Latest articles


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



Celebrating Agriculture Day with food

The important things you can learn at a free industry luncheon celebration

Well that was a party and a half. There I was on Canada’s Agriculture Day in mid-February at a Calgary luncheon table with Alberta Beef Producers, Alberta Pulse Growers and Alberta Dairy Producers. Talk about shoving, pushing, name calling and aggression. It wasn’t over any philosophy of who had the best source of food protein… […] Read more


I’m not quite ready for blockchain deals

On-line banking is pretty digital — money comes in, money goes out, I never see it

The next time I am buying an oil refinery in Saudi Arabia or even just dabbling in selling a half million tonnes of wheat to China I am definitely doing it through a blockchain. I’m not trusting the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce with this level of business. Why blockchain, you ask? Well for us […] Read more



Travel the world for a great cheese

In search of a great Gouda or a robust Raclette?

If you have trouble reaching me in mid-October I will probably be at the World Cheese Awards competition in Bergamo, the Lombardy Region of Italy. I like cheese, so I thought I would head to the World Cheese Awards. It is a big deal. I buy orange cheddar cheese from my local grocery store, but […] Read more


Shopping gets just a little too easy

I am still a novice at on-line shopping, but I need to pace myself

I am not sure what experiences are like in the rural world, but I am finding this on-line shopping idea very handy (not sure if that is a good or bad thing.) I know is not necessarily a brand new idea, but being a late bloomer in many aspects of technology, it has only been […] Read more