This important ag group keeps a low profile

Working quietly behind the scenes on difficult and complicated issues, the Canada Grains Council has become the country’s most important agriculture lobby organization. You may never have heard about it. The council is rarely in the news and most farmers across the country have only a vague notion or perhaps no notion at all about […] Read more

Profitability lacking in many crops this year

As the accompanying table illustrates, returns in the grain industry are tightening. These are Saskatchewan numbers, but Alberta and Manitoba will show similar trends. While some producers will harvest 140 bushel per acre oat crops and 60 bu. per acre canola crops, provincial average yields are much lower and can serve as an indicator of […] Read more

Glyphosate is under siege nationally and internationally. Stopping its pre-harvest use might be a logical step to quell the uprising and preserve the world’s most popular herbicide for other applications.
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It’s time to curtail pre-harvest glyphosate

Glyphosate is under siege nationally and internationally. Stopping its pre-harvest use might be a logical step to quell the uprising and preserve the world’s most popular herbicide for other applications. This wouldn’t stop activists from railing against what they view as an evil cancer-causing poison, but it would go a long way to addressing the […] Read more

Healthy skepticism on new technology is good

If you attended Canada’s Farm Progress Show back in Regina in June or the recent Ag in Motion outdoor farm show near Saskatoon, you heard lots of sales pitches for new technologies. As farmers, we’re bombarded by sales pitches all the time. Whether it’s a new seeder, a new seed treatment or a new variety […] Read more

After predictions of a record canola acreage and a drop in pulse crop acres, traders and analysts are doubtful of Statistics Canada's predictions for smaller canola acreage, much larger wheat acres and only minor reductions in pulse acres. | File photo

Statistic Canada’s credibility is on the line

It appears to be a pivotal juncture for Statistics Canada and its field crop reporting. When the highly anticipated seeding intentions report was released on April 27, most of the grain trade dismissed the numbers as completely wrong. It’s not unusual for the trade to second guess information from StatsCan surveys. Often, it’s a timing […] Read more

How prairie farmers can learn from Quebec

Farmers on the Prairies could learn a thing or two from producers in Quebec. After attending a farm writers’ conference in Quebec City, touring a number of Quebec farms and hearing a presentation from Daniel-Mercier Gouin, chair for the analysis of ag policies, at the University of Laval, some of the differences in Quebec agriculture […] Read more

Most consumers have no idea what GMO really means. All they understand is that it sounds scary and involves corporate agriculture. Therefore, it must be bad.
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Gaining trust difficult when public lacks information

Consumers are always right, even when their views make no sense at all. Among farmers, there’s a growing tendency to despise the nonsensical opinions that are gaining strength among consumers, but maybe we should just pity them for all the conflicting information they receive. A couple years ago, this issue was called social licence. Agriculture […] Read more

Adjust rail revenue cap to encourage investment

Most farmers and farm groups want the maximum revenue entitlement maintained on grain movement by the major railways. The feds are promising to address the future of the MRE in upcoming legislation but haven’t tipped their hand on exactly what they’re planning to do. Without the protection of the MRE, which is also known as […] Read more

Disappointing crop revenue across the Prairies

Despite a large crop, profitability of the grain sector will decline this year. Here’s how crop returns stack up based on Saskatchewan numbers. In Alberta and Manitoba, average yields are somewhat higher, but costs per acre also tend to be somewhat higher so the general trends will be similar in most cases. The yield estimates […] Read more

Plan ahead by evaluating this year’s expenses

As we spend long hours on the combine, it’s natural to reflect on the crop production decisions of the past year and what we want to do differently in the next growing season. Expenses are a big part of decision making and it’s important to look at which expenses were a good investment and which […] Read more