Category: Farm Management

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 »

Building an agile and resilient farm business — AgEx ’17

Resilience is defined as the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. Agility refers to an ability to move quickly and easily. In a farm business, resilience and agility go hand-in-hand with liquidity and working capital — the ability to put up cash in a short amount of time. “Those are the kind of metrics we… Read more »

Ottawa drops proposal to eliminate deferred cash purchase tickets

The federal government has decided to not make any changes to how it treats deferred cash purchase tickets for grain after proposing in the 2017 budget to potentially eliminate the option. Many farm groups voiced their opposition to the idea of dropping the income tax deferral mechanism during consultations held in spring and early summer…. Read more »

Where to begin with benchmarking your farm business — AgEx ’17 Preview

How often do you stop and take time to evaluate how well your farm business is performing? And how do you determine whether an area of the business is performing well or needing improvement? The first step in benchmarking a farm’s financial performance is to compare it to itself, to understand historical performance. From there,… Read more »

Backtracking on tax changes — what Ottawa’s updates mean for farmers

The dust is starting to settle after Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s flurry of announcements backtracking on the federal government’s proposed small business tax changes. Now that the news conferences are over and we’ve had a few days to analyze the changes to the changes, how will the updates affect farm businesses? First of all, we… Read more »

What is the right amount of on-farm grain storage?

Can you have too much grain storage on farm? Is on-farm grain storage a trap to procrastinate in marketing your crop? Depending on where you farm, what’s the ideal amount of grain storage relative to your annual crop production? On-farm grain storage has always been a necessity on the prairies, but capacity is growing in… Read more »

In light of Mental Illness Awareness Week

In 1992, the Canadian Psychiatric Association established Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) to highlight the impact of mental illness to the Canadian public, and promote recovery. The Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) now coordinates the week in collaboration with its member organizations and other supporters. This year, MIAW runs from October… Read more »

MacAulay downplays impact of proposed tax changes

Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay continues to downplay the potential impact of the Liberals’ proposed tax changes, despite widespread concerns voiced by many farmers, small business owners and their accountants. The minister took 10 minutes to sit down with RealAgriculture in his office in the Confederation Building on Parliament Hill this week to discuss the tax… Read more »

Tax change answers — Part 3: Capital gains

The federal government wants to clamp down on incorporated business owners who it says are claiming capital gains when they should be reporting taxable income or dividends. A capital gain is essentially the increase in the value of a capital asset, such as farmland, above its purchase price. Under Canada’s tax system, only 50 percent… Read more »

CFA lobbies for more time and changes to government tax proposal

Members of Parliament are back at their seats for the fall sitting of Parliament, and tensions are high, with the Conservatives and NDP questioning the Liberals’ proposed tax changes announced in July. Farm groups and farmers have also been vocal in criticizing the government’s plan. “I don’t think the government realized the opposition that would… Read more »

Tax change answers — Part 1: Income splitting

There’s a reason most farms pay accountants to provide tax planning advice. Taxes are complicated. Add multiple pages of new information, unclear definitions, ‘tax cheat’ accusations, some emotional rhetoric, and it’s a challenge, even for accountants, to assess what Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s proposed tax changes could mean for an individual farm business. We’re going… Read more »