Latest articles


Cannabis legalization opens the doors to new hemp markets

Hemp seed has driven most of Alberta production, but CBD offers rich promise for the future

Jan Slaski was one of many Canadians who celebrated last fall’s passage of the act legalizing cannabis — but not for the reasons you might think. After 17 years of researching industrial hemp, Slaski was simply excited what he views as the next Cinderella crop might finally make it to the ball. “It’s a game […] Read more


High-quality seed may be tough to find heading into spring

Like everyone else, seed growers were hit hard last year

Seeding this spring is going to be a little like the Indianapolis 500. No matter which seed you plant, you’ll probably cross the finish line — but you’re going to get there a whole lot faster in a Lamborghini than a LeBaron. Seed with both high germination and high vigour will help you win the […] Read more



The mystery deepens as third case of PED found in Alberta

It’s not known how the devastating virus arrived or how it showed up in one isolated room on a second farm

Alberta hog producers are no closer to answers about how a devastating virus found its way into the province after a third case of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) was confirmed at the start of March. “There are several possibilities about how it’s spreading that involve transportation, and we’re still looking into that at this […] Read more


Producers value farm data, but fear how it’s being used

An FCC survey found that one in four farmers has become less comfortable sharing data

The topic of data management tends to draw a lot of yawns from farmers. But in an increasingly digitized world, it shouldn’t. “This is one of the hottest topics in agriculture,” said Fred Wall, Farm Credit Canada’s vice-president of marketing. “It’s something that I think the industry needs to take very seriously.” And that shift […] Read more



East-central Alberta couple named Outstanding Young Farmers

This year’s Outstanding Young Farmers weren’t expecting a win when they were nominated alongside three other Alberta farm families at the Outstanding Young Farmers’ regional event in early February. “In the beginning, we didn’t think we were anything too special. We just do what we do,” said Natasha Pospisil, who owns and operates three agricultural […] Read more


Wetland conservation a ‘win-win’ in dry ranching country

Wetland conservation has changed a lot since TK Ranch began partnering with Ducks Unlimited in 1957

Making a living off the land in Special Areas No. 2 has never been an easy prospect. During the Dirty ’30s, farmers in this little pocket of southeast Alberta were among the hardest hit in the province. And in a dry year, the area isn’t much better off today. There’s very little topsoil, very little […] Read more



Railway pace ahead of last year

Both major rail companies were on track for good performance coming into 2019, but poor weather has derailed their progress

Grain shipments by rail are leaps and bounds ahead of last year — but there’s still a long way to go. “I think both railways have really stepped up the volume, but we haven’t been without our issues,” said Mark Hemmes, president of Quorum Corporation, the agency tasked with monitoring grain movement by rail. “If […] Read more




Making the grade — new yield standards will drive change

New yield grades based on what retailers want will affect both genetics and management

Canada’s new beef yield grade standards will make it easier for beef producers to know which of their cattle are hitting top marks — and which ones literally aren’t making the grade. “In the old system, we basically had a high, medium, and low classification, and for many years, we had more than half of […] Read more


Buckle up: Here’s your economic forecast for 2019

Canada’s top ag economist has the lowdown on the economy, trade, interest rates, and your income

What’s the forecast for Canadian ag? How about murky with a good chance of turbulence? ‘Headwinds’ was the phrase du jour when the country’s foremost ag economist came by FarmTech late last month. “There are lots of good things going on in the industry, but lots of headwinds as well — trade tensions, weather, excess […] Read more