Latest articles


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


corn field

The benefits of GMO corn

There will always be differing viewpoints and opposing scientific studies, but looking at all of the peer reviewed studies offers a balanced consensus on the benefits and risks

It was in 1996 that genetically modified (GMO) crops were first grown commercially, yet the debate still rages over their safety and toxicology as well as over their environmental and agronomic impact. And it doesn’t seem to matter whether you’re a supporter or an opponent, you’ve got a stack of scientific studies you can point […] Read more



harvesting wheat

Out-competed

Again, the Australians are showing us how we’d market our crops if we had our act together

Is the Canadian grains sector being out-marketed globally? This is a question that has nagged me since February 16, the date the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre released new information brochures for Australian wheat, barley, oats, canola and pulses. “These publications are aimed at international purchasers of Australian grain,” the association (AEGIC) said in its […] Read more


Advisor vs. adviser

Are you sure you should trust the person who is advising you on your financial future?

Life, business and farming are all becoming increasingly complicated. As a result, individuals in every walk of life, including farmers, are turning to advisers for help. The public has an expectation that these advisers are highly trained, that they are experts in their field, and that they will work in the best interests of the […] Read more



Opinion: Winners and losers

We should take a much harder look at those yield contests

The following is my opinion. Enough said. This started out as a column that was going to extol the farming abilities of some of the winners of canola growing contests. But as I talked with farmers about how they achieved their amazingly high yields, it became clear to me the highest yield isn’t really the […] Read more


Young man choosing oranges in the supermarket

The new consumer value

While farmers take pride in producing high-quality crops at affordable prices, consumers have moved on

In my previous article I suggested that farmers need some fresh thinking about the value they are producing for the consumer. Unfortunately, the majority of North American farmers still value their production only on the basis of quality and price, whereas research shows that only about half of consumers now base their food purchasing decisions […] Read more



Young farmer in soybean fields

Re-think the basics

An investment broker who cold-called me last month was more than a bit miffed by the time we hung up. Here’s why

During his sales pitch, the investment broker on the phone asked me what the value of land was where I farm. I told him I didn’t know. He sounded peeved and he questioned how as a farmer I could not know the cost of land in my area. I replied that he had not asked […] Read more


High Clearance Sprayer

Glyphosate: the real science

Will new studies that confirm the safety of glyphosate actually stop politicians from banning an essential herbicide?

The study published in the November 9, 2017 Journal of the National Cancer Institute is crystal clear. Called “Glyphosate Use and Cancer Incidence in the Agricultural Health Study”, it says: “In conclusion, we found no evidence of an association between glyphosate use and risk of any solid tumours or lymphoid malignancies, including NHL (Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma) […] Read more



Hand over wheat field in early summer evening.

Finding success

Are we chasing a dream, or living one?

This fall a salesman for a soil amendment product told me that if I used his product, I would be more successful. When I asked him if anyone around was using the product, he replied: “Some of the most successful farmers use it.” In past, salespeople have often told me that using their products will […] Read more


Farmer Walking Through Field Checking Wheat Crop

Join the fight for consumer trust

Every farmer should be in the habit of telling non-farmers to check out www.bestfoodfacts.org

Early on the evening of April 13, 1970, Jack Swigert, pilot of Apollo 13’s command module, radioed the now famous phrase, “I believe we’ve had a problem here.” His words immediately set in motion the incredible teamwork needed to diagnose what had happened and to find a solution to a very serious situation. Since then, […] Read more