Latest articles


Prepare this fall to manage blackleg in canola next spring

A new diagnostic test will make it easier for producers to match the right kind of blackleg-resistant seed to the specific race in their fields

There are things you can do this fall to reduce your risk of blackleg next spring — and the first step is to scout for it. “The more you can identify it, the more you’re going to know whether you’re successful at controlling it,” said Clint Jurke, agronomy director for the Canola Council of Canada. […] Read more


Donation will spark conservation projects across southern Alberta

A $500,000 gift from philanthropist David Bissett will fund 186 projects on 39 farms and ranches

A$500,000 donation will create almost 1,000 additional acres of conservation land in southern Alberta. “This funding pretty clearly identifies ALUS’s niche,” said Bryan Gilvesy, CEO of ALUS Canada, the organization receiving the donation. “This program isn’t about the traditional environmental ethics of protecting existing features. This harnesses the skills and energy of farmers and ranchers […] Read more



Imagine you couldn’t grow canola, warns farm leader

Clubroot’s arrival in the Peace isn’t a shocker, but it’s another sign 
farmers are flirting with disaster, say canola experts

In the war between canola producers and clubroot, clubroot is winning. “The clubroot-infested area is spreading at roughly about 30 kilometres a year, and we’re only managing it at 20 kilometres a year,” said Dan Orchard, agronomy specialist for the Canola Council of Canada. “We got an appreciation this year for just how fast it […] Read more


Forestburg 4-H club lets members clown around

Not many people can say they just clown around when volunteering, but 4-H leader Caroline Boddy does just that, thanks (in part) to her willingness to say yes. “I am notorious for just saying yes to absolutely everything,” Boddy said with a laugh. “That seems to work really, really well for me — it opens […] Read more



Biosecurity proves its worth in PEDv fight

Rather than slaughter recovered pigs, authorities move them to clean barns 
and then closely monitor them

Manitoba hog producers battling porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) aren’t out of the woods yet — but the situation has shown that biosecurity measures are effective. “We had not had any positive cases since July 14, but yesterday, one infected premises was confirmed positive based on samples collected from pigs,” Manitoba’s acting chief veterinary officer […] Read more


New technology poised to give barley a boost

Researchers aim to breed barley tailored to very specific needs

There’s a bright future for boring old barley. Aside from malt, barley doesn’t generate a lot of excitement for Prairie grain growers — something you can see in acreage figures (which have fallen by more than a third in Alberta and by nearly half in Western Canada during the past decade). But new technology is […] Read more



Proposed tax changes could hit farmers hard

Ottawa’s plan to make wealthy Canadians pay their fair share of taxes could cripple your retirement or succession plans

Proposed changes to the federal income tax act could have far-reaching consequences for Canadian farmers. “The proposals that came out in July are so wide reaching and so complicated that they could significantly impact all farms across Canada,” said Allan Sawiak, a taxation partner at accounting firm Kingston Ross Pasnak in Edmonton. “This will affect […] Read more


There are (giga) tonnes of benefits from properly grazed grasslands

Light to moderate grazing can enhance soil carbon levels by as much as 40 per cent — 
if the land is managed properly

Even with no-till, grain farming depletes soil carbon levels, says a University of Alberta researcher. “If you increase crop production above ground, you decrease carbon production below ground,” said Barry Irving, manager of the university’s ag research stations. “When you take production from below ground and move it above ground, that’s great for agriculture — […] Read more



You’re being watched — by grain buyers worried about residues

It hasn’t happened yet, but exceeding residue limits on exported grain could cause a ‘big problem’

Grain growers are again being urged to heed the labels on their pre-harvest pesticides and avoid going over maximum residue limits. “We’re selling our crops mostly into export, and our exports markets are very sensitive to residual levels of different crop protection products that we use,” said Alberta Wheat Commission chair Kevin Auch, who farms […] Read more


New ag policy aims to sweeten the AgriStability pot

More farmers have been opting out of the farm-income support 
program after changes in 2013 reduced the potential payout

CAP is a rather fitting acronym for the recently announced Canadian Agricultural Partnership, the latest government ‘policy framework’ that governs its farm support programs. “That’s a very easy way for people to remember the two major changes that have come about here,” said Steve Funk, director of farm income programs at MNP. “They’ve capped the […] Read more