Latest articles


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


The next big disruption in agriculture

Sometimes a shock to the system can be a very good thing

In the business world, there’s a term to describe an event that completely changes an existing industry or market. It’s called a disruptor, and it changes how we think, work, and do business. It can be argued that agriculture has gone through three major disruptions in the last century: the mechanization of farming; the arrival […] Read more



Let’s get real on solar energy

Despite the skeptics, these two farms prove that solar energy is likely to be the foundation of our commercial farms for generations to come

In the last issue of Country Guide I made a case for solar power. I tried to show that economics of solar power are improving and that it is becoming a viable source of electricity. More importantly, I pointed out that society is demanding a switch away from fossil fuels, and that countries around the world […] Read more


So history repeats itself

Consider for a moment what Canadian agriculture would look like today if farmers had never made the switch from horse power to tractor power. It isn’t such an absurd idea if you understand why farmers here actually resisted mechanization when it first appeared roughly a century ago. An interesting read is the text of the […] Read more



Spraying machine working on the green field

Goodbye glyphosate?

A flood of cancer suits in the U.S. threatens to topple farmers’ most valuable herbicide

Last September I warned readers of a growing public backlash against glyphosate herbicide, and I wrote of the co-ordinated attack on glyphosate by Avaaz, an online activist community that is claiming credit for the refusal by European regulators to renew the licence for glyphosate, instead only granting an 18-month extension to the expiring licence. But […] Read more


Close up of man reading at the digital tablet

Before you believe it

Because our vulnerability to misinformation is growing every day, the easy-to-use SMELL test needs to become like an app that we turn on every time we connect to the web, listen to a radio, or even talk to each other

If our food looks bad, tastes bad, or smells bad, we won’t eat it. So why don’t we treat information the same way? After all, we are told information is power. Information has value. Information is essential to modern society. So if information “smells” bad, shouldn’t we be wary of consuming it as well? Dr. […] Read more



Russia takes on the world

Millions of acres in Russia had been waiting for someone to farm them. Now they’re bursting with grain

For many Canadian grain growers, this year’s weather concerns, disease pressure, high input costs, and low crop prices made it seem like we’ve already been facing the perfect storm. However, there is an even bigger threat on the horizon — Russia. In the first week of October, while most Canadian growers were still busy with […] Read more


A general image of people protesting

The other glyphosate ‘resistance’

Who are the Canadian activists who are pushing for a glyphosate ban, and why are they so convinced they’re right?

In the September issue of Country Guide I wrote about the Avaaz movement’s effort to ban glyphosate in “The Target is Glyphosate“. As I reported then, if you haven’t heard of Avaaz, you should go to its website today. The prestigious Guardian newspaper says Avaaz (whose name means “voice” in several European languages) is the […] Read more



Farmer standing in field with combine harvester behind

We’ve been misinformed

Put this eight-page debunking handbook on the top of your reading list, and let’s stop making consumer misinformation worse

The good news is that farmers are finally recognizing the damage that misinformation is doing to our industry, and we are responding to it. The bad news is that the way we respond may actually be increasing consumer opposition rather than alleviating it. We’ve been misinformed about fighting misinformation. Agriculture is not the only industry […] Read more


Tractor spraying wheat field with sprayer in springtime, herbicides and pesticides

The target is glyphosate

It’s time to worry. The real goal of today’s anti-GMO movement is to kill the weed killer at the core of modern agriculture

As farmers, we have a question to ask ourselves. Are we getting played? Are we getting taken in, just like an audience at a magic show that gets fooled into watching the distraction instead of what’s really happening? Is agriculture reacting to the GMO debate when we should be focusing on protecting glyphosate? These are […] Read more