Latest articles


rainfall simulator

Rain, rain don’t go away: How to capture more moisture on your land

When it comes to retaining rainfall, seeing is believing — and new infiltration tool does just that

Drought is a four-letter word in Alberta right now — but also proof that it’s critical to make the most of any moisture we get. “If we’re getting the types of rain we normally get, water infiltration probably isn’t that big of a deal,” said Ken Lewis, conservation co-ordinator with Red Deer County. “But in […] Read more


Learning about grasslands at Glenbow Ranch

Alberta Beef Producers has partnered with the Glenbow Ranch Park Foundation on a program that gives school kids a chance to learn about native grasslands and the role cattle play in these threatened ecosystems. The Explore Grasslands Program is open to elementary and high school classes, and includes a half-day program for Grade 4 students […] Read more



Going beyond grass: The case for forage legumes

Alberta producers offer the wisdom of their experience — and their gains — from high legume pastures

If you’re fearful that seeding pasture with legumes will be a waste of time and money, several Alberta producers have some tips for you. A new video from Alberta Agriculture and Forestry features producers offering their advice — some of it hard earned — on topics such as seedbed preparation, nutrients, and weed control. Having […] Read more


Grass is your foundation, but great grazing doesn’t happen by itself

Irricana rancher Doug Wray intensively manages his five dozen paddocks and makes their health his top priority

After two decades of refining his grazing plan, Doug Wray knew long before the snow melted which of his 60 paddocks would be the first to see cows. The Irricana rancher also has a rough plan for all of his 2,000 acres of pasture for the rest of spring and into summer — but Mother […] Read more



You want pollinators to make their home on your range

There are scores of native pollinators in Alberta — and the more you have on your rangeland, the better

There is a buzz on range- and pasture lands. And we really need to pay attention to native pollinators and the benefits that they provide, says a rangeland ecologist. “Pollinators are critical to rangelands themselves, and the plants that are there,” said Cameron Carlyle, an assistant professor at the University of Alberta, who is not […] Read more


Fifteen years later, conservation program is an overnight sensation

Almost no one wanted to sign up for the wildlife habitat restoration project when it started, but now there’s a waiting list

John Ross was the first rancher to sign on to the MULTISAR (Multiple Species At Risk) program 15 years ago, when no one else wanted to sign up to the conservation initiative. Now, there’s a waiting list of ranchers signed up to make their grazing land more suitable for wildlife and native species. “We worked […] Read more



It came from outer space — better pasture insurance, that is

Using a new generation of satellites to measure grass production promises to be a game changer for pasture insurance

Ask any rancher or other forage producer — insuring pasture land can be a major pain in the neck. Because of the limitations of current assessment tools, in the event of a wreck producers can be paid nothing or an amount that does not reflect actual loss. Instead, payments are made on an area-wide basis […] Read more


Three resources to read before buying land

The high cost of farmland doesn’t leave room for emotion — or miscalculation

Farm auction sale season has begun, and a provincial farm financial specialist says a lot of retiring farmers are choosing to sell their land by public auction. “With interest rates remaining low and the majority of Alberta farms continuing to have a strong balance sheet, the demand for farmland purchase in Alberta remains robust,” said […] Read more



Grasslands a carbon-capture colossus

Do the math: Take Alberta $15-per-tonne carbon tax and then look at how much carbon is stored in grasslands

If the Alberta government really wants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the province, it should start with an incentive for farmers to reduce annual cropping, says a rangeland management expert. “There’s a pretty compelling case about why there should be a direct economic incentive for producers to maintain or even increase the amount of […] Read more


Boosting the bottom line through better pasture management

It’s about more sunlight, rain, and forage types — and never overgrazing

If farming these days is all about managing inputs, then grazing comes down to managing the land itself — the sunlight, water, minerals, and biodiversity that make pasture lands grow. “We can’t control the price of oil; we can’t control the cost of steel for making farming equipment; but we can manage and control these […] Read more