Latest articles

The case for a carbon tax (and refund system)

Only with a well-structured refund mechanism will a carbon tax be fair to farmers

Carbon taxes are controversial. Especially contentious is the question of whether such taxes should be applied to farmers. Before farmers make up their minds about carbon taxes, it’s important that they encounter a clear explanation of how a well-structured agricultural carbon tax could work, and how such a tax could help increase net farm incomes. […] Read more

There goes the neighbourhood

Farmers and ranchers pride themselves on neighbourliness, and rightly so. Rare is the season, after all, when the local newspaper or radio station doesn’t carry a lump-in-the-throat story explaining how neighbours of an ill or injured member of a farm or ranch family gathered for a day or two to do a month or two’s […] Read more

India is the wild card in global wheat production and consumption

Some estimates are calling for an increase of 15 per cent, to 100 million tonnes for the looming harvest

India will be the first major wheat-growing country to harvest the 2017-18 crop, and most of its wheat will be cut by the time the U.S. Department of Agriculture rolls out its first production estimate in May. Despite the early glimpse this should provide to the wheat market, the Indian government’s data could actually downplay […] Read more

The Capitol Building in Washington DC at night, capital of the United States of America

New boss, same brawls

The fate of the U.S. Farm Bill is far from certain in this new landscape

The Trump administration’s turtle-slow start with the Republican-led Congress bodes ill for what it and Republicans said would be a busy legislative year. Tax reform, replacing Obamacare, raising the debt ceiling, and a 2018 budget all await initial action. The GOP chairmen of the House and Senate ag committees, however, aren’t waiting on any White […] Read more

Huge U.S. corn exports face hurdles: Braun

Record-high stockpiles and looming record crops from rivals are causing headwinds for the crop

The United States appears well on its way to exporting the largest volume of corn in nine years, but there will be some hurdles to overcome in order to meet the full expectation for the season. The United States is the world’s No. 1 source for corn and while not the primary form of domestic […] Read more

Promises made, promises kept

U.S. farmers are reaping the whirlwind of their bargain with Trump

Of all the words used to describe President Donald J. Trump during his first weeks in office — bold, boastful, alternative facts — here are two that almost no person or pundit uttered: promise keeper. Love him or loathe him, Trump took no time in checking off key items from his unconventional campaign’s list of […] Read more

Female hands holding a vegetable

Food production for and by consumers

A strong consumer connection can let a 
small farm be a big economic success

Technology has significantly changed agriculture, reducing the amount of labour required to produce food. As a result there are larger farms with more acres and many more animals per farmer. This means a small percentage of farmers produce a large percentage of the total. However, this does not mean that big is the only way […] Read more

one dollar banknote among wheat grains

Comment: Hard numbers and hard politics

Low crop prices and trade uncertainty are a trouble combination looming for 2017

The calendar may have changed but the numbers all U.S. farmers will work with this new year are little different from the numbers everyone worked with last year. For example, 2016’s corn production was baked-in last fall and so too are most of 2017’s options. We grew a staggering 15.3 billion bu. last year, will […] Read more

Don’t derail trade deals

It was a good harvest this fall, with many American farmers seeing record yields. But the blessing of a good harvest can also be a burden if you don’t have enough customers for your crops. With the lowest commodity prices on corn and soybeans in more than a decade, farmers need access to more markets […] Read more


Which chicken, in what pot?

Supply management doesn’t fit well with speciality production and a proposed new quota program is a misstep

Over 50 farmers gathered at the St. Norbert Community Centre on November 1 to hear Wayne Hiltz, executive director of the Manitoba Chicken Producers, present the new Annual Specialty Quota Program announced in September. The new program is designed to serve niche markets in the province with fresh Manitoba-raised chicken year round. This is done […] Read more