Latest articles


Checking the dugout should be on the winter prep list

Provincial water specialist offers his inspection to-do list and tips for protecting water quality

If you haven’t already, now is a good time to inspect your dugouts, says a provincial water specialist. An inspection should start with a check of the area that feeds into the dugout, said Dan Benson. “Make sure that this area is free of debris that might flow into your dugout,” he said. “A properly […] Read more


Fences can cause issues — but there’s an act for that

There are at least four provincial acts which deal with fencing matters such as strays, maintenance, and location

The Stray Animals Act, Line Fence Act, Public Lands Act, and Surveys Act all affect how farmland fencing issues are handled in Alberta. “Under the Stray Animals Act, a landowner is responsible for keeping his livestock properly fenced and contained,” said Jeana Schuurman of the Farmers’ Advocate Office. “If damage is caused by cattle trespassing […] Read more



Feed testing now can save you money

Testing is especially important this year as supplies are tight and quality down in many areas of the province

Doing feed tests now, at the start of the feeding season, will allow producers to develop a strategy to ensure all categories of cattle in the herd are fed to their production goals and extra costs are avoided. “Livestock feed supplies are going to be tight in some areas of Alberta, while in other areas, […] Read more


Plan for your children’s safety on the farm

Here are some guidelines for creating a ‘hazard-free’ play area

Children “often perceive the farm as a big playground filled with endless opportunities to explore” and parents need to plan accordingly, says a provincial farm safety youth co-ordinator. “Unfortunately, they don’t always recognize the serious dangers that are often lurking around the farmyard,” said Janice Donkers. “Most rural parents want their kids to enjoy life […] Read more



Now is the time to create next year’s battle plan for fusarium

Scouting this year is the first step in limiting the impact of the cereal disease next year

Although it’s likely too late to apply a fungicide for fusarium graminearum, producers can still use the information they gather about the outbreak to plan for subsequent growing seasons. Fusarium graminearum is considered the most important fusarium head blight (FHB) species due to its aggressiveness and production of deoxynivalenol or DON (a.k.a. vomitoxin), said crop […] Read more


Don’t like the grade or dockage assessment?

For $50, the Canadian Grain Commission will give you an independent assessment 
of the quality of your canola

Alberta producers are reporting large variations among buyers in their dockage assessment on canola, says a provincial crop market analyst. “On dockage alone, producers have reported from one to over three per cent differences in dockage on the same sample of their canola,” said Neil Blue. “These differences were reported both in cases of comparing […] Read more



Frequently asked questions about grain storage

What is dry grain, how long can you store your crops, 
and will grasshoppers increase moisture levels?

 How much drying will I get with aeration? Some drying can occur in aeration systems, but generally, grain going into aeration bins should be within one per cent of being dry enough for long-term storage.  Should I turn my aeration off at night or during rainy days when the air is cool and humid? Since […] Read more


Timely and effective field scouting covers many bases

Provincial crops specialist says scouting not 
only pays dividends this year, but allows you to fine-tune practices for future years

Plant density, weed escapes, early signs of disease, and pest populations should all be on your scouting checklist, says a provincial crop specialist. Evaluating the plant population for a given crop lets producers see if the number of plants (per square foot or square metre) matched the target goal that was established at the time […] Read more



‘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