Latest articles


Trying to grow malt barley can make you cry in your beer

There’s way more money in malt than feed, but just 20 per cent of growers capture 80 per cent of malt sales

Kevin Sich thinks malt barley could give canola a run for its money any day of the week — even if market share doesn’t reflect that. “Malt barley is probably one of your most profitable crops. Return on investment is probably very strong,” said Sich, Rahr Malting’s grain department manager. “But if malt barley is […] Read more


There’s no right way to be a woman on the farm

Billi J. Miller has never been a traditional ‘farmwife’ — whatever that means anyway. And that’s just fine by her. “The term ‘farmwife’ has changed so much,” said the Lloydminster-area author. “I don’t fit into that box. And there’s comfort in knowing that there are other women like you.” In 2016, Miller published her first […] Read more



Scaling up: How to take small-size research from plot to field

Many farmers are skeptical of small-plot research results, 
but proper protocols are needed to scale up to a field level

Farmers are making some pretty big decisions off test strips — and that scares JP Pettyjohn. “We could flip a coin and pretty much come up with the same answer,” said Pettyjohn, a crop technology instructor at Lakeland College. “I don’t want an answer. I want the right answer.” Small-plot trials have been widely used […] Read more


Nothing to write home about but durum is getting second looks

This could be a year when half bad looks pretty decent, and that’s why durum is getting some attention

Pulse acres are expected to drop this year, and while many are predicting a corresponding rise in canola acres, another crop is drumming up some interest among producers. “I’ll be interested to see what happens this year with the possible decrease in pulses that could happen in Canada due to all the tariffs,” said Keldon […] Read more



A tsunami of Black Sea wheat is flooding global markets

The Black Sea troika of wheat producers used to be minnows — now they’re giants and still growing

The Russians aren’t coming, they’ve already arrived. And they’ve been joined by the Kazakhs and Ukrainians. The surge of wheat exports from Black Sea producers into global grain markets isn’t new, but most Prairie farmers may not appreciate just how strong they’ve become. “Russia continues to dominate the global wheat export trade,” market analyst Marlene […] Read more


Ag industry urged to ‘do more’ about mental health issues

New organization aims to destigmatize mental illness in the agriculture industry by getting people to talk more, ask more, and listen more

Sean Stanford thought he was going to die. It happened one week last winter, and started with a pain in his chest. A heart attack, he figured. A trip to the emergency room turned up nothing. There was nothing wrong with him. And then the pain started again, worse this time. Another trip to the […] Read more



This ain’t your grandad’s conservation easement

Easements are changing with the times, making it less restrictive for producers to protect their wetlands

Producers can find the right buyers for their marginal lands — if they know where to look. “There is a market out there now for some of these parcels of land that producers might have a hard time off-loading because they’re wet,” said Warren Robb, provincial policy specialist at Ducks Unlimited Canada. And his organization […] Read more


You might soon be seeding in February or March

Researchers successfully grow ‘spring-type winter wheats’ in 
Alberta and say it could be an option by 2020

What kind of wheat crop might you get if you seeded in February or March? One that’s not half bad, if the preliminary results of a recent federal research study are any indication. “How can you get a little more yield? Well, you can put it in the ground a little bit earlier,” said University […] Read more



Forget those dungeons and dragons games — you can now go farming

New smartphone game teaches players about sustainable food production — and you can trade points for (virtual) land!

Not everyone is cut out to be a farmer, but thanks to a new game, anyone with a smartphone can get a taste of what it means to feed the world. “There’s definitely a disconnect between consumers and what happens on the farm, and I think people are curious,” said Lindsey Verhaeghe, a corporate social responsibility […] Read more


Canola producers get two new tools in the fight against blackleg

Tools to estimate yield loss and pinpoint the strain infesting your fields can help reduce the economic hit

Blackleg has become an expensive problem for canola producers, but growers will soon have two new tools to reduce the economic impact of the disease. “Blackleg wasn’t a real concern even a few years ago, but now it’s becoming increasingly important,” said Stephen Strelkov, a professor of plant pathology at the University of Alberta. “This […] Read more