Latest articles


A large weed seed bank is a ‘gift that keeps taking’

No till, chaff collection, forage in rotation, and chemical control all reduce weed pressure

Below the soil surface lurks the weed seed bank — the predominant source of weed pressure on current and future crops. “You do not want to draw on this bank account,” said provincial crop specialist Harry Brook. “It is a source of annual and perennial weeds that will wait for years before the right conditions […] Read more


Green seed canola a big issue for producers this year

Know what you’ve got, watch for spoilage, and make calls to potential buyers of lower grades, says crop specialist

Canola samples have highly variable levels of distinctly green seed this year, says a provincial crops analyst. “Some farmers have reported that there has been a reduction in the green seed count during storage and others have said that it has not changed since harvest,” said Neil Blue. But many producers, particularly in the northern […] Read more



Three agriculture leaders inducted into Hall of Fame

Garnet Altwasser, Ron Howard, and Dieter Kuhlmann all played major roles in their sectors

Three Alberta visionaries have been honoured by the Agriculture Hall of Fame in recognition of their contributions to the cattle-feeding, crop science, and greenhouse industries. This year’s inductees — Garnet Altwasser, Ronald Howard, and Dietrich Kuhlmann — were honoured at a ceremony in Leduc on Oct. 26. Garnet Altwasser became a leader in Canadian agribusiness […] Read more


Know what you have for livestock feed and use it strategically

You’ll need higher-quality feed later on, and the last thing you want to do is overfeed

When planning your feeding program, keep the good stuff for later. “Using higher-quality feed early in the season could mean it is not available later in the season when the cows really need it,” said livestock extension specialist Andrea Hanson. “It could get costly for the operation, either by increasing feed costs or reducing cow […] Read more



Lightweight barley works well in cattle feeding program

One study found only a four per cent difference in feed efficiency, but it should be properly processed

Initial reports from this year’s harvest indicate that bushel weight of threshed grains is variable, with barley ranging from 35 to 50 pounds per bushel. “Feedlots and elevators are more than willing to take the heavyweight barley without any hesitation or discounts,” said beef and forage specialist Barry Yaremcio. “When barley bushel weights are below […] Read more


irrigation equipment

Grants available for irrigation upgrades

Grants to reduce water use or energy use can be as much as $15,000 for each irrigated parcel

Applications are now being accepted for the Irrigation Efficiency program under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. The program offers grants for new low-pressure centre pivots or upgrades to existing pivots (such as sprinkler and nozzle packages, control panels, and variable-rate irrigation) as well as drip irrigation. Any active producer who owns an irrigated agricultural operation in […] Read more



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