Latest articles


Hog producers learning how to get the most out of group housing

Animal welfare concerns about gestation stalls have driven the move to group housing, 
but researcher says productivity doesn’t have to suffer

While the adoption of group sow housing was driven by consumers, the pork sector isn’t skipping a beat when it comes to making it work. “Through science, we have been able to show that you can achieve comparable, if not better, productivity through the group housing setting,” swine behaviour and welfare scientist Yolande Seddon told […] Read more


Stampede is a champion of animal welfare, says researcher

The Calgary rodeo is a leader in giving access to researchers, 
and they haven’t found high levels of animal stress or abuse

Animal activists are quick to denounce the Calgary Stampede for animal cruelty. But it turns out very little research has been done on animal welfare at rodeo events. “As a scientist, I can say that there is no data on rodeo and how animals are being treated. That’s where some of the research we’ve been […] Read more



Don’t write off animal welfare advocates as vegans and ‘crazies,’ says expert

Most consumers now believe animals have rights and livestock producers have to respond to their views, says bioethicist

The growing emphasis on animal welfare and animal rights is part of a societal shift, and the livestock sector needs to embrace it. That’s the view of a philosopher who is also a professor of biomedical sciences and animal sciences at Colorado State University and author of several books on animal rights. “Too many people […] Read more


The next big thing? Pioneers of CTF have high hopes

Controlled traffic farming may be the biggest advance since no till, 
but even its fans don’t expect it to be an overnight success

Controlled traffic farming has many benefits, but it still hasn’t caught on big in Alberta. There are only a handful of farmers in the province who have adopted the practice and a recent conference drew just over 50 people — even though CTF, as it’s commonly called, is hailed by some as the biggest advance […] Read more



The battle against TB is a ‘painful journey’ but worth the effort

There are several ways to improve bovine security, even in areas where wildlife may harbour the disease

The measures used to battle bovine tuberculosis are tough, but well worth it, says one of the vets in the line of defence. “Most of our focus is that it is a reportable disease and TB-free status is jealously guarded as a trade advantage to Canada,” Allan Preston, Manitoba’s bovine TB co-ordinator, said during a […] Read more


The lowdown on bovine tuberculosis

Caused by a sneaky ‘bacterial ninja,’ 
bovine TB is a disease with few symptoms, but important consequences

Despite the ongoing bovine tuberculosis situation in southeastern Alberta, many producers may not know some basic facts about the disease. “Bovine TB is caused by bacteria. Many types of mycobacteria exist, and many types of mycobacteria bovis exist,” Karin Schmid, beef production specialist with Alberta Beef Producers, said during a recent Beef Cattle Research Council […] Read more



Herbicide resistance becoming the new reality in Alberta, says weed expert

Researchers in Lacombe are investigating mechanical ways to deal with resistant weeds, but there’s no ‘silver bullet’

Some Alberta farmers are in denial about weed resistance — and they’re in for a rude awakening, says a federal weed scientist. “We spend over $12 an acre on average, and about $500 million a year on wild oat control alone (on the Canadian Prairies),” said Neil Harker. “That’s the weed we put the most […] Read more


Controlled traffic farming can have a positive impact on soils

The practice of always running equipment on the same ‘tramlines’ is rare in Alberta, 
but study says it pays major dividends


Controlled traffic farming does improve soil, says a University of Alberta soil researcher who did his master’s thesis on the practice. “In our area of the North American Great Plains, we have areas that are experiencing soil degradation and it is being propagated further as production systems are intensifying,” said Kris Guenette at the recent […] Read more



Curry-flavoured granola bar wins Mission ImPULSEible

What do a curry granola bar, chickpea pudding, 
and pulse cereal have in common?

A curry-flavoured granola bar was the grand prize winner in this year’s Mission ImPULSEible post-secondary student food development competition. “This was actually our backup plan,” said Andrea Dacko, a member of the winning team. “Our first plan didn’t work out. I guess it’s a good thing. We wanted to go back to the basics, while […] Read more


Jump in: Ag needs more women leaders

Attendees at Advancing Women Conference told their voices are needed — 
and they need to encourage each other to speak up

Women are still a minority in farming but they can — and should — play a leading role. That was a recurring theme at this year’s Advancing Women Conference, where attendees were told their leadership and communication skills are badly needed. “Women’s voices are needed, that’s my underlying message — your hard work, your commitment, […] Read more