Latest articles


Even as tariffs fall, new trade barriers arise

Protectionists don’t give up when their government signs a free trade deal

Donald Trump might not get his wall — but other invisible walls are going up around the world. “We’re in an era of protectionism, and in an era of protectionism, we have governments and regulators that are looking for any excuse to block trade,” said Cam Dahl, president of Cereals Canada. “So we can’t give […] Read more


A new age of ag education is underway, says Olds College research director

Joy Agnew says ‘digital ag’ is revolutionizing how students are being trained in agriculture

Joy Agnew says her first few days at her new job were totally overwhelming — in a good way. After a nearly 10-year stint at the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute, Agnew began her new job as director of applied research at Olds College in early January and hit the ground running. “The shift to digital […] Read more



Protein supercluster to launch this spring

Protein Industries Canada will soon be actively seeking proposals

A government-backed bid to turn Western Canada into a plant protein superpower is nearing the end of its startup phase and will launch this spring. “We’re hoping to be open for business and ready to launch a call for proposals in April,” said Bill Greuel, CEO of Protein Industries Canada. The federal government is contributing […] Read more


Political gamesmanship casts shadow over canola sector

China is still buying Canadian canola and the entire industry is hoping that doesn’t change

Concerns in the canola sector are mounting in lockstep with the growing tensions between China and Canada. “Everybody is very concerned about it,” a senior Canadian grain company official told Commodity News Service Canada. “If the conflict isn’t resolved, (canola) will be the obvious target, and that’s a deep concern to everybody.” The situation began […] Read more



If this is the future, it can’t come soon enough

Unless you love writing cheques for inputs, you’ll want to cheer on the work of these three scientists

Grow more with less — that’s the goal of three Alberta researchers whose work could revolutionize the way we grow cereals. “Canadian agriculture will be facing quite high demand for food production because of the growing global population and reduction in arable land,” said federal research biologist Alicja Ziemienowicz. “We’re trying to give you the […] Read more


Drying grain may become the norm as harvests trend later

Natural air drying with supplemental heat hasn’t caught on in Alberta yet, but it soon could

Alberta farmers may need to get used to leaving grain in the field at harvest. “Harvest might be starting earlier, but poor weather during the harvest season is slowing down that last little bit of harvest, and there’s more and more crop being left in the field in October,” said Joy Agnew, program manager at […] Read more



Wheat breeders get a cheat sheet

‘Breeder chip’ doesn’t make the process faster but ups the odds of hitting pay dirt

Plant breeding is strictly a numbers game — but researchers have found a way to improve the odds with help from a new tool called a ‘breeder chip.’ “Breeding is like a lottery. The more tickets you buy, the greater the chance of success,” said Curtis Pozniak, a professor of plant sciences and wheat breeder […] Read more


It’s all about the grass at this all-inclusive cattle resort in the Rockies

Waldron Ranch has been a paradise for cows for over a century — and will be for centuries to come

Ranchers along the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains watched her as she made her way through the foothills, walking for miles and miles and forcing her way through every fence until she reached her destination. That old cow just had to get back to Waldron Ranch. “She does it every year after weaning,” said […] Read more



The future looks bright for today’s agriculture grads

A decade and a half ago, ag programs were struggling to attract students — that’s changed dramatically

Alot of young people — and their parents — weren’t so keen on farming’s prospects 15 years ago. “Fifteen years ago, enrolments were low in ag programs across Canada,” said Josie Van Lent, dean of agricultural sciences at Lakeland College. “Farmers didn’t want to send their sons or daughters into agriculture because they thought there […] Read more


When it comes to the big two crop diseases, those really were the good old days

Fifteen years ago, a ‘funny’ new disease was found — today clubroot combined with fusarium is a killer one-two punch

Fifteen years ago, Dan Orchard was working as an agronomist at a retailer when he got a phone call about something “funny” in a customer’s canola field. The plants were prematurely ripened and the roots looked strange. Orchard had a hunch of what he was looking at, but a visit with a plant pathologist confirmed […] Read more