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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 ( 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

Millennials — how to cater to the new majority

The age cohort now in their late teens to early 30s will be the majority by 2050

When it comes to targeting millennials, emphasize sustainability and ethical business practices, as well as convenience and flavour variety. In 2015, there were 9.5 million Canadians between the ages of 15 and 34 years old. “As a group, they’re more ethnically diverse and well educated than any previous generation,” said Ava Duering, a competitiveness analyst […] Read more

Canadian money

When it comes to cash flow, ignorance is dangerous

Tighter margins make it that much easier to find yourself caught short when bills come due

The new year is a good time to review your marketing plans and cash flow projections, says a provincial farm financial specialist. “Cash is the lifeblood of a business, but with so much emphasis usually put on profitability, it can be easy to overlook this fact,” said Rick Dehod. “Poor cash flow management can drive […] Read more

Cash grain brokers an option for marketing your crops

But since they don’t take physical possession of grain, brokers don’t have to be licensed with the grain commission

Numerous cash grain brokers have become established across the Canadian Prairies. Could using the services of a cash grain broker be part of your marketing plan? “By definition, a broker is a matching agent who arranges a transaction between a buyer and a seller, and for that service, is paid a commission,” said provincial crop […] Read more

Run the numbers, compare performance, and make more money

AgriProfit$ allows you to dig deep into where you make money on your farm and where your performance is lagging

Time is running out if you want to enrol in AgriProfit$. Producers have until mid-January to sign up for the business analysis program, said Pauline Van Biert, a research analyst with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. After providing their farm information, participants receive a detailed analysis that drills right down to their own cost of production […] Read more