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dairy cattle

Forage fed vs. corn silage in dairy cattle

Quebec researcher says that since dairy farmers are paid based on components, forage-fed cattle can outperform those fed on corn silage

Corn silage use is trending on Quebec’s large dairy farms, but Valacta’s Robert Berthiaume argues farmers who run against the herd can bulk up their bottom line with perennial forages. “If you make the best use you can of perennial forages, you can make a lot of money, at least as much or more than […] Read more


The brother and sister advantage: Melinda Foster-Marshall and Mark Foster of Jockbrae Farms

Just because they’re siblings doesn’t mean Melinda and Mark instantly agree on everything. But they have a system for finding common ground, and once they’ve found it, they commit

Mark Foster and his sister Melinda Foster-Marshall never thought they’d be farming together. They had different personalities and routes through high school, but they have created roles and responsibilities and processes that are allowing their individual strengths to create a successful farming business. Melinda has a degree in geological sciences from Queen’s University and was […] Read more



The brother and sister advantage: Tom and Suzanne Pettit of Misty Glen Holsteins

There can be a kind of magic in a brother-sister relationship that helps them run a better farm business

A small but growing number of brother-and-sister farms across Canada are rewriting the rules on how families farm together in a new spirit of gender equality. Even more than that, though, they’re showing the rest of the industry how to step up their productivity with new management strategies that let every member of the team […] Read more


Building on 255 years

On this Nova Scotia farm, the ninth generation takes a decidedly modern approach to soybeans

Two and half centuries is a long time for a family to be farming. But brothers Craig and Brian Newcombe are leveraging the latest cropping techniques and business smarts to build the farm for the 10th generation of Newcombes. Part of the ninth generation of Corn­wallis Farms near Port Williams, N.S., the Newcombes manage a […] Read more



Liberals boost tax on quota

Planning to sell quota that is held in a corporation? Get some strategic tax planning, quick

Not surprisingly, the national media focused on proposals like the new tax-free Canada Child Benefit program when the Justin Trudeau government presented its first federal budget back in March. Buried underneath all the feel-good news, however, were some potentially painful changes to Eligible Capital Property (ECP) tax rules for incorporated businesses. Common examples of ECP […] Read more


Young farmers getting a head start

Among supply management’s successes are its programs to help young farmers get established

“We’ve got a lot of young people coming in,” says Tim Lambert, CEO of the Egg Farmers of Canada. Like others, he credits board programs that give young farmers preferential access not only to quota, but to training in business leadership, and management. Yet underpinning it all, says Lambert, is income security. “They earn a […] Read more



dairy cattle

Their quota of doubt

TPP may not have opened the floodgates, but it will let in enough imports to alter the outlook for Canada’s dairy farmers

It would have taken a lot more than a butter knife to cut the tension on dairy farms across Canada this past year while the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiators were talking behind closed doors. So now that the deal is out in the open, and now that it appears — at least on the surface […] Read more


Taking control of their dairy future

For this young couple, the future means a multi-pronged business strategy, with cost control, diversification and a focus on efficiency

Just as the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement was being signed last fall, Cam and Stephanie Murphy were signing a very different sort of partnership agreement. They were becoming part owners of a 45-cow dairy farm near Hastings, two hours east of Toronto. Together with Stephanie’s parents, Dean and Carol Warner, they took on a seven-figure debt […] Read more



Focusing on efficiency in dairy production

The good old days aren’t coming back, but the Bassas believe success is still possible for farms that focus from top to bottom on efficiency

In 1991, Piet and Ina Bassa sold their dairy farm in Holland, packed up their family and headed to Canada, leaving not only Europe’s high costs but also its tough environmental regulations and manure quotas that made expansion almost impossible. Importantly, their sons, Jan and Kees, were keen to start farming, so the family bought […] Read more


Profitability and sustainability in the dairy business

Kevin MacLean wants consumers and politicians to know how valuable supply management is for Canada

For Kevin MacLean, the cost of quota is just part of being in a business he loves. “I’ve never seen quota as a risk. Just like you need land to crop, you need quota to dairy farm. It’s a long-term investment.” MacLean echoes a sentiment sometimes heard in country circles. There are two things you […] Read more