Latest articles


The reason for Monosem

This European planter isn’t new, but the mindset behind it is grabbing more attention among producers looking to cut costs and boost performance

With the high cost of farmland, the focus for a growing number of producers these days is productivity. But this is productivity managed with an extremely sharp pencil. That helps explain the heightened interest in Monosem planters, because of their potential role in helping growers reduce their seed costs. Many growers have already attempted to […] Read more


Cross slot seeding

Maybe it’s not a brand new idea, but this technology from New Zealand allows for revolutionary no-till seeding, fertilizer banding and uniform emergence

A common view in agriculture these days is that crop yields jumped more in the past 10 years than they did in the previous 30. And it isn’t just yield. There have been similar spurts too in the design of multi-hybrid planters, variable-rate seeding and newer transgenics. Yet at the same time, a few older […] Read more



UAV regs changing – for the better

Transport Canada looks to streamline and standardize the rules for drone use

The growth in the functionality of unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) over much of the past decade has been steady. From the early days when advisers, dealers, agronomists and laboratories purchased and used the units to derive valuable insights into crop performance to more recent sales of much simpler designs for hobby uses, UAVs have made […] Read more


The FarmLead revolution

The grain marketing portal eases the task of buying and selling grains and oilseeds by expanding your network

“In an ideal world…” We’ve all heard it, and probably said it too. “In an ideal world, corn prices would be $5 a bushel or better,” or “In an ideal world, a one-pass glyphosate application would be all that’s needed.” Obviously, this isn’t an ideal world, particularly in agriculture, where market realities challenge farmers on […] Read more



The crop rotation effect

At last, scientists hope to explain exactly why rotations are such a good practice

It’s one thing to know the benefits of a practice, it’s another to understand the “why,” especially when it comes to biological functions where the road to understanding can be anything but simple. In cropping terms, science has known about the benefits of longer rotations for years, but not about the exact reasons why. This […] Read more


Empty soils

Today’s big-yield genetics really are draining the nutrient supply in our soils

The power of today’s corn hybrids and soybean varieties to exceed farmers’ expectations is a testament to the science of plant breeding, and also to the value of selecting the best elite genetics. That farmers in Eastern Canada have been able to push corn yields to 200 bu./ac. and soybeans to 60 bu./ac., even in […] Read more



Plant Breeders Rights not so simple

New regulations give PBR regs more teeth, but breeders still want you to follow the law out of self-interest, not fear

When Plant Breeders Rights (PBR) got a major facelift two years ago, the seed trade in Canada responded with information campaigns saying that all was for the best. Upgrades in intellectual property protection weren’t a cash grab, farmers were told. Instead, they showed the international community that Canada takes property protection very seriously. That recognition, […] Read more


The challenge of early weeds in soybeans

A two-pass weed control strategy makes a lot of economic sense

In an ideal world, it might not matter when a field of soybeans is sprayed, or whether it’s a soil-applied or post-emergence herbicide that’s used. But this isn’t an ideal world and application timing can be very important. So is the crop. In Country Guide’s spring Corn Guide, Dr. Peter Sikkema discussed the impacts of […] Read more



The problem with problem weeds

Different regions, different crops and different species turn ‘control’ into ‘management’

It’s a message filled with contrasts. Weed management is simple yet complex. It’s all about improving your bottom line, but it adds a cost. And although it’s all about controlling all your weeds, it often gets judged on a single weed species. In spite of all the differences that come with farming in different regions, […] Read more


Real sustainability

Integrating the benefits of his Ontario Soil Network membership into how he farms is helping Rick Kootstra find real sustainability

Like a lot of farmers, Rick Kootstra doesn’t see himself as an innovator or a leader. He just goes about his business. Thanks to the Ontario Soil Network, though, he does it with a lot of great connections with farmers who share similar goals and aspirations. Kootstra, along with his brothers Rob and Derek, works […] Read more