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After the first time that farmers visit with the social group, Jill Rennie says she doesn’t have any trouble getting them to come back.

Retired farmers show they have a lifetime to share

Support for these farmers stopped the moment they left the farm, until Jill Rennie developed this innovative dementia support group

Retiring from the farm can have a massive impact on farmers’ mental and physical health. It can seem the lucky ones are those who can still live on the farm site, do a few odd jobs, run some errands or help out at busy times. Indeed, the ones who end up moving away from the […] Read more

Processing plants are being built across the country to convert farm crops into bioproducts for essentially every sector.

The booming bioeconomy — Part 2

In part one of this feature, we introduced the bioeconomy and how Canada is working to become a world leader. In part two we look at specific sector developments from coast to coast — there are lots of them!

It’s a surprise to most of us. What’s the hottest bioeconomy subsector on the planet? Replacements for plastic. Worldwide demand for biodegradable products is urgent and it’s growing, especially to replace single-use plastic items like straws, utensils, cup lids and plastic bags. The race is on. France banned plastic cups in 2016, and Queen Elizabeth […] Read more


Does Canada have enough young farmers?

The country has lost 70 per cent of the farmers in its under-35 category in just 25 years

There are encouraging signs all across the country. At the University of Manitoba’s School of Agriculture convocation this spring, 58 graduates took home their two-year diplomas. At Ridgetown Campus of the University of Guelph in Ontario, 267 crossed the stage in late May, and at Olds College in Alberta, another 81 diplomas were handed out […] Read more

Pre-harvest intervals can vary greatly between products so producers must know and adhere to intervals for each product applied to a crop.

Avoiding chemical residues now just two clicks away

Producers can ensure the chemical sprayed on their canola or pulses won’t leave unacceptable residues by adhering to the pre-harvest interval — or PHI — found on the product’s label. Often referred to as the “spray to swath” interval, the PHI is the number of days that must pass between spraying pesticides or desiccants and […] Read more


The job vacancy rate in agriculture is now pegged at 5.4 per cent, much higher than the national average at just under 2.9 per cent.

More lost sales forecast in new labour market forecast study released June 25

Nearly half of Canada's farmers with jobs unfilled have delayed or cancelled farm business expansion plans

Workforce challenges are having a worsening effect on farmers’ ability to meet their production and marketing goals and contribute to the economy according to new data published this week. Farms across the industry are poised for lost sales worth $2.9 billion in potential sales due to unfilled job vacancies, up from a previous forecast of […] Read more

Berith and Bernd Klänhammer see a bright farming future for son Jonas, but in today’s Germany, their land-buying days may be over.

The German question

Now that they’ve recovered from communism, these East German farms worry about the excesses of democracy

The fall of the iron curtain in l989 brought democracy to the former East Germany (DDR). For farmers like Bernd Klänhammer at Penkun, an hour and a half northeast of Berlin, it also brought, for the first time in their careers, the freedom to make their own decisions. Of course, Klänhammer wasn’t the only one […] Read more


Gone to school

Guide Canada: For a growing number of Millennials, the place to learn about agriculture doesn’t have a conventional farmer anywhere in sight

“I’m energized every time I walk into this building,” says Tony Doyle. “And so is everyone else. They know we’re doing something unique here.” The building Doyle is talking about is the Centre for Food at Durham College in Oshawa, the city on the eastern edge of Ontario’s Golden Horseshoe that has been best known […] Read more

Jan VanderHout hosts a food tour at his greenhouses.

Canada’s food producers speaking up

Farmers on both sides of the Atlantic are scoring big wins with effective new consumer-outreach strategies

When I was in the Netherlands this past summer, I had the chance to visit a hog farm. That in itself is not unusual, but what stayed with me were the blunt comments of the farmer who hosted us that day. “We need consumers to like us if we want them to buy our products,” […] Read more


Eastern agricultural conference planner

The need for learning never stops, and neither — fortunately — do the opportunities

[UPDATED: Dec. 7, 2018] Time and again, the past five to 10 years have proved that winter on the farm is no time for hibernating. Instead, winter in farming circles is for learning and for developing new skills. It’s for sharpening pencils on farm management practices, and for opening the door on opportunities, whether that’s […] Read more

A weak Canadian dollar is beneficial overall to Canadian farmers as they export the majority of their agricultural products.

Black swans

What will it take to knock Canada’s farmland market out of its holding pattern?

Canadian dollar “Excluding an extraordinary shock to production or commodity prices, a significant increase in the value of the Canadian dollar would have the biggest impact on the supply of farmland available for sale,” says Saskatchewan realtor Tim Hammond. A weak Canadian dollar is beneficial overall to Canadian farmers as they export the majority of […] Read more


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