Latest articles


Canada’s soil is in crisis — and change is needed, says advocate

Agronomy has ‘masked’ soil degradation, but the crunch is coming

The biggest crisis facing Canadian agriculture is right beneath our feet. “For the first time in history, we have the technology and tools to produce food in a sustainable way, yet farmers and their influencers cling to old ways and values,” said Don Lobb, an Ontario farmer and a longtime leader in the no-till and […] Read more


New rollover rule for farms could flatten some succession plans

A do-nothing strategy could be costly — consider transferring some land today, says succession expert

A new interpretation of the farm rollover rules has been giving Merle Good heartburn since the Canada Revenue Agency came out with it in June. “That’s the one that scares the hell out of me,” the farm succession expert said at a recent Alberta Canola Powering Your Profits event. “The rollover allows us to transfer […] Read more



Hot, dry conditions drove down insect and disease pressure in 2018

By and large, producers didn’t see as much insect damage or disease loss this year

Crop yields in Alberta took a hit this year because of the hot, dry conditions — but the blow wasn’t as big as it could have been, thanks to decreased disease and insect pressure. “Across the province, we’re trending close to the five-year average, and the lack of disease and insect pressure may have helped […] Read more


Why isn’t Alberta’s cattle herd in growth mode?

History says this should have been a boom year — but cattle numbers are actually falling

This should have been a golden year for cattle producers — but it wasn’t just the weather that didn’t co-operate. Viewed through a high-level, macro-economic lens, the national herd should have seen a significant jump in numbers as the cattle cycle — that big wheel that takes a decade or so to make one turn […] Read more



The big wheel keeps on turning

In a perfect world, supply would equal demand and everything would balance out. But it’s not a perfect world, which is why there’s something that Brenna Grant of Canfax calls a “biological-economic phenomenon influenced by production, prices, and profits.” This is the cattle cycle. It starts when demand spikes for one reason or another, and […] Read more


Succession planning is tricky, even for the experts

Succession expert Merle Good is passing the torch — and it’s a lot harder than he thought it would be

Merle Good makes his living by telling other people how to put together succession plans. But he got a taste of his own medicine when daughter Annessa came back to the farm. “Doing it is a hell of a lot harder than talking about it,” said Good, owner of GRS Consulting. “It’s a lot of […] Read more



The need is great — and so is this farmer’s generosity

Desire to give back results in the Alberta Farm to Food Bank

Steve Breum was looking for a way to expand his vegetable operation and give back to the community at the same time when he decided to start growing fresh produce for food banks. “We’re in a recession here, and people don’t have the money for food. These food banks need donations,” said Breum, owner of […] Read more


There’s light at the end of the trade war tunnel

Prices will return to normal and ag exports will continue to grow

Canada’s battle to renegotiate a free trade deal with the U.S. appears to be over, but global trade wars rage on — and that means producers can expect volatile markets for some time to come. But in the long run, it should all work out fine, says a new analysis by Farm Credit Canada on […] Read more




New provincial safety grant gives farm employers a ‘helping hand’

Grant can offset costs for meeting new workplace safety regulations, which come into effect Dec.1

A new provincial safety grant will make it easier — or at least cheaper — for farmers to comply with upcoming occupational health and safety requirements. “The province recognized that by putting those rules in place, many farms with employees were going to have to do some upgrading or some training to meet those new […] Read more