Observers often complain about Canada’s lack of value-added processing. Somehow the canola crushing industry is overlooked. It’s an amazing success story. | File photo

Recent crush announcements herald yellow wave

The planned expansion of canola crushing capacity in Saskatchewan is nothing short of amazing and will have wide-reaching ramifications. Here’s a recap of recent announcements. Ceres Global is planning a 1.1 million tonne facility near Northgate along the United States border. Cargill has plans for a one million tonne crush plant in Regina. Meanwhile, Viterra […] Read more

Once you’ve chosen an in-crop herbicide, the most basic question is how many acres per jug or per litre. All too often, it’s difficult to find the answer.
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Herbicide use can be needlessly complicated

Herbicide use is more complicated than it needs to be. The trouble starts with units of measure and extends through to recommended practices. Once you’ve chosen an in-crop herbicide, the most basic question is how many acres per jug or per litre. All too often, it’s difficult to find the answer. Yes, rates vary for […] Read more

Farm equipment has been hit by a double whammy. The demand for new iron is strong at a time when the pandemic has caused component part shortages limiting the supply of new units. | File photo

Boom times bring with them unique challenges

Economically, the grain sector has rarely been more buoyant and optimistic. Grain prices have surged and drought worries have been reduced by the recent widespread rains. This comes as grain sector income levels were already showing significant increases. It’s the best of times, but that comes with ramifications. The most recent data on land prices […] Read more

A lot of breeding work has been done to improve alfalfa, but a real advancement would be an alfalfa variety susceptible to a low-cost herbicide. | File photo

Improved varieties would reduce herbicide waste

Here are some random ideas for cutting waste, cutting costs and thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Alfalfa is a great forage crop, but as a grain producer who collaborates with cattle producing neighbours, I see it as a difficult-to-control weed. While this deep-rooted perennial will sometimes be killed over winter, trying to kill it with […] Read more

The moisture deficit is serious in a large portion of Western Canada. Widespread rain this week would ensure germination and get crops out of the ground, but frequent and substantial rain will be needed throughout the growing season. I File photo

All eyes locked on the sky as dryness persists

Over the years, I’ve written many columns about moisture concerns and how the lack of rain was going to result in a below average crop either regionally, provincially or across Western Canada. Often I’ve been proven wrong. Rain has arrived and yields have been much better than expected. That makes me hesitant to sound alarm […] Read more

Most producers have become astute at purchasing their fertilizer early. | File photo

Variety of factors complicate seeding these days

Every year, the rush to spring seeding has new wrinkles and complications. That’s certainly the case with the 2021 seeding season just weeks away. With plant breeders’ rights protection increasingly prevalent, accessing new varieties isn’t as simple or as inexpensive as it used to be. As for cleaning farm-saved seed, there are many proficient seed […] Read more

Without a Crop Production Show in Saskatoon, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture missed a prime opportunity to distribute hard copies of many annual reports so website access is more important than ever. | Screencap via

Resources available for production economics

For some inexplicable reason, provincial agriculture departments have a tendency to bury some of their best work deep within their websites where it’s less likely to be discovered. With the amount of time and effort going into some of these reports, there should be more promotion and better website placement. Without a Crop Production Show […] 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

Have you ever considered an equity partner?

Want to expand your farm for the next generation? Want to buy out some of your landlords? Want to work your way out of a difficult financial situation? A Canadian company called Area One Farms partners with producers to meet these sorts of objectives. The company has relied on word-of-mouth advertising and even though it […] Read more

It appears the court cases will continue for years and the settlements will add up to a massive sum. Many farmers don’t have much sympathy for the big input suppliers, but the lawsuits are going to have ramifications down to the farm level.
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Farming without glyphosate forms future

Our heavy reliance on glyphosate is going to change. Exactly how this is going to play out is anyone’s guess, but with the tidal wave of lawsuits alleging cancer from Roundup herbicide the status quo is not sustainable. When the first lawsuits were launched in the United States, many observers expected them to be defeated. […] Read more