Latest articles


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


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