Latest articles

Nufarm working its way up the middle

Don’t be too hard on the Aussies — they have to deal with Canadian winter

Be ready for the Aussie invasion. Some of them are here now, and more are likely to follow. It is probably a slight exaggeration to say having lunch with the fairly new-to-Canada country manager of Nufarm is really an Aussie invasion, but Lachie McKinnon is the second Australian I have met in the past 20 […] Read more

Cutaway of Plant and Roots in Dirt

Don’t trust your oats with any secrets

Hart Attacks: You don’t want to know what plants are saying about you behind your sprayer

Today’s take home message: watch what you say or do out in the buckwheat patch. Plants aren’t exactly seeing, but they could be listening and they are definitely communicating. That’s what Jack Schutlz, a biologist and zoologist at the University of Missouri, whose business card describes him as a chemical ecologist, tells me anyway. Schultz […] Read more

Get your meat hoodie, go to Woolworths

Hart Attacks: A new Stanford study shows “going green” impacts farming practices

If you are looking for a conversation starter next time you’re at a vegan dinner party, a friend sent me a link to these attractively designed sweatshirts from the U.S. The Gamiss company makes a wide range of hoodie styles and patterns, but this particular one looks like real meat — unlike some art and […] Read more

Big boats and Bitcoin boggle me

Keeping up with new technology is a full-time job. Lee Hart hopes there’s no test

Imagine my excitement the other day when I saw China had just launched another of the world’s largest container ships. All I could think about was how much great merchandise this boat could carry to my nearest Canadian Tire Store. So much good stuff — much of it I probably need. But then I read […] Read more

Old Ballantyne house an important part of my roots

Hart Attacks: Where or who would I be without the old Ballantyne place in Eastern Ontario?

It was just an old house at the end of the road I grew up on in Eastern Ontario, but for some reason news I received on New Year’s Eve that the Ballantyne place had been destroyed by fire, really hit home — it was a bit like losing a friend. I had only been […] Read more

30 years in and still on the learning curve

Hart Attacks: There’s always more to learn, even after 30 years in the writing field

Man I have to start off my 30-something year of writing agricultural stories for this company with a correction. Fortunately I only had to take off one glove to do it. One of my Hutterite reader friends phoned the other night to point out in my December column where I was talking about available agricultural […] Read more

Landscape featuring a harvested grain field

A bit of something for everyone

Hart Attacks: Who needs the moon? I can pick up the phone and learn lots as I travel across the country

I’ve got my application in to be a greeter on that new U.S./Russia space station they are planning to build about 440,000 km above the earth. But since they aren’t doing any real hiring until about 2028 I’ve got some time. (I may withdraw my name anyway. Even when I’m on a boat, I always […] Read more

Would it really be so bad to have a cool day?

Hart Attacks: In the era of climate change, I should be careful about the kind of weather I wish for

I am really sick of weather forecasters here in Calgary this summer. Finally, this morning one started to make sense — cool, wet days ahead. It doesn’t seem to matter that half of Western Canada is on fire, crops are parched, and ponds and creeks are dry, these forecasters keep telling me here in Calgary […] Read more

Food guide isn’t keen on red meat

Hart Attacks: The problem isn’t that I don’t know about good food... the problem is me

Boy, I can’t wait for the revised version of the Canada Food Guide to hit the store shelves so I can start eating properly. Health Canada is proposing changes to the food guide steering people away from red meat and more towards “alternative” proteins such as plant-based proteins — your peas, beans, lentils, chickpeas, or […] Read more

What a difference 100 years can make

Hart Attacks: The crop yields achieved by today’s famers would be a shock for our forefathers

As a new growing season begins, I am always impressed with the progress farmers have made in pushing the limits on crop production — striving to be more efficient, using improved agronomic practices and technology to increase yields and hopefully outsmart Mother Nature. I worked on a story earlier this year that described some global […] Read more