Editorial: Family feud

Everyone has that cousin, uncle or sibling. You love them, they’re family after all, but sometimes you just don’t like them much. Maybe it’s their insistence on talking about their controversial politics over Christmas dinner. Perhaps it’s the way they can’t just talk about how much they like their new tractor without running down yours. […] Read more


Canola’s biological future still bright

The crop has been a major beneficiary of good science, something researchers hope 
will continue as they warn of sustainability challenges

Wilf Keller knows exactly what’s on the top of his canola wish list. Keller heads up Saskatoon’s Ag-West Bio and is well known for his contributions to early plant biotechnology work. At the recent Canola Council of Canada convention he participated in a panel discussion on past and future canola innovation. “We need to look […] Read more



Editorial: The missing link

Canada’s sheep and goat producers had better not be counting on me to earn a living. Don’t get me wrong, they produce excellent products, but neither of these protein sources has ever been a big part of my diet. I can’t remember the last time I had a lamb chop. A few years ago now, for […] Read more


Editorial: Bonanza bind

Over 100 years ago there was a land rush on the northern plains of North America. The arrival of railways suddenly opened vast tracts of land to settlement and agriculture. The world responded with a flood of humanity. These days we think of the romantic image of homesteading families from all corners of the world, […] Read more



Editorial: Pre-competitive advantage

The idea of collaboration — and even mergers — among farm commodity groups has begun to find traction lately. The latest round came at the annual CropConnect conference, which brings together a number of the smaller commodity organizations at a single event where they conduct their annual general meetings. That event demonstrates the merits of […] Read more


The benefits of a controlled traffic crop

Confining equipment traffic could pay production dividends

Ten years ago Adam Gurr was surfing the Internet one evening and came across an idea that would change the way he operates — controlled traffic farming. Just as the name sounds, it’s a farming system built around permanent wheel tracks in each field; the crop zones and traffic lanes are permanently separated. It leaves […] Read more



Editorial: Biofuels fight

[Updated March 2, 2017]: What would a world with another five billion bushels of corn on the market look like? I am willing to bet that the grain growers among our readership just felt a small blood pressure spike at the very thought, anticipating dramatically lower crop prices. That figure represents the portion of the […] Read more


Phosphate products vary, but fate the same

Over time, they all want to become plant-unavailable phosphate rock

All phosphate fertilizers might not be created equal — but in the end they all wind up that way. That was the message Don Flaten, a University of Manitoba soil science professor, shared with farmers last month during a session at Ag Days. That’s because it’s a highly reactive compound and over time, the very […] Read more



New wheat class a mixed bag

Looming changes to the CNHR class will likely dilute some of the current 
benefits of the varieties that currently call it home

The Canadian Northern Hard Red (CNHR) wheat class is poised to expand Aug. 1, 2018 — but no one is exactly sure how the change is going to play out. The new CNHR class is already home to U.S. dark northern varieties, such as Faller, Prosper and Elgin ND. Next summer they’ll be joined by […] Read more


Editorial: Playing with trains

With spring just around the corner, it’s becoming clear a big wreck in grain shipping is unlikely this winter. Despite a 76-million-tonne crop to move, big blizzards and those infamous periods of frigid winter temperatures, the system has held together. Mark Hemmes of grain monitor firm Quorum said in a recent article in the Co-operator […] Read more