Category: Farm Management

Competing on more than price for rented land

Ontario’s soils are losing organic matter. What builds organic matter? Perennial and forage species! But if you’re going to plant perennial hay or pasture, you have to have something to feed it to or you won’t be farming long enough to see the value of the added organic matter. And that’s a slight problem, as… Read more »

MacAulay launches six federal programs under new Canadian Agriculture Partnership

With the five-year Growing Forward 2 agriculture framework wrapping up next month, federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay launched six federal programs under the new Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) at the Canada’s Agriculture Day celebration in Ottawa on Tuesday. CAP is the acronym for the new $3 billion, five-year federal-provincial-territorial agriculture funding agreement that begins on… Read more »

Farmers Edge enters the world of crop insurance

Precision agriculture company Farmers Edge has plans to disrupt the crop insurance industry, announcing an agreement with global reinsurer PartnerRe on Tuesday. The four-year deal will see Farmers Edge and PartnerRe jointly develop new agriculture insurance products based on field data that Farmers Edge already collects for agronomic reasons. “For the longest time we’ve been… Read more »

Concerns about the U.S. economy overheating and what it means for Canada

Low unemployment, major tax cuts, and looming trillion dollar deficits — the U.S. economy is hot, with growing concerns that it may be at risk of over-heating. Increasing odds of higher inflation and interest rates have stoked a pullback and volatility in the stock market after the Dow climbed to record highs in late January. The… Read more »

Working smart: How to cut through tech distractions

Forget the standard five and 10-year outlooks of strategic planning. Instead, have you figured out where to best put your time in in a day? Whether or not you and your spouse are collaborating to your full potential? Is technology helping or hindering your farm operation? These are the kinds of questions Nick Bontis, professor of… Read more »

Build a legacy one decision at a time

If you’re five years away from stepping back from the day-to-day operation of your farm, you’re likely to make different management decisions than say when you were five years in to your farming journey. But it’s rare for a farm to have such a distinct start and end point — most farms are a blend… Read more »

Foundation to champion mental wellbeing in Canadian agriculture

A not-for-profit foundation focused on addressing mental health challenges in Canadian agriculture will officially be launched in Edmonton next week at FarmTech. The Do More Agriculture Foundation kicked off its online and social media presence this week. The initiative is the brainchild of its four founders: Kim Keller, Lesley Rae Kelly, Himanshu Singh and Kirk… Read more »

Which decade would you choose to farm in?

A talk radio show I frequently listen to was recently discussing the hypothetical question: if you could pause your age at any point you chose, when would it be? Some said 18, some said 35, some said 55. It was a fun, interactive discussion. Everyone had their personal reasons based on external factors or their… Read more »

Changes to Alberta’s Employment Standards include farms and ranches

The Government of Alberta is making some resolutions for the new year. As of January 1, 2018, farm and ranch owners will have some new Employment Standards rules to abide by. The changes are part of Bill 17: The Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act, and will apply to farms and ranches that “employ waged, non-family… Read more »

Bringing mental health first aid to the agricultural mainstream

I was in a conference call around access to mental health services last month, and a question came up that I’m sure a great many of us have considered: what can we do to break down stigma in our communities? Now, there are many ways we can go about breaking down stigma (worthy of a… Read more »

Farmers from SK and QC named Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers

Farmers from Saskatchewan and Quebec were named Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2017 during the national OYF program in Penticton, BC this past weekend. Derek and Tannis Axten and Véronique Bouchard and Francois Handfield received the national recognition on Friday night. The Axtens operate a no-till grain farm with a unique emphasis on soil health… Read more »

The opioid crisis isn’t ‘just an urban issue’

Substance dependency is often reported as — and thought of as — an urban issue. Statistics blur the issue, showing high numbers of dependency, and, sadly, death, in areas of greater population. But addiction is not isolated to people who live in cities. From alcohol to tobacco to what we’ll focus on in this post,… Read more »

Mental health advocate gets the picture

Canada’s leading advocate for mental health awareness in agriculture, University of Guelph veterinary medicine professor Andria Jones-Bitton, is in high demand at farm meetings to speak about her ground-breaking research results. Through her studies over the past three years, she’s discovered an abnormally high rate of depression and other mental illnesses among farmers (and veterinarians)…. Read more »

Will $15 minimum wage impact agriculture as much as predicted?

This week the Ontario government passed Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces Better Jobs Act. Among other changes to workplace laws, it will mean an increase in the province’s minimum wage, from $11.60 to $14 on January 1, and $15 on the same day in 2019. With other provinces potentially following suit, the potential impacts are… Read more »

The irreplaceable human element in ranching

For some, technology like autonomous tractors and unmanned aerial vehicles offer great interest; for others, the quick advancements in robotics and data are overwhelming and intimidating. Will we soon see job losses? Will human presence on farms be made obsolete? Not at all, says Christine Su, co-founder and CEO of PastureMap, a company that makes… Read more »