News

Value of Saskatchewan farmland increasing
By Sarah Wallace paNOW Staff

Farm Credit Canada (FCC) recently released their Farmland Values Report, and things look good in Saskatchewan.

Agribition planning bigger show after another strong year
By Kevin Martel paNOW Staff

Canadian Western Agribition enjoyed a strong 2013.

“We’re ecstatic about the numbers. It’s a world class event and we’re speaking to the breadth and scope of the show showing year over year growth,” explained CEO Marty Seymour.

CWA announced a profit of $620,404, which is a third consecutive year of growth for the show. The show contributed $37 million to the provincial economy and $20 million to Regina’s economy.

Sask government wants heftier mandate, penalties for grain shipping
By Patrick Book paNOW Staff

Saskatchewan's Agriculture Minister wants to see more grain moving and higher fines against rail companies if it doesn't.

On Friday, Lyle Stewart made a submission to a federal government committee that is looking at how to improve Bill C-30, the proposed legislation meant to address the massive grain shipping backlog. Stewart doesn't feel the federal bill goes quite far enough to address the supply chain issues that are costing farmers millions of dollars.

CN Rail: grain companies, elevators not doing their part
By Patrick Book paNOW Staff

Canada's biggest railway is deflecting blame for the on-going grain transportation crisis to a new target : grain companies and elevators and the federal government's ending of the Wheat Board's marketing monopoly.

In a statement issued Monday, CN Rail argues that the entire supply chain is responsible for the massive backlog of grain. He said railroads are being unfairly targeted.

Truckers hauling grain say rail legislation doesn't go far enough
By Aaron Stuckel paNOW Staff

Just a day after the federal government tabled legislation to change the Fair Rail for Grain Farmers Act, truckers hauling crops to a terminal near Balgonie said they still aren’t seeing enough train cars opened up to get grain moving.

New pilot insurance project to benefit beekeepers
By Sarah Wallace paNOW Staff

The deadline to enroll for crop insurance for the 2014 program through the Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation (SCIC) is coming up on March 31.

The deadline is for producers who need to apply for, reinstate, cancel or make changed to their 2012 Crop Insurance contract.

This year, the SCIC has added two new pilot programs: a pilot program to provide yield-loss coverage for corn and the other is the introduction of a Bee Mortality Insurance Pilot Project.

Sask. producers applaud federal rail regulations
By Lasia Kretzel paNOW Staff

Some Saskatchewan agriculture producers have given the thumbs up to the federal government’s action on the grain backlog.

Producers met with federal agriculture minister Gerry Ritz and his provincial counterpart Lyle Stewart in Saskatoon on Thursday to discuss the government’s Fair Rail for Grain Farmers Act, which was tabled in the House of Commons on Wednesday.

Sask. Ag minister pans Ottawa's rail rules
By Bryn Levy paNOW Staff

Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart expressed disappointment with federal legislation aimed at resolving a shipping crisis paralyzing deliveries of Western Canadian grain.

While he called legislation tabled in Ottawa Wednesday "a step in the right direction," he said it didn't include several items that he was looking for.

The province submitted a list of requests to the Harper government as the bill was being drafted.

Sask. government eases road restrictions for farmers
By Andrew Shepherd paNOW Staff

Farmers are getting more help from the government to get grain and other crop moving.

The province is easing seasonal weight restrictions on highways to allow vehicles carrying heavy loads when they otherwise would not be allowed to.

Sask government eases road restrictions for farmers
By Andrew Shepherd paNOW Staff

Farmers are getting more help from the government to get grain and other crop moving.

The province is easing seasonal weight restrictions on highways to allow vehicles carrying heavy loads when they otherwise would not be allowed to.

New insurance program for Sask. livestock producers
By Bryn Levy paNOW Staff

Saskatchewan livestock farmers got some protection from the ups and downs of the business in Wednesday's budget.

A new insurance program guarantees them a minimum price for their animals. Hog and cattle producers will be able to use the Western Livestock Price Insurance Program (WLPIP) to purchase coverage that will shield them from market downturns.

Agribition founder Chris Sutter dies Friday
paNOW Staff

Chris Sutter, one of the founding fathers of Canadian Western Agribition, passed away on Friday.

Sutter was the first President of Agribition and the visionary behind the show.

His vision became a reality in 1971 with the opening of the first ever Canadian Western Agribition.

The news spread quickly through the agricultural community on Friday when it was posted on the official Facebook page for Agribition. People immediately responded with messages of condolence to the Sutter family.

news@panow.com

Farm equipment dealers lose sales over grain backlog
By Alex Soloducha paNOW Staff

Local farm equipment dealers are seeing the effects of the railways being backed-up just as much as farmers.

Without farmers being able to sell their grain, they aren’t as eager to purchase new equipment.

Brad Miller is the store manager at Cervus Equipment Prince Albert, which sells John Deere farming implements.

paNOW Staff

March 9 to 15 has officially been proclaimed as Agricultural Safety Week in Saskatchewan.

Agriculture minister Lyle Stewart said in a statement, “I encourage all farm owners and managers to discuss safety with anyone who works or visits the farm. Farming has the potential to be dangerous for farmers, workers and their families. By having safety discussions regularly, you can identify safety issues and reduce risk on your farm.”

Local farmers struggling with grain backlog
By Alex Soloducha paNOW Staff

This year, getting grain to market has been way more difficult for farmers than usual.

Producers cautiously optimistic about government order
By Adriana Christianson paNOW Staff

Grain farmers in Saskatchewan are glad the federal government is finally paying attention to the grain backlog that is costing them money and threatening next year's crop.

Ottawa orders railways to move minimum grain or face penalties
By Trelle Burdeniuk paNOW Staff

The federal government is taking action to get more grain from Prairie farmers moving faster.

"You've all heard of back to work legislation, this will be get to work legislation," said Gerry Ritz, federal agriculture minister, Thursday morning.

An order in council takes effect immediately. It requires CN Rail and CP Rail to each ship 500,000 metric tonnes of grain or 5,500 rail cars per week for the next five weeks.

CP Rail says adding more trains won't solve grain backlog
By Adriana Christianson paNOW Staff

The CEO of Canadian Pacific Railway says adding more trains during cold weather will not resolve the grain back-log.

Hunter Harrison published an open letter to the public on Thursday in an effort to "set the record straight" on railway operations. He insisted that the company is hauling more grain than ever before and aims to increase shipments by 20 per cent over last year.

Sask exports set record
paNOW Staff

For three-years straight, Saskatchewan has set a record for agricultural exports.

In 2013, the province saw $11.7 billion in total sales of exports which is an increase of almost five per cent from 2012 and is an 83 per cent increase since 2007.

Exports from Saskatchewan represent 23 per cent of Canada’s overall $50.4 billion in agriculture exports.

paNOW Staff

March 3 to 9 has been proclaimed as Agricultural Literacy Week by the Government of Saskatchewan.

Grain and bills still piling up for grain farmers
By Adriana Christianson paNOW Staff

While politicians demand answers from rail companies, grain farmers across Saskatchewan are trying to figure out how to pay off their loans this year because are still waiting to cash in on their harvest.

Tanner Borsa, 20, started buying land west of Melfort last year, but with no contracts to ship his crop he is worried about making mortgage payments.

Province wants feds to oversee negotiations on grain backlog
By Jill Smith paNOW Staff

The province is hoping the federal government will get negotiations between CP Rail, CN Rail, and grain companies moving.

Minister of Economy Bill Boyd says in his conversations with rail lines and grain companies, both sides are willing to come up with level of service agreements.

“Unless we see dramatically higher rail service, dramatically higher car unloads at the various port positions, this will go into 2015 at the earliest,” said Boyd during an interview on John Gormley Live Monday.

Government to meet with rail companies on grain backlog
By Adriana Christianson paNOW Staff

A provincial delegation looking into problems with grain shipping is going back and forth between grain companies and rail companies to get answers about how to solve some major rail delays.

Meetings planned to gain information on grain backlog
By Geoff Smith paNOW Staff

There may not be a strike at CN Rail, but it doesn't change the fact there's still a major backlog getting the record crop to port.

"That would have been the icing on the cake, wouldn't it have?" says a relieved Norm Hall, president of the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS), which is planning two symposiums later this month to gather the facts about this year's transportation issues.

Wall, Ritz react to various ag issues during Sask. Trade Summit
By François Biber paNOW Staff

All things agriculture was on the table at the Saskatchewan Trade Summit in Saskatoon Wednesday.

Premier Brad Wall and federal Agricultural Minister Gerry Ritz discussed everything from Country of Origin Labelling (COOL) to the railway backlog and the looming CN Rail strike.

Country of Origin Labelling

Saskatchewan's Premier is bringing the heat on COOL.