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.
The farming industry is taking the COVID-19 pandemic seriously. Obviously, there’s a lot riding on the continued good health of the farm community and the uninterrupted production of food.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.