Latest articles


‘Wake-up call’ needed for resistance

Provincial crop expert says it’s time to stop pretending it’s not ‘a huge issue’

Weed resistance has been an issue in crop production for many years, but is coming to the forefront as increasing numbers of weeds are no longer responding to herbicides. “Most producers are aware of the issue, but unless it affects them directly, don’t see it as a huge issue,” said provincial crop specialist Harry Brook. […] Read more


Keep watch for these tree-attacking insects

Provincial woodlot management specialist offers tips for controlling pests and improving tree health

When it comes to trees, there are a few different insects to keep an eye out for this year. “The yellow-headed spruce sawfly has been a problem for spruce the last few years, as well as spider mites,” said provincial woodlot management specialist Toso Bozic. “White pine weevil has also been a problem for young […] Read more



Know your enemy and its destructive potential, says provincial crop specialist

There’s a critical window for controlling weeds, but it depends on both the crop 
and the threat posed by individual species

All crops have a critical weed control period when they are most susceptible to significant yield loss from weed competition. The critical weed control period for canola is around 17 to 38 days after emergence. Peas can be as early as two weeks after emergence. “Other, more competitive crops, like the cereals, have a less […] Read more


Big uptake for more humane euthanasia device

Producers rush to acquire non-penetrating bolt stunner after Alberta Pork pilot project

A pilot project promoting a more humane euthanasia device has resulted in its widespread adoption in the Alberta hog sector. “This more humane method of euthanasia is now well accepted and is being used,” said Javier Bahamon, manager of quality assurance with Alberta Pork. “Today, 30 per cent of Alberta’s sow herd is covered. Now […] Read more



Cow eating hay.

Tips when feeding unharvested crops

Digestibility, nutrient levels, and presence of mycotoxins are factors to consider before swath grazing or baling

Using overwintered cereal crops for swath grazing this spring — or baling for use as greenfeed next fall and winter — is an option but raises some concerns. “Typically, protein and energy contents are lower in the spring compared to the fall,” said provincial beef and forage specialist Barry Yaremcio. “Digestibility of the feeds can […] Read more


Another hangover from last year’s dismal weather

Pea leaf weevil have been spreading north and last summer’s wet conditions will give them a boost this year

Research shows that treating pea seed with a systemic insecticide product is the most effective control measure to prevent pea leaf weevil damage. Legume crops such as field peas and fababeans produce most of the nitrogen they need, but pea leaf weevils “greatly compromise” that process, said provincial crop specialist Neil Whatley. The pest showed […] Read more



Don’t let that pretty quarter section turn your head

Spring is a busy time for farmland sales, but make sure you don’t wind up with buyer’s regret

Spring is a prime time for buying land, but don’t rush into a purchase, says a provincial farm financial specialist. “With farmland prices continuing to appreciate, a well-researched financial and ownership plan will guard against ill-prepared land purchases,” said Rick Dehod. “So do your homework before making a final decision.” Read more: FCC sees increase […] Read more


Can your farm operation withstand ‘lean years?’

Debt-fuelled expansion during good times can put a farm at risk when times get tough

Solvency is one of the key measures when it comes to gauging financial management of a farm. “Financial risk can be broken down into three main financial management parameters — solvency, liquidity, and profitability,” said provincial farm finance specialist Rick Dehod. “Once the measure within each of these three financial parameters has been assessed, the […] Read more



Online tool gives snapshot of farm’s fiscal health

Analyzer uses eight numbers from the year-end balance sheet to 
quickly produce 11 key financial ratios linked to industry benchmarks

To help producers be aware of the ratios for their farm businesses, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry has a decision-making tool called the ABA Simple Farm Ratio Analyzer. Start with your year-end net worth statement (the balance sheet for 2016), which is also your opening net worth statement for 2017, said farm finance specialist Rick Dehod. […] Read more


Here’s where to find well water resources

There are workshops, fact sheets, videos, well records, and online tools to help you maintain good water quality


Alberta water well owners have access to a host of information, tools, resources, and experts to help them. The Working Well program (www.workingwell.alberta.ca) offers province-wide, hands-on workshops for well owners to learn the basics of groundwater, well construction, common well problems, contamination risks, importance of well reclamation, and best management practices. The website also has […] Read more