Spousal trusts can be useful when managing farmland

Spousal trusts seemed more common in the past than they are today. Generally, they were used to ensure your spouse could have adequate income from the farm assets you left behind, but they limited the control of these assets so they would pass to the next generation. We have heard horror stories of re-marriage situations […] Read more

This year looks like it will be close to a record year for grain movement in Western Canada.
 | File photo

Rail, infrastructure gains give reason for optimism

Canada’s two major rail companies have taken heat over the last few years for failure to provide consistent movement of agricultural products. However, now it looks like genuine change is underway. The turnaround is remarkable. After a difficult winter in 2013-14, which the Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission says cost around $6.5 billion, and more difficulties […] Read more

If the dairy industry is getting government money over trade issues, why not grain farmers?
 | Paul Yanko photo

Subsidy cheques not the answer for grain producers

The announcement of direct payments to the country’s nearly 11,000 dairy farmers has some in the grain sector calling for comparable support. Individual dairy producers will receive a significant amount of money. A total of $1.75 billion has been earmarked over eight years. In the first year, payments of $345 million will be made to […] Read more


Pushing the politicians on trade

A federal election is coming this October. Now is the time for farmers to push for policies that will allow agriculture to deliver economic growth. Agriculture and agrifood give more jobs to Canadians than the auto and aerospace industries combined. But our jobs are spread out across Canada and not concentrated in big centres. That […] Read more

The 326-page 2019-2028 Agricultural Outlook was released in July. In it, economists from the OECD and FAO said the next decade could be difficult for farmers because of excess supply and slowing demand for agri-food commodities. | Screencap via oecd-ilibrary.org

Analysis: Food crisis? How about a price crisis when it comes to commodities?

Shocking, stupid and scandalous. Media stories that seize the public’s attention usually feature one, or all three, of those attributes. One such story, from the world of agriculture, was a report from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The 326-page report, the 2019-2028 Agricultural […] Read more


American farmers are being hurt, at least in part, for supporting a political leader who believes in trade wins rather than agreements. But U.S. President Donald Trump also believes in using the public treasury to defend sectors injured by his actions.
 | Screencap via Youtube/Donald J. Trump

Farmers face tilted market

Looking across the southern border has always created a sense of frustration for farmers on the Canadian Prairies. American farmers have long had it better. Americans’ provide more financial support for their producers. Average farm acreage in Canada has always been larger than in the U.S. neighbouring states because margins were smaller north of the […] Read more

While federalist models differ between governments, the current leadership seems to have entered a new phase of Canadian federalism, which gets especially tricky when it comes to environmental policy. 
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Canadian federalism and its impact on environmental policy

The topic of climate change has been front and centre as the fall election approaches and Trudeau federalism continues to be a mystery. Federalism, by definition, is the split in power between the central government as a whole and the local provincial governments. This means certain policies are executed at various levels including federal, provincial, […] Read more

The pitfalls of payroll deductions and remittance for employers

Granted, payroll obligations are not a simple procedure and the red tape may seem overwhelming at times but it is one area that attracts close scrutiny from the Canada Revenue Agency. Essentially, you have to record and remit deductions for Canada Pension Plan (CPP), employment insurance (EI) and all federal, provincial or territorial income taxes. […] Read more


Getty illustration

Chinese government comments on trade dispute with U.S.

Editor’s note: International trade issues with China, directly with Canada or with the United States, are having an effect on agricultural markets. While we hear a lot about the United States’ position through the Trump administration, we hear about China’s argument largely through snippets of information. We thought it would be of interest to readers […] Read more

The argument for a return to small-scale production would see Saskatchewan return to 1970 agriculture, with millions of acres of summerfallow, high rates of soil erosion and very poor soil organic matter, says U of S professor Stuart Smyth. | WP illustration

CBC interviewee’s suggestions would set agriculture back 50 years

On July 30, CBC radio’s Saskatoon Morning program interviewed Saskatchewan farmer and former National Farmers Union executive Nettie Wiebe, in part, about modern farming practices in Saskatchewan (along with Carla Fehr, both representing La Via Campesina, an international peasant movement). The interview appeared to lack balance by who it decided to invite to speak on […] Read more