Latest articles


Landscape featuring a harvested grain field.

Interesting twist on high cost of farmland

These high prices are great news for sellers, but they leave buyers out of the game

Just about every farmer I talk to in all parts of the country has a common buyer’s complaint — they want to expand their farming operation but land prices are high. It is difficult for established family farms to grow and new farmers are finding it almost impossible to get into the business on land […] Read more


Tragedy helps us find sense of community

Tragic accident brings back memories of communities, and a new search for them

With the nation and a good part of the world riveted for a couple of weeks on the tragedy of the bus crash north of Tisdale, Saskatchewan, in early April that resulted in the death of 16 members of Humboldt Broncos hockey club, there was one uplifting message: Canadian and, perhaps more broadly, human compassion […] Read more



We’re going somewhere in a handbasket

We could take the train to get there, but unfortunately there are no rail cars

The movement and marketing of natural resources vital to western Canadians isn’t that important — oil and grain can wait. Let’s focus on the real priority — getting cannabis into the hands of consumers. And maybe that’s the strategy. Get people high on marijuana and then they won’t really notice that governments aren’t doing anything. […] Read more


Humble egg raised to new level

Next time you’re in Calgary track down the Crack’d YYC food truck

Many years ago at a folk festival I was inspired by the message on a T-shirt worn by an old hippie that read — “Beer — so much more than just a breakfast drink.” Some variation of that might be adapted by Canadian egg producers… maybe “Eggs — so much more than just a sandwich […] Read more



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