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COVID TRANSMISSIONS

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold, farmers are feeling a mix of anxiety and uncertainty just as urban Albertans are. However, there is an emerging confidence that the ag supply chain will hold up.

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IN-BIN OPTIONS

Low-tech air drying of grain may be a farming practice tailor made for these wet, financially constrained times. Multiple tough harvests have increased grain drying demands on Alberta farmers at a time when average farm income is down substantially. Can natural in-bin airdrying or natural aeration help Prairie farmers cope, and at an attractive price? Employing differing airflow levels, both involve blowing air into grain bins to dry harvested grain.

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A HARD ROW

Familiar to most farmers, that blue seed tag indicates a grower has produced the high-quality product that will be used to produce the year’s crop. Seed growers are the foundation of Canada’s agri-food industry, helping to maintain the robust selection of crop varieties farmers rely on to grow the best crops possible.

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TRENDING UPWARD

Farmers take food trends personally. Why are consumers canoodling with exotic foodstuffs such as camu camu and macadamia milk when Canadian farms literally produce acres of the world’s best food and litres of the best drink? And, after all, it’s food with proven, rather than wishfully presumed, miracle health benefits.

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KEEP ON TRUCKIN’

While statistics are limited, some industry insiders estimate about 50 per cent of farmers haul their own grain, while the other 50 per cent rely fully or partly on commercial trucking services, popularly referred to as custom grain haulers.

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ESSENTIAL CALCULATIONS

Weather patterns over the last decade have been reliably unreliable at best. And while insurance does provide some reprieve when fall crops remain in the field until spring, farmers are contemplating management decisions they hope will diminish the risk.

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HELP! I NEED SOMEBODY

It’s painfully obvious Canadian agriculture has room to close its domestic labour gap. The message has been repeated often enough that it’s starting to fall on deaf ears. However, the industry may need to listen up if it wants to stem the exodus of domestic workers.

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THE ART OF THE RENTAL DEAL

Renting rather than purchasing land can be a smart short- and long-term farming strategy. While it makes especially good economic sense for young, cash-strapped farmers starting out, land prices in the $3,500 to $6,000 per acre range make renting a sound strategy for established farmers as well.

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