Farm safety expert Donna Trottier will be sharing some practical strategies for building a farm safety program at the upcoming FarmTech Conference.

Find ‘your own reasons’ to make your farm safer, says expert

Finding time is often the biggest hurdle, but farm safety expert Donna Trottier says 
the key is to start small and build on that

It’s been one year since Alberta’s controversial farm and ranch safety legislation came into effect, and the jury is still out as to whether the act is actually making farms across the province safer. But preventing agriculture-related injuries is “pretty complex,” and legislation alone can’t bear that load without some support from training and education, […] Read more


Open outcry floor trading has largely gone the way of the dodo, but grain and livestock markets still make unexpected moves and producers need to take advantage, says market expert David Derwin.

Chuck the crystal ball — protect your downside

If you’re worried about missing big rallies and don’t like delivery commitments, 
then consider options, says David Derwin

David Derwin has one piece of advice for farmers wondering where markets will go in 2017: “Expect the unexpected.” “A lot of the marketing advice out there is about trying to guess where the market is going to go, and I think too much time is spent there,” said Derwin, an investment adviser with PI […] Read more



This is not a winter wonderland. Allison Ammeter and husband Mike will have to deal with these fababeans, pictured here on Nov. 20, in the spring.

ONE FOR THE BOOKS: Lessons learned, and a look ahead

‘Don’t wait for the perfect day’ is one of the key lessons from 2016, 
and sticking to rotations may be one for this year

Allison Ammeter didn’t see the inside of a combine in October. As harvest carried on across the province, Ammeter was left waiting and wondering when the rains would stop and whether she and husband Mike would finish harvest before the snow started flying. They didn’t. “We got not quite two-thirds done, which is fairly average […] Read more


Nano-biosensors have proven effective in detecting sclerotinia in the lab, says researcher Susie Li. The next step is seeing how well the $10 devices work in a field.

Canola may soon be able to text  you when it needs to be sprayed

Nano-biosensors are more accurate than checklists at determining when to spray for sclerotinia

An Alberta researcher has found a tiny way to solve a big problem for canola farmers — using nano-biosensors to detect sclerotinia stem rot in the field, eliminating the need for visual scouting. “Sclerotinia stem rot is one of the most devastating diseases in canola farming, and scientists have worked very hard to try and […] Read more



farmer in a field

Believe it or not — urban men are in better health than farmers

Stress and constantly working take their toll, but there’s a free and proven program that helps farmers enjoy healthier, better lives


You take good care of your land, your equipment, and your animals. But do you take the same care with your own health? Farmers tend not to think of themselves as a ‘tool’ that needs regular maintenance, says the program manager of Sustainable Farm Families Alberta. Combines, for instance, go into the shop before every […] Read more


There’s huge money to be made by finding and selecting more efficient cattle, says Erasmus Okine, 
an expert in areas such as residual feed intake.

Get ready for super-efficient cattle — and a better relationship with consumers

Top researcher says big data and genomics are game changers, 
but winning the trust of consumers is equally key

In the ever-changing landscape of Canadian agriculture, efficiency is the new watchword. “If we can increase efficiency of production by about five per cent in Alberta, we can save producers about $100 million a year — even if only one-third of livestock producers adopt those efficient improvements,” said Erasmus Okine, vice-president of research at the […] Read more



He’s only 16, but Holden Heppler has spent nearly half of his life working towards his goal — and he’s got a simple three-step process for overcoming procrastination.

Want to keep those resolutions? This young man knows the secret

Future paleontologist Holden Heppler has the recipe for achieving goals: 
purpose, passion, and a community of supporters

With holiday dinners behind us and a fresh year ahead, our minds often turn toward our New Year’s resolutions — those promises we make (and just as quickly break) to do better this year. Well, 16-year-old Holden Heppler has a surefire way to stick to those resolutions. “There’s one road to success, and that road […] Read more


Excessive moisture — including snow in September — wreaked havoc on this year’s harvest, 
which on many farms didn’t end until November.

It likely wasn’t your greatest year, but 2016 was definitely eventful

Weather was the big story but it was also a year when pulses took centre stage, 
farm groups came together like never before, and sustainable beef hit a milestone

Stepping back and looking at the year gone past is a great way to prepare for the one ahead. For most producers, 2016 was a grind with a distinct shortage of highlight reel moments. But the world always moves forward and there were many significant changes that took place over the last 12 months. Here […] Read more



Employing the natural ability of crops to defend themselves is the logical next step in the movement that has brought no-till and soil health to the fore, says Alberta producer Andy Kirschenman.

Plants’ secret chemistry could change the way you farm

Science is discovering plants produce their own pesticides and warn each other of threats — but tillage, spraying, and even breeding can disrupt these defences

A war is being waged in your fields. Every day, your crops are fighting for their lives against insects, diseases, weeds, and weather. And their best line of defence isn’t the chemicals we spray or the traits we breed into them. It’s their sense of smell. “Anything that anybody has ever done to any plant […] Read more


Farmers need to address the elephant in the room, whether that’s animal welfare issues or farm safety concerns, said leadership consultant Mark Bosworth.

When challenged by consumers, challenge yourself, says expert

Sure, producers should defend what they do when they’re in the right — but they should work to raise the bar when they’re not

When defending agriculture’s social licence to operate, stop making excuses and start raising the bar. “It amounts to excuses — the stories we tell ourselves,” said Mark Bosworth, a leadership consultant at KESA, an Alberta company with clients ranging from businesses and government agencies to NHL teams. He cited a number of common responses when […] Read more