Last year’s prolonged dry spell has prompted more growers to take
 out insurance this year or to boost their coverage level.

Uncertain times prompt growers to take out more insurance

It’s an uncertain world out there, especially in farming — and that has more Alberta producers taking out crop insurance. “We’re seeing more acres being insured by Alberta producers on crops — last year we were close to about 78 per cent of acres insured,” said Merle Jacobson, acting president of the Agricultural Financial Services […] Read more


beef cattle

Bid to boost beef checkoffs remains stalled

There’s no resolution in sight on the issue of checkoffs, even though beef industry groups say research and marketing will suffer if the levies aren’t increased. “We need to invest more in marketing, research, and issues management,” said Rich Smith, executive director of Alberta Beef Producers (ABP). “We simply believe we need a higher level […] Read more



Krista Critch was one of many volunteers who helped to save horses and pets from the Fort McMurray wildfire.

Horses and pets not forgotten in Fort McMurray rescue effort

There was an overwhelming effort to rescue and care for horses and pets in the wake of the devastating fire

The outpouring of support for people displaced by the Fort McMurray wildfire was overwhelming — and so was the effort to rescue and care for horses from the area. Krista Critch was one of many volunteers who dropped everything to help save horses and pets at the height of the crisis. She had driven up […] Read more




Safety expert Don Andrechek (l) is working with Paul Wipf of the Viking Colony to develop 
a safety program specifically for Hutterite colonies.

Hutterite colony creates first-of-its-kind farm safety program

The Viking Colony is partnering with a safety expert to create a 
program geared to Hutterite colonies and their diverse enterprises


Paul Wipf has a passion for safety and has always wanted to raise awareness about farm safety on his colony. That prompted the farm manager of Viking Colony to partner with a workplace health and safety consultant to develop a first-of-its-kind safety program specifically for Hutterite colonies. “This has been in my heart and mind […] Read more


Adrienne Ivey (left) says Earls’ decision to source Certified Humane beef was all about marketing and while Ben Campbell (right) didn’t like the decision either, he also says beef producers need to “shift our paradigm.”

The great divide: Earls controversy has larger implications for beef industry

A move to woo customers with ‘certified humane’ beef ignited a firestorm — and highlighted the gap between producers and consumers

The decision by Earls Restaurants to stop using Canadian beef and move to American “certified humane” proved short-lived, but the issue is much bigger than one restaurant’s choice of suppliers. Earls quickly reversed the decision that sent waves of displeasure through the beef industry. But the controversy has highlighted both consumers’ lack of knowledge about […] Read more



soybean field

Expert suggestions for the best on-farm research

Here are some key considerations to get the best results from your on-farm trials

When it comes to on-farm research, the key things to remember are preparation, location, and repetition. “The rigour you have to use goes up considerably if you want to turn it into research,” said Dan Heaney, research and development vice-president with Farmers Edge
. Long, narrow configurations work better than block configurations for check strips, Heaney […] Read more


Alberta is home to nearly half of the honeybee colonies in Canada.

Alberta honeybees are busy — but not well understood

Researcher says there’s a lot to learn about how honeybees could be used to further boost canola yields

Having bees around your canola field might be good for your yield, but the exact details of how and why are not known yet. That’s where people like Shelley Hoover, apiculture researcher with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry in Lethbridge, comes in. Hoover’s research deals with bee health, bee pollination, and the impacts bees have on […] Read more



Massive global stockpiles of corn, soybeans, wheat, and other commodities mean low prices and gloomy times in the U.S. — but it’s a different story north of the border.

Sheltered from the storm — Canadian farm sector doing well

Low dollar and a robust demand for pulses, canola, and 
specialty crops has spared Prairie producers from troubled times

As the U.S. enters a dark period for its farm economy, there’s cautious optimism in the Canadian agricultural outlook. “The net income and the overall situation in the United States is not looking good,” said Craig Klemmer, senior agricultural economist with Farm Credit Canada. “When we look at the net income expectations for 2016, there’s […] Read more


"We were surprised because it's frequently heard in the media how important agriculture is for diversification and job creation." – Dave Chalack.

ALMA a casualty of provincial government cuts

Agency has proved 
its worth, industry leaders say

The Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency is being dissolved — and its demise is being mourned by many in the industry. “We were surprised and disappointed,” said Dave Chalack, a rancher and veterinarian who is chair of ALMA’s board. “I know we had a great organization and one that has evolved in a significant and […] Read more