Latest articles

A taxing situation — study says there’s no easy fix to county’s cattle tax

The levy on feedlot cattle has some justification, a lot of drawbacks, and no trouble-free alternatives, says new study

Lethbridge County’s head tax is unfair for cattle feeders — but there’s no easy alternative. Those are the key takeaways from a new study that looked at both the impact of a per-cow tax, and how the county could raise badly needed funds for maintaining and repairing its roads. Read more: Lethbridge County ‘head tax’ ruled […] Read more

Feds backpedal on plans to scrap cash ticket deferral system

The federal government has changed its tune on cash ticket deferrals

Dean Gallimore breathed a big sigh of relief when he learned that the federal government had scrapped its plans to eliminate the cash ticket deferral system. “This is a relief in a big way,” said the chartered accountant. “I was very concerned that they were going to scrap the system. Farmers could deal with that, […] Read more

Solar watering can save stress during droughts

Long viewed as a band-aid solution for droughts, solar watering systems can help raise your grazing game

Cattle grazer Tim Hoven has a love-hate relationship with solar watering systems. “When it works great, it’s amazing. But when there’s complications, it’s extremely frustrating — just like any piece of technology,” the Eckville-area producer said in an interview last month. “Yesterday, I was literally out fighting a frozen water line that had drained the […] Read more

Balance your soil nutrient budget this fall through soil testing

Nitrogen prices have reached lows not seen in over a decade

Your soil keeps a budget for nutrients, and how much you will need next year depends on how much you took out this year. “Most of the time when it comes to assessing what soil nutrient levels might be like, typically what you can do is look at your yields,” said provincial crop specialist Mark […] Read more

Buckle up — workplace safety rules may be in for a rough ride

Mandatory seatbelt use is among several ‘pretty big’ regulations that don’t make sense, 
says the AgCoalition

Over the objections of its farmer members, a committee has recommended the province make seatbelt use mandatory in tractors, combines, and other farm equipment. Forcing farmers to buckle up is just one — although likely the most controversial — of 142 recommendations from four “technical working groups” established to turn Bill 6 into actual occupational […] Read more

THE GOLDEN CROP: The story for canola keeps getting better

Near-record crush and increasing global demand show that canola’s successful run is far from over

Canola is king across Alberta — and there’s no reason to think it won’t have a long and healthy reign. “Canola offers a leading and consistent mix of superior agronomics and strong demand,” said Greg Kostal, president of Kostal Ag Consulting. “Yeah, it has its ups and downs, and there’s little micro-reasons for it. But […] Read more

Last chance to provide feedback on sustainable beef program

There’s one more chance to comment on the Verified Sustainable Beef Framework 
prior to its December rollout

So far, so good. There’s been strongly positive feedback from cattle producers on the proposed criteria that will govern ‘sustainable’ beef, says the co-chair of the committee overseeing their development. More than 100 comments were received on the criteria, called indicators, for raising cattle in a sustainable manner, said Page Stuart, a cattle feeder and […] Read more

Closure of loading sites ‘one more nail in the coffin’

Producer car sites, even little-used ones, are critical because they give producers options, says Daysland-area farmer

The closure of 17 CP producer car loading sites across Western Canada is “one more nail in the coffin” for alternatives in grain marketing for farmers, says the chair of an Alberta short line railway. “Being a producer car loader most of my life and being involved with the railway — which started out as […] Read more

TOUGH MEASURES: Some counties taking zero-tolerance stand on clubroot

Destroying a canola crop is a last resort, but some counties say it’s necessary — and one took that step this spring

Some Alberta counties are taking a zero-tolerance approach to clubroot — and canola growers are learning the hard way that they mean business. “Our policy basically states that if you have clubroot, you cannot seed that land back to canola for four years,” said Steve Upham, reeve for the County of St. Paul. “We were […] Read more

Hand over wheat field in early summer evening.

Wheat growers, plan this fall for next year’s wheat class changes

Almost 30 wheat varieties will be transitioning to the new Northern Hard Red class 
next August, and that could impact your bottom line

Alberta wheat producers need to start preparing this fall for next year’s Canadian wheat class changes. “When some farmers plant their wheat in the spring, it will be Canadian Western Red Spring, and when they harvest it, it will be in the new class,” said Brian Kennedy, grower relations and extension co-ordinator at Alberta Wheat. […] Read more