Latest articles


‘Realistic, simple and doable’ is key to farm safety plan

Alberta AgSafe modelled on B.C. program that makes listening the cornerstone of its approach

A safer farm begins with three questions, says a longtime farm safety consultant in B.C. What’s the problem? What have you done about it? How can you prove it? “We’re pretty good at ‘a’ and ‘b’ – we recognize the problem and we try to fix it, although sometimes we take shortcuts or monkey-fix it,” […] Read more


Farmer-led AgSafe program helps producers tackle farm safety issues

Farm Safety Week: The program is free, designed to be practical, and can be tailored for individual farms

Better farm safety can start with small steps. Even a simple act like hanging a sign can play an important role in preventing a disaster. “We have these lockout tags that say ‘Lockout. DO NOT OPERATE,’” said Donna Trottier, extension co-ordinator of the AgSafe Alberta program. “There was an incident a farmer told me about. […] Read more



The devil is in the wording when it comes to farm safety regulations

Farmer input needed before new OHS rules are enforced, says AgSafe Society chair

Progress has been made in getting the provincial government to adopt sensible, practical workplace safety rules for farms, but there’s still work to do, says the chair of the AgSafe Society of Alberta. “There’s some language in the technical wording of the legislation that can be hard to explain and figure out how they practically […] Read more


Meet DOT: the self-driving power implement

A Saskatchewan-based company has developed an autonomous tractor — minus the tractor

Bigger doesn’t always mean better — but that’s been the story of farm machinery for decades. However, could the era of huge, hulking tractors and the big implements they pull be coming to an end? Norbert Beaujot thinks so, even though the founder of SeedMaster spent most of his career building some of those increasingly […] Read more



Are you ready to step out of the cab forever?

Special Report: Will farming make a u-turn? Those long, long hours seeding can be drudgery but watching fields being sown on a tablet is brand new territory

Autonomous farm equipment would not only radically change how crops are produced, but the lives of farmers themselves. Norbert Beaujot thinks they will embrace being freed from the tractor cab. “At one end of the scale you get the young, 35- to 40-year-old farmer who really wants to get going with anything new and high […] Read more


No internet, no problem, says DOT developer

Special Report: Will farming make a u-turn?

If you don’t have good internet, would the DOT platform work on your farm? No problem, said Owen Kinch, field research manager with SeedMaster, the developer of the driverless machine. A high-power, high-range Wi-Fi network comes as part of the DOT package, with SeedMaster essentially acting as the internet service provider, he said. “The user […] Read more



Pulling needs lots of horsepower, and that means more weight

Special Report: Will farming make a u-turn?

The developer of the DOT Autonomous Power Platform says it will substantially reduce soil compaction and cut fuel usage by up to 20 per cent. It’s just physics, said Norbert Beaujot. “There is a big waste in pulling something versus having it mounted onto the body of the prime mover,” he says. “(Pulling) burns more […] Read more


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