Latest articles


Loose housing is a winning approach, says Canadian pork giant

Open sow housing is better for pigs, people, and profits, says Maple Leaf Foods executive

Many questioned whether it would work, but Maple Leaf Foods says open housing is a superior way to raise sows — and will have that system in all of its barns years before it becomes mandatory. “This is part of our vision to be the most sustainable protein company on Earth — part of that […] Read more


‘It’s happening,’ says new chair of sustainable beef group

Interest in producing — and consuming — sustainable beef is growing, says Anne Wasko

Interest in producing sustainable beef is growing thanks to a pilot program that is paying producers who meet the standards laid out by the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, says the organization’s new chair. “I think it’s happening,” said Anne Wasko. “In this business, change happens fairly slowly. But the dollars are out there — […] Read more



There’s a magic number when cooking beef — and it’s 71 C

Doubts had been raised on the safe temperature for cooked beef, but new research has settled the question

Your burger is still done at 71 C. New research has concluded that all E. coli pathogens are killed at that temperature. “The last time people wrote articles about this in 2016, there was work that referenced the implication that 71 C was not safe,” said Mark Klassen, director of technical services with the Canadian Cattlemen’s […] Read more




It’s a year of disappointment for most Alberta malt barley growers

Wicked harvest will see a lot of the malt crop downgraded, but maltsters appear to have enough

Jeff Nielsen considers himself one of the lucky ones — he got all his barley off before winter-in-September weather arrived and knows it’s malt quality. “If you got it off before all this crappy weather, you may have malt. If you still have barley now, it’s very doubtful that you have malt,” the Olds-area producer […] Read more


Concept of making money agriculture

Provincial lender triples its loan maximums for farmers

In addition to the new $15-million limit, the Crown corporation is making terms more flexible

The Agricultural Financial Services Corporation is upping the amount of money it will loan producers. The move comes after a two-year review that included public consultation and meetings with producers and industry groups. “The review found that there is strong need for AFSC’s financial support across Alberta aimed at encouraging rural development and meeting the […] Read more



Some close calls, but invasive mussels kept at bay this year

Eleven boats were found to be carrying the fast-breeding and highly destructive aquatic invaders

The massive effort to keep quagga and zebra mussels out of Alberta’s waterways once again paid dividends. “This year, inspectors surveyed 31,000 boats and found 11 carrying invasive mussels,” said Janine Higgins, an official with the Community Engagement Branch of Alberta Environment and Parks. In 2017, 35,000 boats were inspected and 19 were found to […] Read more


Pork producers need to be on guard for African swine fever

The disease is ravaging herds in China and Europe, and could come here through infected feed ingredients

African swine fever hasn’t been found in North America, but pork producers still have reason to be concerned. “If we get it, we cannot control the spread and the whole population will be destroyed by it,” said Javier Bahamon, quality assurance and production manager with Alberta Pork. “Pretty much the whole population of animals needs […] Read more



Counties remain vigilant — but not heavy handed — in clubroot battle

Extensive scouting, canola-growing bans, and seeking farmer buy-in are keys to containment strategy

As clubroot continues to spread across Alberta, many counties are in the management — not a prevention — phase. Cody McIntosh, agricultural manager for Red Deer County, said the county inspected 140 fields this year. “We confirmed another five fields (with clubroot), which is kind of the trend that everybody is seeing,” he said. “We […] Read more


Philanthropic ranchers make game-changing donation

Having an entire working ranch will take veterinary program to ‘a totally different level’

A donation of a fully working ranch — worth an astounding $44 million — will transform the University of Calgary faculty of veterinary medicine into one of the world’s top centres for animal health and welfare research. “For us, the gift from Jack Anderson and his daughter Wynne Chisholm and the families of this ranch […] Read more