Food industry lobbying spikes amid GMO fight-report — July 29, 2014


U.S. food companies spent almost as much lobbying Congress in the first quarter of 2014 as they did in the full year in 2013, a sign the industry may have intensified its fight against state labelling requirements for genetically engineered foods, according to a report released Tuesday. The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), along with companies […]

Grain groups urge USDA to restore inspections at Washington port — July 29, 2014


A coalition of U.S. grain groups has urged the Department of Agriculture to immediately restore official grain inspection services at the Port of Vancouver, Washington, which is involved in a long-running labor dispute. In a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, the 22 national, regional and state organizations said disruptions at the port “put at […]

Southern Manitoba canola growth more varied than usual – scouts — July 28, 2014


Canola crops in southern Manitoba are growing at a wider range of stages than usual, with many behind their normal development stage, scouts touring the fertile western Prairies found on Monday. Some canola was just beginning to flower, while other crops were in full bloom, canola’s critical development period. Other fields of canola in south-central […]

Nanton’s preserved grain elevators at the Canadian Grain Elevator Discovery Centre was the site of AGES’ 12th annual general meeting.

Saving Alberta’s farming icons

Grain elevator enthusiasts promote history, preservation of historic structures

The key to saving the 100 or so country grain elevators still standing in Alberta is preserving their stories, says Hans Huizinga, a heritage restoration consultant. “The elevators themselves are no good without the stories,” said Huizinga, noting the Prairie sentinels and their operators generated countless tales of pioneer living and commerce. “You can have […]

Elna Edgar’s asparagus fields near Innisfail are picked almost bare by the end of June.

Asparagus operation a labour of love for Innisfail growers

The tender vegetable isn’t supposed to grow in central Alberta — but that didn’t stop the Edgar family

If you asked her today, Elna Edgar would admit that the folks at Alberta Agriculture were “absolutely right” 30 years ago when they said asparagus couldn’t be grown in their little corner of central Alberta. “It’s the most quirky, odd, drive-you-crazy vegetable that you can imagine,” said Edgar, who owns and operates Edgar Farms near […]

Steaks, other prime cuts, and ground beef dominate the beef counter in Canadian stores but to sell the whole carcass, the beef industry has to look abroad.

Beef industry adopts ‘right customer for the right cut’ marketing approach

Canada’s beef industry is beginning to maximize profits from the 
whole cattle carcass by catering to different global markets

Cuts from the loin, sirloin, and rib “help keep the lights on” for Canada’s beef industry, but it needs niche markets to capture value from the whole beef carcass, says Canada Beef’s director of North American market development. “The middle meats are obviously highly valuable, but they only make up a certain percentage of the […]

Ed Matters, who is participating in Alberta Open Farm Days, tends his Speckle Park cows.

Open Farm Days ready to roll

The coffee pot’s on and everyone in Alberta is invited. Alberta Open Farm Days is the perfect opportunity for rural and urban residents to learn more about food production in this province. For Debbie and Ed Matters it’s a chance to show off Speckle Park cattle, a unique breed created on farms along the Highway […]

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Grain marketing: Is it time to pull the trigger?

Grain is moving, elevators are buying, and price forecasts aren’t rosy. 
Is it time to start selling this year’s crop?

Rimbey farmer Greg Service avoided the worst of the winter’s grain backlog. Although you couldn’t call him lucky — half of his acres were hailed out last year. “We got paid out by hail insurance, so cash flow wasn’t a big concern,” he said. “Mother Nature did my marketing for me.” So far, this year’s […]

Brandon Gibb takes a picture of himself while using his quadcopter to survey his farm near Pincher Creek.

Drones earning their keep on the farm

Farmers like Brandon Gibb are making profitable use of their cheap and easy-to-use unmanned aerial vehicles

From counting plants per square foot to measuring grain loss behind the combine, farmers spend a lot of time close to the ground. Sometimes, however, the best farm decisions are aided by a perspective from higher up. Drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in agriculture are making headlines, and for a couple of thousand dollars […]