Latest articles


The silver lining of a good memorial service

Hart Attacks: A few thoughts about people who make a difference

My dad, later in life, would occasionally lament that he and mom spent too much time going to funerals — regretting too many of his neighbours and fishing buddies had died. While my Aunt Keitha, who turns 100 in November, always enjoyed a good funeral, giving her a chance to see and visit with people […] Read more


Taking the midnight train to Fairbanks

Hart Attacks: I don’t think I have to rush to pack for a ride on the first train north

While it is good news the first grain shipments in about four years are moving by rail to the Port of Churchill in northern Manitoba this fall — all destined for eastern markets — it was a couple of other railway projects on the other side of the prairies with plans to ship commodities west […] Read more




Chicken training at Ag in Motion: not yet

Training chickens to do tricks is probably something you’ve neglected to do

Who has been able to sleep with Ag in Motion starting this week? Western Canada’s largest outdoor farm show gets underway near Langham, Sask., about 20 minutes northwest of Saskatoon, on Tuesday, July 16, and runs until the last tire is kicked the afternoon of Thursday, July 18. Fortunately there has been a little rain […] Read more



Hart Attacks: Long-time reader shares many good ideas

Now-retired mixed farmer is a man of many talents

It was great to receive a letter from retired Manitoba farmer, Francis Poulsen, that described some of the problem-solving “fixes” he applied to equipment and the land during more than 50 years of farming near Elm Creek, 50 km west of Winnipeg and about 35 km southeast of Portage la Prairie. Now retired for about […] Read more


Hart Attacks: No end to researcher ingenuity

I think I was sick the day we learned about this stuff in high school

I am often in awe of the agricultural researchers, which shouldn’t be surprising since I really have no understanding of 99.9999 per cent of what they do, or how they do it. Yet they manage to come up with answers. Recently I was speaking with three researchers in Alberta working to identify and quantify the […] Read more



There is always Eastend in April

You don't have to leave Canada for that early spring get-away

My daughter spent a week in Palm Springs this winter and my son just got back from a week in Hawaii. My get-away in early April? An overnighter in Eastend, Saskatchewan. I’m not being smart about this. It really was great to spend some time in Eastend. I’ve heard the community name often, but don’t believe I have […] Read more


Elections can only make things better

But to get there, first you have to define what “better” means

With an Alberta provincial election coming up in mid-April and a federal election likely to happen in the fall of 2019, I know it is just a matter of days before all my problems will be solved. With either new or re-confirmed governments in place in both jurisdictions all my troubles will be lifted. Everything […] Read more



Holding an Earthworm in Hand

Don’t underestimate the power of soil bugs

Save money, increase profits by getting billions of little creatures working for you

There’s that message again — learning to farm without inputs. It is a pretty compelling concept: being able to grow a crop without $200 or $300 per acre invested in added fertilizer and crop protection products. Is it a myth? Does it work? What are these guys trying to sell me? Kevin Elmy says it works. […] Read more


You never know what readers are thinking

Despite mention of canola, cheese, carrots and fish this is not a recipe

Once in a while I try to respond to the proverbial “mailbag” to acknowledge comments, updates and sometimes criticisms of my wide-ranging observations. So here are a few thoughts that readers shared, in no particular order: Clubroot reminder I had to tone this down a bit, but after a few articles I wrote on risk […] Read more