Latest articles


Cold weather is an ideal time for pruning diseased trees

Black knot and fire blight can be easily spread when it’s warm but not in winter

Very few people think of pruning in the dead of winter, but it’s probably the best time when it comes to trees infested with black knot and fire blight. “The beauty of winter pruning is that there are no leaves, and you will have a clear picture where to prune,” said Toso Bozic, a provincial […] Read more


Lethbridge egg processor gets cracking with safety certification

The five-year-old co-operative expects its new HACCP status to open the door to new markets

When you think of Alberta eggs going to market, you might think of consumers in the grocery store putting a dozen or two in their cart and heading home. But most of the eggs at the grocery store are the large or extra-large grades, which leaves a significant surplus of lower-demand eggs in the small- […] Read more



Hoe, hoe, hoe — guess what gardeners want from Santa?

Here are some gift ideas for folks with green thumbs

It’s a long way off to gardening season, but Alberta Agriculture and Forestry has several publications that might be a perfect fit for the gardener on your Christmas list. Alberta Yards and Gardens ($15): unbiased information on selecting ornamental trees and shrubs, lawns, small fruits and berries, flowers, vegetables, herbs and even water plants. The […] Read more


Christmas gift suggestions for green thumbs (and bee lovers)

A comprehensive how-to guide might be an ideal gift for someone keen on gardening, beekeeping, or starting a sideline enterprise

Know someone interested in commercial production? These Alberta Agriculture and Forestry books might be a perfect gift. Commercial Vegetable Production on the Prairies ($20 plus GST): A comprehensive 300-page resource and reference tool suitable for new and experienced vegetable growers at all scales of commercial production. Key topics included planning for vegetable production, seeding, transplanting, […] Read more



Have a plan to get the most out of your feed supply

Strategies include keeping alfalfa until the third trimester and monitoring the calcium/phosphorus ratio when feeding cereals

Livestock producers have several months of winter ahead of them. “It’s best to develop a strategy to get the most out of your feed supply at the start of feeding season, and it’s not too late,” said provincial beef extension specialist Andrea Hanson. By testing the various feeds and knowing the nutritional values of each, […] Read more


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