There likely isn’t a sector in agriculture that isn’t very ready to put 2018 to bed. From drought and extreme heat for much of the summer, to a cold wet harvest out west, to high DON in corn, market volatility and trade wars, and falling livestock prices this fall, many are looking for a better and brighter year ahead.
As we reflect on the past year, we took a look at the analytics from the site and brought back some of our most popular stories outside of our regular features, such as Wheat Pete’s Word and the Beef Market Update.
Here’s 2018’s list:
- Farmers no further ahead with recent right to repair agreement
When you can repair the actual structure of a machine but the company says “hands off the software”, Lyndsey Smith and Shaun Haney discuss the issue of to whom your tractor actually belongs.
- Cool in the east, dry in the west & similarities to 1936: Drew Lerner’s summer outlook
Drew Lerner of World Weather Inc. gives his forecast breakdown of areas across the country for the spring & summer of 2018.
- Indiana farmer milks 2,200 cows with 36 robots
Brian Houin of Plymouth, Indiana, has spent 2018 testing milking machines on a large scale; twelve pens, each with three robots milking 180 cows. Bernard Tobin caught up with Houin at the World Dairy Expo to talk about robotic vs. conventional.
- The small world of ag: U.S. ag secretary tweets t-shirt photo quoting Sask. dairy farmer
The tweet seen around the #agtwitter world – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue with a t-shirt featuring a quote originally from Saskatchewan dairy farmer Cam Houle.
- Signed, sealed, delivered: A breakdown of USMCA for agriculture
It was likely the most all-encompassing news story of the year; the renegotiation of NAFTA and the adoption of the new USMCA trade deal. RealAgriculture broke down the new agreement and discussed what it means for agriculture.
- What should a farmer look like?
Andrew Campbell discusses stereotyping, and why the focus should be on changing perceptions rather than changing the clothing.
- Until next time
After ten years of reporting on Canadian agriculture, including four with RealAgriculture, Kelvin Heppner steps down to farm full time with his family in Manitoba.
- Seven million extra field passes – quantifying the costs of a GMO ban
Field editor Dale Leftwich talks to University of Saskatchewan’s Dr. Stuart Smyth about Australia’s 2004 to 2010 moratorium on genetically modified canola.
- Just Imagine: Glyphosate use is banned in North America
Shaun Haney takes a look into a fictional future where glyphosate use has been banned in Canada and the U.S.
- Saskatchewan rancher challenges consumers with “What if?” in TEDx talk
Saskatchewan cattle rancher Adrienne Ivey gave a TEDx talk in Regina about the most important conversation the farming industry needs to have with its customers.
- Chipping your tractor can come with big consequences
Shaun Haney and Western Equipment Dealer Association’s Larry Hertz talk pros and cons of engine chipping, and why it’s best to avoid the practice.
- High speed rail line will cut farms in half
A hot topic for Ontario in 2018, the Liberal’s proposed high speed rail line would have sliced farms in half and isolated rural communities. The Liberals lost the provincial election in June to Doug Ford’s Conservatives.
- An unforgettable sight – the record-breaking Harvest for Kids
Photo proof capturing some of the excitement from the Harvest for Kids event, including vintage machines, birds-eye views, and over 15,000 spectators.
- AGCO brings IDEAL combine to North America as a Fendt
AGCO presented their IDEAL combine at Farm Progress Show in Regina, Saskatchewan, making the announcement that it would be sold as a Fendt, rather than across its three axial combine platforms of Massey Ferguson, Challenger, and Fendt.
- Dairy price study finds Canadians don’t pay more for milk
Kelvin Heppner talked to Export Action Global’s Adam Taylor about their new report that found Canadians don’t pay more for comparable dairy products than consumers in countries with deregulated dairy industries.
- CFIA now says Non-GMO Project Verified doesn’t mean non-GMO
Andrew Campbell works through the Non-GMO label confusion, and why it doesn’t necessarily mean non-GMO.
- Tragedy strikes dairy farmers’ Canadian milk tour
The Canadian dairy community mourned at news of the collision involving Henk and Bettina Schuurmans during their Canadian Milk Tour.
And the most popular story from 2018:
- U.S. dairy subsidies equal 73 percent of producer returns, says new report
The U.S. government’s support for its dairy farmers is less direct than Canada’s, but still equaled 73 percent of U.S. dairy farmers’ market returns in 2015, according to a report published by Grey, Clark, Shih and Associates and commissioned by Dairy Farmers of Canada.
On behalf of the entire RealAg team, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Thanks for reading/listening/watching/chatting in 2018, and all the best in 2019.