foreign affairs

Looking back only three years, who would have predicted times would change so drastically for Canada’s international trade, especially in agriculture? While there were some not-so-fair trade winds blowing then, largely in countries that were choosing more right-of-centre politicians, in most ways the xenophobes seemed far away. Prior to China’s rejection of Canadian canola, the […] Read more