WP news editor Bruce Dyck has an alternative energy idea he thinks may generate some buzz. | File photo

All abuzz over alternative energy option

Scientists tell us that reducing our use of fossil fuel will be how we stop the runaway climate change train hurtling down the tracks toward the abyss. The question is — how exactly will we do that? There’s solar energy, but the sun doesn’t always shine. There’s wind energy, but the wind doesn’t always blow. […] Read more

Meteorologists are one breed of prognosticator who habitually stick their necks out to predict the future. | File photo

Sticking out a neck can be scary business

I have much admiration for folks who make a living sticking their necks out with bold predictions of one sort or another. They weigh the facts, put their experience to work and share a thoughtful opinion about the future. Many of these people regularly end up in the pages of The Western Producer, particularly in […] Read more

Katie Harris, an animal science student at the University of Saskatchewan, recently installed 30 trail cams around the city, and the results were startling. | Twitter/@RyanKBrook photo

School project exposes city’s wild side

Wildlife was not a foreign concept for me growing up on a cattle ranch beside the Souris River south of Estevan, Sask. Beavers made the biggest impression, and I can remember Dad wrapping chicken wire around a lot of our trees to stop beavers from doing what beavers do. Wild animals became less noticeable when […] Read more


What’s that smell? It’s the past, of course

I’ve said it before in this column and I’ll say it again — those Europeans are a funny bunch. We’ve spilled quite a bit of ink lately writing about the European Union’s refusal to recognize basic science when it comes to agricultural production, whether it be genetic modification, glyphosate or growth hormone use in cattle. […] Read more

“The media” is blamed for just about everything, whether it’s political correctness, invasion of privacy or our kids’ low self-esteem. | Michael Nigro/Pacific Press via Zuma Wire/Rex/Shutterstock photo

Working in the media but not in ‘the media’

The demonization of mainstream journalism in the United States over the last four years is just the climax of a more general disgruntlement with “the media” — not just south of the border but all over the world. “The media” is blamed for just about everything, whether it’s political correctness, invasion of privacy or our […] Read more


This newspaper has always been in the business of not only providing farmers with information to help them do their jobs better but also to show them what their occupation looks like at a particular moment in time.
 | Christalee Froese photo

Publication does not mean endorsement

One of my earlier Western Producer memories is of an innocuous front page photo sometime in the first year of my tenure here. It showed a canoe and paddlers on a river and shouldn’t have caused much controversy. However, someone wrote to the paper complaining about the photo because the paddlers weren’t wearing life jackets. […] Read more

WP reporter/photographer William DeKay recently took second place in the landscape photography category at the Canadian Farm Writers' Federation annual awards for this photo he shot of a farmer kneeling in a sand-blasted canola field.
 | William DeKay photo

WP reporters recognized for their work

Agricultural communicators usually dress up for the Canadian Farm Writers Federation’s annual awards ceremony. This year, they could have attended in their sweatpants. I’ve been lucky enough to take in a few of these events over the years, and they are always given the gala treatment, occurring between supper and dancing on the last night […] Read more

A couple of weeks ago one of our stories told the tale of a young farmer who is using innovative approaches to his farm’s operations. And we left something out.
 | Nathan Jones photo

More apparent than real

A couple of weeks ago one of our stories told the tale of a young farmer who is using innovative approaches to his farm’s operations. And we left something out. Few stories in The Western Producer run as they are written. The silent hands of editors are at work between you and the writers. The […] Read more


How many old elevators, railway stations and small-town movie theatres do we need to keep? | Duane McCartney photo

How much old stuff do we need to keep?

The debate over protecting heritage architecture is often portrayed in black and white terms — either you like old buildings or you don’t — but it’s not always that simple. Three glass and metal skyscrapers are being built in Saskatoon along the South Saskatchewan River to replace a former legion hall, built in 1929, and […] Read more

Corn in central Iowa flattened by the derecho storm. |  USDA/Jeremy Davis photo

Storm hits 37 million acres

Of all things that could go wrong with farming, weather is still the most troubling. Likely this is due to the complete lack of control that farmers have over it. Farmers can get insurance for it, but that never makes up for the losses if it is catastrophic. Once in a great, long while a […] Read more