Canadian farm income hit a record high in 2015, and is expected to drop slightly in 2016, according to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. The impact of a weaker Canadian dollar supporting domestic prices is evident throughout the department’s 2016 Canadian Agricultural Outlook, which was published on Friday. Here are some highlights: Net cash income on Canadian farms is estimated to… Read More

In what areas does your farm business excel? What are you poor at? And how can you respond to make improvements? Self-assessment and continuous improvement are what separates high-performance farms from the average. Rob Hannam, President and Client Director of Synthesis Agri-Food Network, joins us for episode 14 of the Mind Your Farm Business podcast… Read More

What management practices and behaviours make farmers more financially successful? A report commissioned by the Agri-Food Management Institute and Farm Management Canada attempts to answer this question. “With the Dollars and Sense study we’re trying to determine what makes a leading farmer. How do they end up in the top 25% of farmers versus the… Read More

Employees need clear expectations and timely feedback. It might sound simple, but those are the two keys to creating a farm culture where the business gets the most out of its talent and where employees feel like they’re doing a good job, says Barb Dartt, a Michigan-based farm business consultant. “We tend to underestimate the… Read More

WHHOOOOOSSSHHHHHH!!!!!!  What was that?  That was time flying by as we approach spring and you haven’t even finalized your cropping plan.   In sports there are many deadlines that force general managers to make decisions by a certain date. For example, this week was the close of the January transfer window in English and European… Read More

Finding good employees can be challenging for many Canadian farmers. The task can be even more daunting for livestock farmers when you consider the fact that the job applicant could be an animal rights activist intending to gather video evidence of animal abuse that will be posted on the Internet or turned over to the… Read More

Forget the silver bullet, whether it’s some nonexistent piece of machinery or the latest snake oil crop input. In reality, the key to boosting a farm’s bottom line is incremental improvements that add up. Kristjan Hebert (@kristjanhebert) is a farmer from Fairlight, Saskatchewan and a proponent of the “five percent rule” — a philosophy advanced by Danny Klinefelter of Texas A&M that stresses… Read More

There’s a balance that must be struck in any farm succession plan. Mom and dad (the retiring generation) need enough money to retire and enjoy what they’ve earned, while the succeeding generation needs to start with enough to maintain a viable business. As Jacquie Gerrard of Backswath Management explains, farm succession conversations should start with figuring out… Read More

The final push is on this week to connect with farmers across Canada, for the first-ever national mental wellness survey of those who produce our food. Back when this initiative started in the fall, survey coordinator Prof. Andria Jones-Bitton of the University of Guelph, said she hoped to have 1,000 farmers involved in the survey… Read More

More than 280 Certified Crop Advisors (CCAs) jammed into a London, Ontario hotel last week to talk agronomy, information and regulation. It was the largest turnout ever for the Ontario Certified Crop Advisors Association annual meeting since the event began 13 years ago. The province currently has 545 active CCAs and the number is expected… Read More

North America’s first dairy milk robot was installed in 1999, less than 50 kilometres from Jack Rodenburg’s Woodstock, Ontario office. The long-time OMAFRA dairy specialist was sceptical at first, but he quickly realized that robot technology could revolutionize Canadian dairy farms. He says early models had their issues, but he quickly realized the potential for… Read More

The Alberta government passed its new farm labour legislation last week. Bill 6 is supposed to make Workers’ Compensation Board insurance coverage mandatory for farm workers while bringing Occupational Health and Safety and labour standards to farms. Amendments made to the bill clarified that it only applies to farms with at least one paid worker…. Read More

If you look back 35 years, there have been plenty of changes in Canadian agriculture and the environment in which farmers and agribusinesses operate. There are fewer farms now than in 1980, and they make up a smaller portion of eligible voters. While the societal contributions of farmers are no less important, governments tend to offer less support than… Read More

In the day-to-day operation of a farm it can be a challenge to set aside time to chat about what the next generation expects in taking over the business. “Hey Mom/Dad/Uncle… I want you to know this is important…” sort of discussions are important because they help establish expectations, which are needed to begin a successful generational transition. So… Read More

 

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