Latest articles


A little bit of Iceland thrives in central Alberta

Icelandic sheep are rare in the province but the hardy breed does well in its new homeland

When Stuart Somerville first started researching Icelandic sheep on the internet back in 2009, he never realized he would fall in love with the animals. He and wife Kayla ended up purchasing two ewes and a ram and bringing them to their farm near Endiang, 150 kilometres southeast of Red Deer, in 2009. Somerville had […] Read more


You’re only human — but are you willing to admit it?

The odds of an accident during the gruelling harvest season go up sharply if you don’t take these safety precautions

Are you getting worn down by the harvest grind? If you didn’t answer ‘yes’ to that question, then you’re either not being honest or you’re missing the signs of fatigue. “It’s not a badge of honour to say how long and how hard and how many days it’s been since you’ve taken a holiday,” said […] Read more



Price plunge spells disaster for Alberta hog farmers

Demand is strong, Canadian packers are short 70,000 hogs weekly, but prices have plunged

A crash in prices — fuelled by Washington’s tariff war — could spell the end for many of Alberta’s dwindling number of hog operations. The sector has already lost half of its hog farms in the past decade and with producers losing $50 on every animal they ship, more are looking at throwing in the […] Read more


There’s a reason why stem-mining weevils are the priciest livestock in Alberta

The insects are mowing down Canada thistle across the province, and attracting lots of eager buyers

Tens of thousands of weevils have been pouring into Alberta from Montana — and producers are clamouring for more. “It’s a biological control and it’s been going great,” said Rachael Nay, conservation agriculture extension co-ordinator with the West-Central Forage Association. The association began the project to import stem-mining weevils four years ago as a way […] Read more



clubroot

Researcher offers ‘gospel’ to control clubroot before it spreads

If the infected area is small, mark it and give it special attention — which may even include hand-weeding

When the world’s top clubroot researchers gathered here earlier this month, a hot topic of discussion wasn’t cutting-edge science but an old-fashioned way of controlling a crop infestation — hand-pulling diseased plants. Once a field is heavily infested with clubroot spores, there’s virtually no economical way to deal with the infestation. But at the International […] Read more


They don’t wear capes, but beneficial bugs are superheroes

New campaign urges farmers to give a little more love to the good bugs that kill bad ones

They’re in your field, lurking there, doing their thing. But do you know who they are? Can you identify your beneficial insects? That’s the goal behind the Western Grains Research Foundation’s Field Heroes campaign. “It’s basically a social media campaign to increase the profile of the beneficial insects that are in your field crops,” said […] Read more



Threshing losses could be costing you tens of thousands this harvest

Canola losses when combining are typically double — and sometimes five times — what they should be

How many tens — or hundreds — of millions of dollars might pour out of the backs of Prairie combines this harvest? No one can say for sure, but Vegreville producer Darcy Sarafinchan knows that if he’s not checking for issues when combining canola, the number can get big in a hurry. “When you start […] Read more


New farm growing more than food

A farm provides a perfect working environment for adults with autism, who often struggle to find jobs

Triple S Ranch and Market Gardens is a farm with a different focus: Providing jobs to people with autism. “We launched a non-profit social enterprise May 1 and since then we’ve been working at the farm growing organics,” said Karen-Ann Moore, who owns the 40-acre Winfield-area farm with her husband. She currently has four autistic […] Read more



This year’s back-up plan could work out nicely

Wheat acres in Alberta jumped this year but the move appears to be well timed

With the shine off pulses and disease issues constraining canola acres, wheat has become the go-to alternative for Alberta farmers this year. StatsCan estimates 6.27 million acres of spring wheat were planted in the province this year — 405,000 more acres than last year and the most since 2013. Add in durum and winter wheat, […] Read more


Farm groups blast grain commission for refusing to give back surplus

Federal grain agency plans to spend $90 million on more services, but farm leaders want fees reduced

Alberta’s wheat and barley commissions and the Grain Growers of Canada are unhappy that the Canadian Grain Commission won’t be giving back $90 million in surplus service fees it collected from Prairie farmers. “Over the past five to six years, the Canadian Grain Commission has built up a surplus of funds based on user fees […] Read more