It was great news this week that, following negotiations between Canada and China, canola producers and exporters here will have a shot at expanded access to the Chinese market. But to me, it was even more noteworthy that science, not politics, helped open the door. Science is constantly maligned in agriculture, particularly when product safety… Read More

This week Agrium shareholders elected its slate of directors hopefully putting to rest a brutal distracting 10 month proxy battle with corporation predator JANA Partners LLC.  This has been a long slug fest that quickly got personal as JANA became more and more aggressive in its quest to break up Agrium to attempt to maximize… Read More

Food and farming wise, I like what’s going on in agriculturally rich Waterloo region, where people have rallied to create the region’s first food charter. It was accepted by the regional council’s community services committee there Monday. The charter’s sponsor, the Waterloo Region Food System Roundtable, calls the five-point document “a statement of values and… Read More

I sometimes feel a little bad for phosphorus. Nitrogen gets all the attention when it comes to fertility planning. Sure, most farmers are committed to throwing down a little phosphorus-rich starter fert, and, yes, nitrogen is needed in the largest quantities, but little ol’ immobile phosphorus is just not getting the respect it deserves. Even… Read More

A historic moment transpired last night. The Calgary Flames traded its leading scorer, captain and legendary player, Jarome Iginla, to the Pittsburgh Penguins for two marginal prospects and a late first-round draft pick in the 2013 entry. Long-time Calgary Flames fans are disappointed with the return for their greatest hero. Much of the sports media is critical… Read More

The cattle industry is one of those segments of agriculture that just feels a part of you. Whether you ranch, background or fatten cattle you tend to love the work and the business of what it entails. Separating the love of the industry from the financial realities can be a tall order for any producer…. Read More

At one time when you heard someone talk about precision ag it was about minimizing overlap of the sprayer and driving the planter straight.  After a winter of farm shows and meetings I have come to the conclusion in certain regions that precision ag is evolving into being about real planting precision. In the corn and soybean… Read More

I’m not a big markets person. I know, I know, it’s agriculture, how could I not be into markets? I have a basic understanding of charts and outlooks, of course, but by my heart is in the soil, plants and animals — the futures market is rather Greek to me. Still, it’s difficult to attend… Read More

Is there such thing as a perfect farm? If so, what does it look like? Is it a fixed size? Is it highly specialized, or incredibly diverse? The perfect farm is a concept that Gary Martens, instructor with the department of plant science at the University of Manitoba, brought up to me some time ago… Read More

Take it for what it’s worth (a relatively arbitrary list from The Daily Meal), but a recent who’s who of food puts farmers at the bottom of the list when it comes to who influences how and what we eat. The Daily Meal launched its “50 Most Powerful People in Food” list recently, ranking individuals… Read More