Fusarium head blight infections hit record high in 2016

Almost one-quarter of cereal samples from 2016 have tested positive for fusarium head blight — a 10 per cent jump from 2014’s previous record high

Fusarium head blight continued its devastating march across Alberta last summer, and shows no sign of slowing down. “It’s become something that’s well established in the southern part of the province, and the situation is starting to change elsewhere in the province, especially central and northern Alberta,” said Kelly Turkington, a research scientist with Agriculture […] Read more


Want to give back? Mentors wanted for female agri-food entrepreneurs

The Success for Women in Agri-Food program is searching for mentors 
across the province willing to share their experience

When faced with a problem at work, most people head straight to their boss’s office for advice. But what happens when you are the boss? That was Bryanna Kumpula’s challenge when she became executive director at the Agriculture and Food Council of Alberta four years ago. And when that happened, she turned to her mentor […] Read more



Agriculture Day event aims to bond producers and consumers over dinner

Event to be held on Feb. 16 at Willow Lane Barn

Great conversations often happen over a great meal, and that’s just what the organizers of A Seat at our Table are banking on for their upcoming Canada Agriculture Day event in Olds. “In typical agricultural fashion, we have a tendency to present ourselves through facts, and the average consumer isn’t going to get that — […] Read more


They’re crushing it! And that’s a good thing

Canola crushers are enjoying hefty margins, but that’s actually good news 
for farmers — especially given the poor-quality crop

Poor conditions at harvest have been good for Western Canada’s crushers, which are soaking up canola that would otherwise be hard to market. Weekly canola crush levels hit a record high of just over 200,000 tonnes the first week in January for the second time ever. While crush levels dipped the following week, the total […] Read more



Root rot pathogens deliver one-two punch to pea fields

Two root rot pathogens are teaming up to wreak havoc in Alberta’s pea fields. “Before 2016, I thought that we were just dealing with fusarium root rot in the brown soil zone, but 2016 completely changed that hypothesis,” said Syama Chatterton, plant pathologist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. “We saw a lot of aphanomyces root […] Read more


Find ‘your own reasons’ to make your farm safer, says expert

Finding time is often the biggest hurdle, but farm safety expert Donna Trottier says 
the key is to start small and build on that

It’s been one year since Alberta’s controversial farm and ranch safety legislation came into effect, and the jury is still out as to whether the act is actually making farms across the province safer. But preventing agriculture-related injuries is “pretty complex,” and legislation alone can’t bear that load without some support from training and education, […] Read more



Chuck the crystal ball — protect your downside

If you’re worried about missing big rallies and don’t like delivery commitments, 
then consider options, says David Derwin

David Derwin has one piece of advice for farmers wondering where markets will go in 2017: “Expect the unexpected.” “A lot of the marketing advice out there is about trying to guess where the market is going to go, and I think too much time is spent there,” said Derwin, an investment adviser with PI […] Read more


ONE FOR THE BOOKS: Lessons learned, and a look ahead

‘Don’t wait for the perfect day’ is one of the key lessons from 2016, 
and sticking to rotations may be one for this year

Allison Ammeter didn’t see the inside of a combine in October. As harvest carried on across the province, Ammeter was left waiting and wondering when the rains would stop and whether she and husband Mike would finish harvest before the snow started flying. They didn’t. “We got not quite two-thirds done, which is fairly average […] Read more



Canola may soon be able to text  you when it needs to be sprayed

Nano-biosensors are more accurate than checklists at determining when to spray for sclerotinia

An Alberta researcher has found a tiny way to solve a big problem for canola farmers — using nano-biosensors to detect sclerotinia stem rot in the field, eliminating the need for visual scouting. “Sclerotinia stem rot is one of the most devastating diseases in canola farming, and scientists have worked very hard to try and […] Read more


farmer in a field

Believe it or not — urban men are in better health than farmers

Stress and constantly working take their toll, but there’s a free and proven program that helps farmers enjoy healthier, better lives


You take good care of your land, your equipment, and your animals. But do you take the same care with your own health? Farmers tend not to think of themselves as a ‘tool’ that needs regular maintenance, says the program manager of Sustainable Farm Families Alberta. Combines, for instance, go into the shop before every […] Read more