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Crop Commissions to fund wheat research

The Alberta Wheat Commission and its Saskatchewan counterpart will spend $1.6 million over three years on seven wheat research projects. These include stripe rust surveillance to improve resistance in regional wheat varieties, developing a reliable method of gene editing in wheat to simplify the breeding process, and improving nitrogen use efficiency. Other research will look […] Read more


Wheat rally stalls at just the wrong time

Prices are off summer highs but a drop in global production sets the stage for another rally this winter

For much of this year’s hot, dry summer, Alberta wheat growers could look forward to higher prices to offset lower production. But now they can’t even count on that — at least not for the foreseeable future. “We have seen prices pulling back a little bit over the last few weeks,” FarmLink’s senior market analyst […] Read more



Partnership launches first CPSR wheat variety

The Alberta Wheat Commission and Canterra Seeds have launched a new wheat variety. AAC Crossfield, which will be available in spring, is the first variety created under their public, private, producer partnership (4-P). The high-yielding variety has short, strong straw that is well suited for high inputs and/or under irrigation and has improved milling and […] Read more


Proper combine adjustment pays off now and later

You don’t want fusarium-damaged kernels lowering grade or spreading spores, says crop specialist

Producers need to make combine adjustments to prevent kernels damaged by fusarium head blight from going into storage, says a provincial crop specialist. Harvest management of fusarium-damaged kernels (FDK) will improve the grade of a cereal crop, said Neil Whatley. “Many FDKs — especially in wheat — are smaller, lighter in weight, and more shrunken […] Read more



New grain standards now in effect

Changes to the grain grading guide as of Aug. 1

Changes to the Official Grain Grading Guide and variety designation lists are now in effect. That means individual official standard samples will be used to assess frost, heat stress, and mildew damage in western Canadian wheat. New variety designation lists also came into effect on Aug. 1 — 25 varieties of Canada Western Red Spring […] Read more


This year’s back-up plan could work out nicely

Wheat acres in Alberta jumped this year but the move appears to be well timed

With the shine off pulses and disease issues constraining canola acres, wheat has become the go-to alternative for Alberta farmers this year. StatsCan estimates 6.27 million acres of spring wheat were planted in the province this year — 405,000 more acres than last year and the most since 2013. Add in durum and winter wheat, […] Read more



You can direct market grain, too — but it’s more complicated

Mark Gibeau sells flour to bakers and chefs while selling direct helped Steven Snider get started

Mark Gibeau wouldn’t be a farmer today if he couldn’t direct market his grains. “Having small acres in the big-boy system doesn’t work,” said the owner of Heritage Harvest near Strathmore. “We had to find something different right from the get-go.” Gibeau, who farms with his wife, began growing certified organic heritage grains on his […] Read more


Landscape featuring a grain field.

Japan resumes Canadian wheat purchases

Quick response by government and industry credited for quick resumption in sales to major wheat buyer

Japan has resumed purchases of Canadian wheat after testing found no genetically modified wheat in imports following the discovery of a few GM wheat plants in Alberta last summer. The decision “proves that Canada’s science-based regulatory system works,” said the general manager of the Alberta Wheat Commission. “Not only does Canada’s grain-handling system employ some […] Read more



Lacombe distillery gets by with a little help from its friends

Old Prairie Sentinel wouldn’t survive without its locally grown ingredients, says owner

It takes a village to distil high-quality spirits. Just ask Rob Gugin. “We rely a lot on our neighbours,” said the owner of Old Prairie Sentinel Distillery in Lacombe. “This area of the world is famous for its malt barley, and our neighbours in Alix at the Rahr Malting plant make some of the best […] Read more


Grain commission tweaks grading tests for start of new crop year

New test for assessing mildew and heat/frost stress will prevent unnecessary downgrading of wheat

Grading factors for mildew and heat/frost stress when grading western Canadian wheat will be tweaked starting Aug. 1, the start of the 2018-19 crop year, the Canadian Grain Commission has announced. “It’s not a significant difference,” said Daryl Beswitherick, the grain commission’s program manager for quality assurance standards and reinspection. “The frequency of the factors […] Read more