Latest articles


Weed pressure ramps up in late spring

Weeds that emerge a week before the crop can cause up to 50 per cent yield loss

In a late spring like this one, you might be tempted to skip spraying for weeds to make up for lost time — but that decision could cost you. “The last few years, we’ve had early springs, so people weren’t feeling like they were under the gun,” said Harry Brook, crop specialist with Alberta Agriculture […] Read more


Plenty of jobs in budding cannabis industry

Spots in Olds College cannabis program snapped up in hours, with hundreds of jobs in Alberta beckoning

Olds College’s new cannabis production program isn’t some half-baked idea — it’s high time. “We’ve been offering horticulture programming for over 50 years, so it makes sense for this new facet of the horticulture industry to come our way for training,” said Debbie Thompson, the college’s vice-president academic and student experience. “It’s a new industry […] Read more



You can’t make heat, but you can pick the right variety for corn silage

Harvesting at the right time to maximize digestibility is also key

Feeding corn silage to cattle comes with some risks in Alberta — but there are ways you can manage that. “There are a lot of different factors that will affect yield and quality in corn silage,” said federal research scientist Karen Beauchemin. “You have some control over some of these factors, but not all. So […] Read more


Still just taking pretty pictures? Drones could be making you money

It’s taken a while but more and more producers are discovering ways to boost their profits with drones

Mike Barrett was trying to find a practical use for a pricey toy when he decided to fly his drone over his feedlot to count his cattle. That was when his purchase paid off. “With the average gain of the cattle, we easily paid for the drone in the first year that we counted that […] Read more



Farmland prices double in last five years

Many farmers thought prices were out of whack in 2013, but time has proven they were wrong

How expensive is Alberta farmland? Try double what it was just five years ago. “Over the last five years, we’ve seen cash farm receipts going up across the country and especially in Alberta,” said Joel Bokenfohr, manager of business structures and financial policy with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. “We have a strong farm economy where […] Read more


Farmers benefit from business etiquette, too

For some, just hearing the word ‘etiquette’ is enough to send cold shivers down their spine. It brings up memories of motherly commands — such as, ‘Keep your elbows off the table!’ or, ‘For God’s sake, chew with your mouth closed!’ — or conjures up pictures of fancy dinners with white-gloved waiters and six different […] Read more



Key source of clubroot resistance goes AWOL

‘Grandparent’ can defeat new mutated clubroot strains but somehow it doesn’t get passed down

The ‘grandparent’ of clubroot resistance in most Canadian canola varieties is resistant to new virulent strains of clubroot — but its offspring aren’t. “It’s possible that, in the course of breeding, some of the resistant genes were lost,” said provincial research scientist Rudolph Fredua-Agyeman. European clubroot differential (ECD) 04 is a key source of clubroot […] Read more


‘Terroir’ turns everyday malt into ‘luxury barley’

From central Oregon to Daysland, growers are turning a commodity crop into something unique and special

Whisky from Scotland’s Isle of Islay. Champagne from its namesake region of France. Craft malt from Daysland, Alberta. People will pay a premium for all sorts of specialty products — as long as they like the taste. The brewing industry isn’t quite there yet, but it could be. Just ask Seth Klann. “We’ll buy wine […] Read more



It’s a Spornado! But that’s good news for cereal growers

New tool for detecting disease-causing spores being rolled out across the Prairies

Hold on to your hats — the Spornado is coming. “(The Spornado) is a really good tool that’s been developed over the last couple of years,” said Trevor Blois, disease diagnostician for 20/20 Seed Labs. “It’s just a passive spore catcher that has been used by potato growers in Ontario to detect late blight spores, […] Read more


Bold new plan aims to generate some new love for barley

New action plan targets seven million barley acres and yields of 95 bushels per acre by 2028

The current state of Canada’s barley industry is grim. “Barley’s piece of the pie is shrinking,” said Shannon Sereda, manager of market development and policy for Alberta Barley. “It’s no longer in a dominant position like it once was in Western Canada.” Barley acres across the Prairies have been in a long-term decline, Sereda said […] Read more