Category: Farm Management

Next steps for the Do More Ag Foundation

While running their last venture, Farm At Hand, Kim Keller and business partner Himanshu Singh started a mental health initiative called “Here for Farmers,” a t-shirt fundraising campaign focused on supporting mental wellness in the agriculture community. Outside of the campaign, however, the calls kept coming in, asking for help finding mental health resources in… Read more »

Think transition, not succession

Despite armies of well-meaning accountants, bankers and consultants urging them to do so, many Canadian farm families don’t have a plan in place to transfer ownership between generations. It could be the word succession that’s getting in the way. This can imply an abrupt change, when the older generation is booted out to pasture and… Read more »

Alberta offers free resources for crop planning and profitability analysis

If drought concerns, disease pressure, or low commodity prices have you scratching your head on crop rotation tweaks, Alberta farmers have access to two, free crop planning and profitability programs offered by the provincial agriculture department. The first program, Crop Choice$, allows farmers to input their own costs and yield expectations, and is also fully… Read more »

Want a profitable farm? Never stop learning

Just like highly successful people share several traits, highly profitable farms share consistent attributes. Regardless of farm type or geography, there are farmer traits and business management practices common to profitable farms. “The number one practice driving farm profitability is lifelong learning and your commitment to building your skills,” says Heather Watson, executive director of… Read more »

The farming problems the shared economy can solve

We live in an age of disruption. Middle man getting in the way? Just work around them. Whether it’s ride-sharing such as Uber, house rentals via Air BnB, or crowdfunding to make something happen, several established industries are in the midst of a I-can-do-it-myself revolution. For highly competitive, highly regulated industries, such as taxis and… Read more »

GreenON Agriculture program helps farmers reduce carbon footprint

Ontario farmers have a new cost-share program to help them reduce their carbon footprint and become more energy efficient. The GreenON Agriculture program, recently announced by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, is specifically aimed at producers of agricultural commodities in permanent, climate-controlled buildings. The Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association will administer the… Read more »

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 »