Latest articles


Farm leaders ‘cautiously optimistic’ about transport bill

Ottawa’s new ‘transportation modernization’ bill addresses 
key concerns raised during 2013 rail crisis, but has gaps

Anew national transportation bill could leave a major gap in grain movement during the 2017 harvest — particularly in areas captive to one railway, say Alberta farm leaders. “Between Aug. 1 and when this new bill comes into effect, there’s a period where there might be a hole in performance,” said Alberta Canola director Renn […] Read more


High moisture levels could drive up canola diseases across province

Sclerotinia can reduce canola yields by up to 50 per cent — but a well-timed fungicide application can prevent some of those losses

It may be a little bit early to guess, but canola agronomist Keith Gabert predicts that sclerotinia will be a problem in canola crops this summer. “We always assume that we’re going to have sclerotinia issues,” said the Canola Council of Canada agronomist. “Typically, sclerotinia germinates under good moisture conditions, so we’re making the assumption […] Read more



Saskatchewan herbicide resistance a heads-up for Alberta

More than half of fields surveyed had a resistant weed, with Group 1-resistant wild oat at the top of the list

Alberta’s herbicide-resistant weed survey is underway this summer, but the results from Saskatchewan paint a grim picture of what to expect here. “Since 2009, there’s been an 89 per cent increase in the land area affected by herbicide-resistant weeds,” said federal research scientist Breanne Tidemann. “We are in a fairly steep incline in terms of […] Read more


Fusarium risk map launched in Alberta

Available on weatherdata.ca, the information is a tool to help producers decide whether fungicide is needed

The provincial government has launched a mobile-friendly tool that will allow cereal producers to measure their fusarium head blight risk. “Fusarium became a huge issue in Alberta last year,” said Brian Kennedy, grower relations and extension co-ordinator at Alberta Wheat Commission, which also worked on the tool. “It’s been sneaking up on the province for […] Read more



Shop local trend has changed the game at the Jungle Farm

Leona and Blaine Staples have continually diversified their farm 
to capitalize on changing consumer shopping trends

Leona and Blaine Staples produce a bit of a different kind of commodity on their operation near Penhold. “We really farm people,” said Leona Staples, who has been running the Jungle Farm with husband Blaine since 1996. “One of the passions in our life is sharing our farm with the rest of the world. We […] Read more


Strong meat demand spells bright future for goat industry

Demand is far outstripping supply for Canadian goat meat — 
and enterprising producers can capitalize on this trend

When Myrna Gisler moved back to the family farm near Innisfail, her parents decided it was time to branch out into something a little different — ostriches. That lasted all of two weeks. “I didn’t want a thing to do with them,” said Gisler with a laugh. “Those things are evil. They’re miserable creatures. I […] Read more



Hop in: Growing craft brewery market drives demand for local hops

The startup costs are significant, but demand for Alberta-grown hops is growing fast, 
and there’s money to be made for enterprising producers

A visit to an old grape orchard in the heart of B.C. wine country last summer has inspired two southern Alberta producers to try their hands at a different kind of viny crop — hops. “That was really the seed that started it all,” said Randy Adams, who owns and operates Pair O’ Dice Hops […] Read more


What’s your biggest disease threat this year?

The weather will tell the tale, but there’s one crop disease 
‘producers should be thinking about and preparing for’

Predicting crop disease problems is like taking a shot in the dark at a moving target. “For disease to develop, we need certain weather, certain hosts, and certain pathogens, so it can really be like looking into a crystal ball,” said Stephen Strelkov, a professor and researcher at the University of Alberta. “As a result, […] Read more



Farmer walking toward combine.

Nuances in labour bill could be costly, says farm group coalition

Bill 17 has made the unionization process ‘substantially easier,’ upping the likelihood 
that farm workers will unionize, says an AgCoalition report

The devil is in the details when it comes to a new labour bill that will allow farm workers to unionize, among other things. “There are a lot of little things on the ag side that are really going to affect how farmers are going to have to manage their employees,” said Kent Erickson, co-chair […] Read more


Scrapping deferred cash tickets could ‘screw up’ grain-marketing system

It’s not just farmers who will be hurt if Ottawa axes tax break — 
the entire grain sector will be dramatically affected, says MNP

Removing the deferred cash ticket system won’t just hit farmers at tax time — it could also affect the entire supply chain, interrupting the flow of grain to international markets. “If they take this deferred cash ticket system away, you’re going to have farmers refusing to move grain when we need it to move,” said […] Read more