Latest articles


Grazing hayfields is an option this fall

However, there are some factors to keep in mind and you need to introduce cows properly

Grazing hayfields this fall is an option for keeping livestock out as long as possible, says a provincial forage and beef specialist. “Most hay stands will have a significant amount of alfalfa in them,” said Karen Lindquist. “Higher-quality hay typically needs to have a legume component to provide sufficient protein and energy to meet animals’ […] Read more


Nitrate accumulation a danger in hailed-out crops, says specialist

The crop, its development stage, and the amount of nitrogen in the soil all need to be considered

Think about nitrate accumulation when salvaging cereal, oilseed, or hay crops damaged by hail, says a provincial beef and forage specialist. “Nitrate accumulation occurs in a plant when it is injured and is not able to convert nitrate to protein efficiently after a hailstorm,” said Barry Yaremcio. “In non-legume crops, water and nutrients are pushed […] Read more



Keep watch for insects that attack trees

There are a number of pests that harm trees, including yellow-headed spruce sawfly, spider mites, and white pine weevils

There are several insects that affect trees that you should 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 agro-forestry specialist Toso Bozic. “White pine weevils have also been a problem for young spruce trees, as […] Read more


You’ve got more (landscaping) choices than you think

Many imported trees and shrubs can do well here and mixing them with native species adds diversity

Diverse species of trees and shrubs contribute to the health, function, and beauty of your property, says the province’s agroforestry and bioenergy specialist. “A variety of tree and shrub species can be found in Alberta’s urban and rural areas including ones that, in theory, should not be grown here at all due to our harsh […] Read more



Consider ways to protect against price drops of crops, says analyst

The Spring Price Endorsement offers protection but now has a deductible

There are some changes to the Spring Price Endorsement this year. The Spring Price Endorsement (SPE) is a supplementary election to production insurance at the 60 to 80 per cent coverage level. It provides some protection against a price drop for an insured crop. A spring price is set for each crop during the winter, […] Read more


Easy-to-use guidelines to keep your children safe on the farm

The North American Guidelines for Children’s Agricultural Tasks is a helpful resource for parents, grandparents, and caregivers. “In Alberta between 1990 and 2013, there was a total of 75 agricultural-related fatalities of children under the age of 15 — this is an average of three deaths per year,” said Janice Donkers, provincial farm safety youth co-ordinator. Similar U.S. statistics prompted the creation of […] Read more



What’s fair when it comes to renting farmland?

There are two common methods for determining fair rent — and neither involves coffee-shop talk

How do you know if the rent you’re paying — or charging — for farmland is fair and reasonable? “Often, people use what others are charging or paying in the local area,” said farm business management specialist Dean Dyck. “Following this approach has pitfalls because the rate may not be reflective of the soil productivity […] Read more


Find the key numbers that tell the tale

Using financial indicators and benchmarks gives you the straight goods on how your operation is doing

Some easy-to-calculate ratios can give you a quick idea of the health of your farm or ranch. “The Simple Farm Ratio Analyzer is a shortcut Excel program that takes just eight key financial entries and calculates financial ratios for the farm/ranch and colour codes them in comparison to industry benchmarks,” said Rick Dehod, a provincial […] Read more



What was the real bottom line on your farm in 2017?

Cash accounting can save you taxes, but it doesn’t give you a true picture of profitability

Was your farm profitable in 2017? Now is the time to find out by converting cash statements to accrual income and expenses statements, says a provincial farm financial specialist. “The majority of farms still report their incomes and expenses on a cash basis via their annual income tax returns with the goal of avoiding or […] Read more


How a business plan helps get ‘cash flow rolling’

It’s easy to get sidetracked when starting a new venture so you need a plan to follow the money, says adviser

A written business plan is key to the long-term success of any business, especially a new venture. “Putting the plan to paper will show you how much startup cash you’ll need in order to generate income,” said new venture specialist Jan Warren. “If you don’t know the startup costs of your venture, you can easily […] Read more