RealAg's top 17 stories of 2017


2017 will go down as another eventful year in Canadian agriculture, from floods to droughts to wildfires and from taxes to trade. We saw new technologies introduced and old technologies brought back, as the agriculture community adapted to a changing world.

As we’ve been reflecting on the past year, we pulled up the analytics from the site to bring back some of our most popular individual stories (outside of the regular features like Wheat Pete’s Word and the Beef Market Update).

Here’s this year’s list.

The top 17 articles on RealAgriculture in 2017:

What would you do with 100,000 toothpicks?

17. World’s largest model farm expands with 100,000 toothpicks

We caught up with Tennessee farmers Chase Long and Colby Counce to see how they expanded their farm by 20 percent in the last year, using 100,000 toothpicks and some glue.

16. French company Roquette to build $400 million pea processing plant in Manitoba

French food ingredient company Roquette announced plans for a $400 million pea processing plant to be built near Portage la Prairie, Man, raising an obvious question: why not build further west where more peas are grown?

Not often do you hear of wheat outyielding corn…

15. Wheat School: ‘Real’ Wheat Farmers — Shawn Schill

RealAgriculture agronomist Peter Johnson visits Arthur, Ontario farmer Shawn Schill of Shawridge Farms to find out how he got a 200-acre field to produce 154 bu/ac of wheat, beating the average corn yield for the field.

14. Activist groups targeting Ag in the Classroom and Ag Literacy Month content

Several anti-biotech groups called Ag in the Classroom’s programming “propaganda” and “a corporate intrusion into our schools.”

13. Avoiding the seven deadly(ish) sins of grain marketing

Brian Voth’s advice on what not to do when selling grain.

“As a farmer and an engineer I wanted to design it with efficiency in mind.”

12. SeedMaster sister company to unveil autonomous machine for seeding & field work

An early story on what would eventually be announced as DOT, an autonomous platform for field work from Norbert Beaujot’s DOT Technology Corp.

11. 17 tips for getting equipment unstuck

Another list of 17 things — this one focuses on how to maximize strength and safety when getting out.

10. Bayer signs C$8.7 billion deal to sell LibertyLink and seed businesses to BASF

The answer to the question of who was going to get the desired canola business spin-off from Bayer’s acquisition of Monsanto.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau on the phone with Saskatchewan farmer Terry Youzwa. (Source: @Bill_Morneau, Twitter)

9. Bill Morneau calls Saskatchewan farmer to talk about tax changes

Saskatchewan farmer Terry Youzwa receives a call from the finance minister wanting to discuss his proposed tax changes.

8. Spilled milk commercial has dairy farmers crying foul

Some dairy farmers actually started a petition asking Dairy Farmers of Canada for justification of the organization’s new marketing campaign.

7. A young farmer’s letter to Bill Morneau

Ontario farmer Stewart Skinner’s letter to the federal finance minister regarding federal tax changes.

6. Carbon tax misses the mark in agriculture

An editorial from Kelvin Heppner looking at whether carbon taxes have their intended effect in agriculture.

From the road, it looks like an air seeder pulled by a Big Bud four-wheel drive tractor…

5. TechTour: Manitoba farmer gives planters a new look

A look Frank Prince’s 60-foot seeding unit that combines “the best of both worlds” of a planter and a drill.

4. MacDon agrees to $1.2 billion sale to Linamar

Winnipeg-based grain and forage harvesting equipment manufacturer MacDon signs a deal to be sold to Guelph-based Linamar Corporation.

3. One of North Dakota’s largest farms declares bankruptcy

With American farm income forecast to drop for a fourth straight year, McMartin Farms, one of North Dakota’s largest, declared bankruptcy in February.

2. Trudeau Freudian slips referring to Premier Brad Wall and “his farmers”

The PM demonstrates a lack of affinity for Western Canadian farmers and their views on carbon tax.

AGCO’s IDEAL combine (photo via AGCO).

And, the most popular story from 2017…

  1. AGCO unveils IDEAL combines for Challenger, Fendt & Massey Ferguson brands

AGCO’s largest-ever R&D project yields a new eye-catching, high performance harvester that will be sold across the AGCO brand family. (More here from its public debut at Agritechnica.)

On behalf of the entire RealAg team, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Thanks for reading/listening/watching/chatting in 2017 and all the best in 2018.

Categories: Features

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