Latest articles


Reporter’s Notebook: Keeping community volunteers engaged

Many rural activities facilities and activities are run by volunteers. Keep yours happy

Volunteers power many facilities and services in our communities. What motivates people to volunteer and how can non-profit boards engage their volunteer corps? I spoke to two women, from different rural communities in different provinces. Both have experience as board members and in the volunteer corps. Because I wanted them to speak openly without creating […] Read more


Extending rotations, in the field

Part 1 of 3: How real farmers are extending their rotations

There seems to be no shortage of articles, presentations and research exhorting farmers to lengthen rotations. Longer rotations benefit everything from weed control to disease suppression in crops. But what are farmers doing to maintain or extend rotations? Grainews spoke to three farmers to find out how they’re managing their rotations. And while each farmer […] Read more



Reporter’s Notebook: How will we be farming in 20 years?

Lisa Guenther points to two agronomic problems shaping our future cropping plans

Agriculture has undergone big changes in the last century. Yesterday’s farmers would be amazed by the technology contained in a tractor and seeder these days, or by the vaccines that protect livestock from disease. Or even by the phones we tuck into our back pockets, and occasionally drop in the muck. It’s an interesting exercise […] Read more


A mix of new and old makes it work

Farm Progress Show: Something old, something new. Farmers use a mix of machinery to make things work

Farming is a mix of tradition and innovation, and the machinery you’ll find on farms reflects that mix. That machinery is also a tangible record of how the machinery industry and farming practices have evolved over the decades. “As far as I’m concerned, it’s an exciting time to be farming,” says Ray Donald. “It’s exciting […] Read more



Finding a use for wheat with fusarium

North West Bio-Energy has been turning wheat into ethanol since 2009

Got fusarium? Chances are North West Terminal in Unity, Sask., can use that wheat. Next door to the terminal is a bioproducts plant, which is run by North West Terminal’s sister company, North West Bio-Energy. Since 2009, North West Bio-Energy has been producing ethanol. Today it also produces industrial-grade alcohol. The distillation process can handle […] Read more


What grain customers want to know about Canadian wheat

From gluten to glyphosate: what end users want to know about our wheat

Customers in far-flung places such as Japan may seem far removed from a western Canadian farm. But those customers are keenly interested in how Canadian wheat and durum is grown and handled before it arrives at their mills, bakeries, or other processing facilities. In fact, Japanese bakers are quite aware of different Canadian wheat varieties, […] Read more



Reporter’s Notebook: A Grainews reporter’s spring travels

From Griffin to Gimli, Lisa Guenther hit the highway to gather new information

In mid-April, I packed my car and headed south. At home, there was still enough snow to Ski-doo. For several hours I drove through intermittent garbage weather (snow in the north and sleet or rain in the south). For two days, I stayed with Leeann Minogue’s family near Griffin, Sask. While there I visited the […] Read more


Reporter’s Notebook: Idealizing a particular view of a culture

When you romanticize what you don’t understand, disappointment is inevitable

I learned a new word this week. “Indianthusiasm,” a term coined by author and professor Hartmut Lutz, describes people (often German) who have an exaggerated, ahistorical, romantic infatuation with North America’s First Nations people. This was just one gem among many in Canadian author Drew Hayden Taylor’s short documentary, Searching for Winnetou. Winnetou is a […] Read more



Getting from combine to customer

This Cigi program is a great way for farmers to learn more about ag markets

At the end of Heather Johnson’s first day of work for the Canadian International Grains Institute (Cigi), her colleagues rolled out a fresh rack of bread for everyone to enjoy. “Boy, have I landed in the right place,” she said to herself that day. Johnson, Cigi’s director of communications, was speaking to Combine to Customer […] Read more


Getting more seed treatment from less

More seed treatments are coming in concentrated, ready-to-use, easy-to-handle formats

Allan Anderson is a big fan of concentrated seed treatments. “I would love to see every single product as a concentrate because that allows so much flexibility with overall application,” says Anderson, senior seed growth specialist with Bayer. Anderson thinks that more concentrate products will enter the seed treatment market as formulations and active ingredients […] Read more