Latest articles


Australian banks face rural lending reckoning

Agriculture borrowers say banks need a shorter leash and call for a compulsory farm debt mediation system

Reuters – Australian potato farmer Tom Fox says he had never missed a bank payment in two decades before a delay sending a shipment to Indonesia during a trade dispute between the countries prompted his lender to force him into receivership in 2013. “I got a letter from the bank lawyers saying I had 12 […] Read more


Low loonie not good for farmers right now

CNS Canada — Usually when the Canadian dollar starts to drop lower than its U.S. counterpart it’s good for producers — but this time not so much. Along with the drop, commodity prices have also dropped. “Unfortunately I’m not so sure that what we’ve seen in terms of a decline in the Canadian dollar versus […] Read more



Scientist examining plants in greenhouse

Where are investments in Canadian agricultural research headed?

2018 has been a great year with agriculture attracting acclaim as an economic powerhouse in Canada. But is there enough money in research to score on the opportunity?

“Sunny today but with clouds on the horizon” is how Serge Buy describes Canadian government investment in agricultural research. “There was more willingness for the federal government to invest in budgets 2016 and 2017, and some of the provinces are following suit,” says Buy, who’s the CEO of the Agricultural Institute of Canada (AIC). “That’s […] Read more


Crowd research

Is this crowdfunded program a sign of the way farmers will have to go to get the research that governments are slow to pay for?

It was a cold, mid-April morning near Redvers in the south-east corner of a decidedly un-spring-like Saskatchewan, and the flat fields all around us were still blanketed in white. Between the snow and the clouds, you could hardly tell where the sky ended and the earth began. I had arranged to meet research manager Lana […] Read more



Is there a tipping point on intercropping?

Farmers’ current interest in intercropping has caught some off guard. On November 29, 2017, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture ran an intercropping workshop in Regina. Workshop organizers expected about 40 people. But 140 people showed up, including several from Pennsylvania, Iowa, and Michigan. Sask Ag ran a second intercropping workshop in January, and another 200 […] Read more


Concept of making money agriculture

The funding crunch in agricultural research

Why are Lana Shaw and her colleagues having trouble securing funding for intercropping research? For one thing, funding is generally tight in public ag research. The South East Research Farm receives $75,000 a year for core operations, as do the other research sites in the Agri-ARM network. On top of that, surrounding municipalities have kicked […] Read more



Why don’t we know?

Whether you were in favour of changing the CWB or against it, isn’t it time we get clear, unbiased answers about what the impact has been?

Ask any western grain farmer what is significant about August 1, 2012, and most will tell you it was the day the federal government eliminated the Canadian Wheat Board monopoly on the sale and export of wheat and barley from Western Canada. Some farmers will refer to it as the “grain marketing freedom day.” Others […] Read more


tilmor tractor

The Allis G tractor roars back to life

Ohio company sees a new opportunity for a very old design

The unique design of the vintage Allis-Chalmers model G tractor (or implement carrier, as it could be more accurately described) makes it one of the most identifiable machines at any antique tractor show. It was manufactured from 1948 to 1955. And as Lydell Steiner, project lead on the Tilmor tractor project, sees it, it may […] Read more



Impressing Mom and Dad

There’s more reason than ever for farm kids to prove to Mom and Dad that they’ve got what it takes to be trusted with the farm. Question is: do the kids realize it?

Transitioning the family farm to the next generation is never easy. But how much harder when the parents have their doubts whether their next generation has the skills or the personality to manage the operation? On more and more farms, the wise thing would be for the kids to set out to prove to Mom […] Read more


‘Redirection’

Is it better to keep farming into your 70s, or to retire off the farm in your early 60s? New research suggests that what you may really need is a rewarding change of direction

It’s easy to see the two pincers coming together, at least when you look at farming from a national perspective. The average Canadian farmer is 55, on the one hand, and the average Canadian retires at 62 on the other. But let’s put a best-case face on it. For self-employment Canadians — the category that […] Read more