Latest articles


Government cash makes it a sunny day for solar power

Growing Forward 2 has put extra dollars on the table, but they’re expected 
to be snapped up in a hurry

If you want to get into solar, there’s now more government cash on the table — but you’ll have to hurry. The On-Farm Solar Photovoltaics Program now offers 75 cents per watt for projects of 100 kilowatts or less, and 56 cents per watt for installations that are between 100 and 150 watts. Both have […] Read more


Olds College to become a hub for ‘smart agriculture’

A new $32-million institute is being created to put the college on the bleeding edge of high-tech agriculture

You’ve heard about precision agriculture. Now get ready for what leading educators and thinkers are calling the next step beyond precision ag — smart agriculture. Smart agriculture, as it is defined today, is the optimization of technology and science for the efficient use of land and water for both economic and environmental sustainability. If it […] Read more



How the new Werklund Institute will work

The plan includes a business incubator, ‘thought leader,’ mentorship program, and a new approach to teaching

The Werklund Agriculture Institute is currently in its pilot stages and expected to start up in 2019. It will feature four key components: Werklund Growth Centre: a hub for companies, entrepreneurs, investors and students to access college land and facilities for development, scaling, and demonstration of smart agriculture technologies, products, and services. This is something […] Read more


Doing your own research? Then keep it simple

You can collect lots of data but much of it may be of no use — or worse, it might lead you down the wrong path

There’s a big world of information out there today, more so than ever before. When it comes to precision ag, universities, applied research institutions, governments, and companies all have their own research recommending everything from the best VRT settings to the right seed depth in specific soil profiles. And all those reams and reams of […] Read more



It’s always a jam-packed lineup at Farmfair

Here are a few of the events worth checking out at this year’s edition

Farmfair International features a lot to see and do during its Nov. 8-12 run, including all sorts of cattle, equine, and educational events. “It’s five full days packed full of programming,” said Suzanne Bielert, agriculture event manager with Northlands. “We look at what’s happening in the industry, what’s new and exciting, and then we work […] Read more


Farmfair International gears up for expanded show

Farmfair is growing this year with a partnership with Agri-Trade and increased international interest

Despite challenges in recent years, Farmfair International is on deck to have one of its biggest shows in 2017, with 100 international buyers from 14 markets lined up. One of Alberta’s longest-running agricultural trade shows, the Nov. 8-12 event at the Edmonton Expo Centre will, for this year at least, again run concurrently with the […] Read more



Proceed with caution when it comes to micronutrients, says agronomist

It’s not hard to spend thousands of dollars on micronutrients that aren’t needed or produce little benefit, 
says Ross McKenzie

Farmers need to put on their critical thinking caps when dealing with micronutrient claims — or risk spending lots of money for no or marginal results. There is a lot of hype surrounding supplemental micronutrients right now, said Ross McKenzie, a retired agronomy research scientist. However, not all micronutrients are created equally; some of the […] Read more


Carbon credit program ain’t what it used to be

A rising carbon tax should put more money 
in farmers’ pockets, 
but participation rates have gone down

Greenhouse gases were on the minds of many Alberta farmers a decade ago when no till offered good cash from selling carbon offset credits. Fast-forward to 2017 and things have changed. Although there is still a lot of participation in the province’s carbon credit trading and sequestration program, many believe it has become too demanding, […] Read more



Farmers who know the ropes stay with the program

It takes time and effort to fulfil the record-keeping requirements 
for the carbon trading program

It’s difficult to track exactly how many farmers participate in the province’s carbon trading program. The tonnage of carbon traded by producers has been constant in the last few years, but there’s likely been a drop-off since 2012 when the ability to claim historical carbon credits ended, said a greenhouse gas agrologist with Alberta Agriculture […] Read more


Do your homework before installing tile drainage

Finding out what constitutes a wetland and finding a suitable outlet for drained water are two key considerations

Tile drainage is becoming increasingly popular among Alberta producers concerned about losing valuable land and inputs to excess water. Although tile drainage can be beneficial, it is not without its dangers if a system is designed incorrectly — or if producers don’t know the rules. In Alberta, tile drainage systems — like all drainage or […] Read more