Latest articles


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


farmer raising his arms with success

Opinion: No pedestal required

The more I learn about leadership, the more I see that the best opportunities for our farms start when we empower others

Social research professor Dr. Brené Brown reminds us that: “Connections are why we are here. It is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives.” In agriculture and agri-business we tend to connect on a very deep level, driven in part by shared values and interests. As a community, our congregating is visible in every […] Read more



young farmer touching ripe golden wheat in field

How big is your market?

We must get better at understanding that the world’s commodity buyers have a growing range of options

How big is your world? Geographically, this is an easy question to answer with great precision. The diameter of the Earth at the equator is 12,756 km. Its circumference is 40,030 km along the equator, and 40,008 km through the poles. Thus the surface area of our planet is roughly 510 million sq. km. It’s […] Read more


Tractor spraying wheat field

‘Insurance’ spraying

A new study says most farmers can generate more profit by cutting back on crop protection. But wait… is it really that simple?

Today, we all recognize “recreational tillage” as a phrase we use to criticize farmers who haven’t been paying attention to how we’ve learned that we can put an end to a lot of excessive tillage, thereby reducing soil erosion, fuel and equipment costs, and manpower requirements. But now we need to ask: Is “recreational spraying” […] Read more