Latest articles


Father-son farmers win Ag Innovation awards

One pair found a better way to unplug the combine, the other a quick way to measure harvest losses

The newest agriculture equipment, services, and technologies — not just in North America, but in the world — are set to hit Red Deer in November. One of the highlights of Agri-Trade is the Ag Innovation awards. “It is always difficult to get it down to three winners,” said Rod Bradshaw, an Innisfail-area crop and […] Read more


All the iron is still there, but Agri-Trade has a new dimension

There’s still acres of farm equipment to be seen, but also an opportunity to upgrade your personal skill set

When you think of a farm equipment show, a motivational speaker talking about personal development might not spring to mind. But it’s exactly what women who attend Agri-Trade said they wanted to see at the popular Red Deer event. “Attendee surveys brought a strong message that there were a lot of women in agriculture who […] Read more



You want pollinators to make their home on your range

There are scores of native pollinators in Alberta — and the more you have on your rangeland, the better

There is a buzz on range- and pasture lands. And we really need to pay attention to native pollinators and the benefits that they provide, says a rangeland ecologist. “Pollinators are critical to rangelands themselves, and the plants that are there,” said Cameron Carlyle, an assistant professor at the University of Alberta, who is not […] Read more


Green grass and newborn calves a perfect match, says longtime grazer

The list of pluses is long, says Jim Bauer, including easier calving, reduced feed requirements, and calves that outgain their winter-born cousins

Assisting a cow with her calf is much nicer when the weather is pleasant — and matching calving season with the onset of green grass makes you more money, too. “When you can line up that reproductive cycle with the grass production cycle, that’s huge,” said Jim Bauer, an Acme-area rancher and former manager of […] Read more



Call (the conservation board) before you build

You may not need a permit, but water setback and manure management rules still apply


If you’re considering relocating livestock facilities, make sure you call the Natural Resources Conservation Board early on. “(We can) see if what (the producer) is planning needs a permit and if there are any other requirements they need to meet before they start doing anything and spending a whole lot of money,” said Andy Cumming, […] Read more


Ready to relocate? Don’t just jump in, says livestock facility expert

A successful move means checking off a lot of boxes, but there’s lots of help available to ensure the move goes smoothly

Do your corrals flood every year because you are close to a water body? Does your manure storage area have a river running near it? If so, the chances are you need to relocate your facilities — although you might also be eligible for funding to help you out. But the first step is to […] Read more



You need to think about shrink long before the transport truck arrives

Training your cattle to stay calm and properly preparing them for the stress of transport pays big dividends

Practising low-stress handling techniques has its benefits — it may actually help reduce shrink during transportation. “It’s about how we set animals up to interact with humans — any time you interact with them you’re training them how to respond and what to expect from humans,” said Christy Goldhawk who did her doctorate work on […] Read more


The lowdown on how buyers calculate shrink

‘Pencil shrink’ is actually designed to make the system fair and no buyer wants to see excessive shrink


What is shrink? And how is it calculated? “Actual shrink can be made up of two components,” said Sheldon Wilcox, manager at Direct Livestock Marketing in Edmonton. “One is gut fill (sometimes called excretory shrink) — which is the feed and water the animal consumes. The second one is tissue shrink.” Read more: Think about […] Read more



It pays to have a plan before turning your cattle out on pasture

Bountiful, nutritious forage doesn’t happen by accident — 
here’s how to plan for success on your ranch

A grazing plan might save you more than you think. Whether it’s a simple or detailed plan, a few key components will not only save your grass, but maybe save you a few dollars in the long run. Adjusting your stocking rate will allow you to get good-quality forage and vigorous regrowth. “Managing the amount […] Read more


Spend a little now and make money later

Reduced death loss, fewer open cows, and reduced shedding 
are major benefits from a proper vaccination program

The adage goes, ‘It takes money to make money.’ It is no different in the beef industry. “Low-cost producers do not cut corners on pasture, bulls, and herd health,” said beef economist Kathy Larson of the Western Beef Development Centre. “Spending less on these items often leads to reduced herd productivity and thereby raises your […] Read more