Latest articles


High fire risk means burning unharvested crops should be a ‘last resort’

Extension specialist says cereal crops may have more value than expected, and a ‘normal’ spring looks likely

For Clair Langlois, burning unharvested cereal crops this spring should be “a last resort.” “It is quick, but it’s very risky,” said the provincial cereal extension specialist. “With Slave Lake followed by Fort McMurray, a lot of these municipalities are not tickled pink about burning. “So you’ve got to have a Plan B ready to […] Read more


A terrible toll: Farming still claims too many lives

The latest statistics 
show an encouraging but modest decline in the number of farm fatalities

The number of people killed in farm accidents continues to decline, but a new report also says “there is no more dangerous occupation” than farming. The average number of fatalities fell from 116 annually from 1990 to 2001 to 84 in the latest 10-year reporting period (2003 to 2012), according to Canadian Agricultural Injury Reporting […] Read more



How to build a soil-health bank account

This organic production technique offers a big-picture view of nutrient management — 
and a ‘tough love’ approach to soil fertility

Soil is a little like a bank account for nutrients — in order to manage them properly, you need to balance the budget. “No matter how big the bank account is, if you only take stuff out, eventually it runs out,” said University of Manitoba research technician Joanne Thiessen Martens. “We need to look at […] Read more


Pulse sector still on tenterhooks

India’s insistence on fumigation of pulse imports throws up major barrier to Canadian pulse shipments


Canada’s pulse industry is still waiting to hear whether India will reverse a decision that could seriously hamper Prairie exports to its largest market. For more than a decade, India has required most pulse shipments be fumigated with methyl bromide in the country of origin. But Canada and some other countries were granted an exemption, […] Read more



Record-high canola crush is good news — but only for some growers

Growers can only hope discounts for damaged canola are reduced as supply dwindles

Alberta’s canola crush plants may be running at a record-high pace this year — but that only really benefits farmers who are close to those facilities, says a farmer northeast of Edmonton. “We’ve got it in the bins, but we’ve got no place to haul it,” said Doug Scott, whose closest crush plant is in […] Read more


Pulse sector roiled by India’s fumigation edict

Science says our pulses are safe — but industry officials are preparing a Plan B if India won’t back down

The clock is ticking on whether Indian officials will reverse an edict requiring Canadian pulse shipments to be fumigated at the port of origin rather than at their destination. Federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay and a delegation from Pulse Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency were in India at the beginning of March to […] Read more



Have your say on employment standards and labour relations regulations

Two reports — one for employment standards, one for labour relations — will be available for public comment until April 3

Alberta farmers have asked to have their say on proposed new workplace safety rules — and the provincial government says they will now have their chance. The NDP government is asking Albertans to give their views on two reports on proposed employment standards and labour relations recommendations. Feedback will be accepted until April 3 online, […] Read more




Is a grain transportation remedy finally on its way?

A new rail bill is due this spring. Will Ottawa find a fix for long-standing issues or will it be more of the same old?

A new rail transport bill is on the horizon, but it’s still too soon to say whether that will bring about meaningful change for Canadian farmers. “We’ll see what comes out in the new rail bill — how far they’re willing to go on this,” said Steve Pratte, manager of policy development for the Canadian […] Read more


The last big challenge for drones

Advanced technology to spot disease, pest, and health issues early on is already here — 
but using that data still has many challenges

Sure, drones are cool and all. But when it comes to your farm, it’s all about the data they gather — and figuring out how to use all that info. “Ultimately, that is what’s going to change the way we manage our crops, by giving us better information about them,” Markus Weber, president of Edmonton-based […] Read more