Latest articles


Talk about a yo-yo: Cattle prices jump to near-record highs

The glory days of 2015 were a distant memory last fall — and then all of a sudden prices shot up again

Alberta cattle producers are enjoying unexpectedly strong pricing this spring with both fed cattle and calf prices in Alberta rallying almost 50 per cent since last fall’s painful lows. “There’s always going to be someone who says they saw it coming. We didn’t,” said Brian Perillat, manager and senior analyst with CanFax, the Canadian Cattlemen’s […] Read more


Broadcast seeding: A last-resort option may gain traction this season

It’s far from ideal, but broadcasting may be the only choice for some this seeding season

All winter, many Albertan crop producers have had the distinct displeasure of driving past acres — in some cases, the many acres — they were unable to harvest last fall. In a best-case scenario, there will be enough time to harvest any redeemable crop, manage residue, and still seed in a timely fashion. But some […] Read more



It’s not business as usual when it comes to fertilizing this year

Unharvested crops mean there’s more nutrients in the soil and if you have to broadcast, there’s a chance to top up the nutrient bank

Nutrient management is a challenge even in average years — but a million unharvested acres mean this year will be far from average. Step one is determining available nutrients. In a cereal crop, the vast majority of the nitrogen, phosphorus and sulphur and about one-fifth of the potassium taken in by the plant are contained […] Read more


Young mechanic fixing plow on the tractor

Lack of maintenance could bite you hard this seeding season

Breakdowns hurt even more during a narrow seeding window — here’s some advice on last-minute servicing

Efficiency is likely to be more important this seeding season than ever for many Alberta farmers. To squeeze as many acres into the tight seeding window as possible, the temptation is to jack up travel speed and many wonder if they should invest in higher-tech equipment. Those farmers will be looking in the wrong direction […] Read more



New tool for managing nutrient run-off

Free downloadable tool for assessing phosphorus run-off risk and creating a 
customized mitigation plan will be available this spring

As more and more farmers, politicians and laypeople are coming to understand, nutrient run-off from farm fields into waterways is a very big deal. When not managed properly, nutrients from fertilizer and manure make their way into creeks, lakes, dugouts, and other water bodies. But a new tool to help mitigate phosphorus run-off risk will […] Read more


This is not good — triple-resistant kochia has entered Alberta

Glyphosate-resistant kochia was bad but there’s a new strain that’s much worse

Kochia, one of Western Canada’s most abundant and economically devastating weed species, has won another major battle in overcoming herbicide. This summer, the first known Group 4 herbicide-resistant kochia was identified in a durum wheat field in southwestern Saskatchewan. And samples currently being tested from a farm in southern Alberta are also suspected to be […] Read more



Cattle feeders get proactive with new feedlot animal welfare audit

Rather than wait and see multiple audits imposed by packers and retailers, 
the National Cattle Feeders Association developed an easy-to-use tool

Last April, the Vancouver-based Earls restaurant chain announced it would no longer source its beef from Canada, opting instead for ‘Certified Humane’ beef sourced from the United States. Though pressure from customers loyal to Canadian beef eventually forced the chain to reverse the decision, those most in the know — the feedlot associations and meat […] Read more


The enticing — and sometimes scary — world of alternative crops

Crops like fababeans and hemp don’t command huge acres, 
but have been successful alternatives for Alberta producers

Farmers are nothing if not optimistic — optimistic that Mother Nature will be kind; that prices will be good; and that today’s work will pay off a month, six months, or a year down the road. But for all their hopefulness, only some are willing to stray far from tried-and-true crops. “There is always some […] Read more



Winter wheat not feeling the love

The crop’s backers say there’s a host of reasons to grow the 
fall-seeded crops, but admit it’s been a struggle to convince farmers

The arguments are persuasive: Winter wheat typically requires less crop inputs than its spring-seeded counterparts, yet can yield 20 per cent more and is known to bring greater — sometimes significantly greater — financial returns. The crop also reduces spring seeding time pressure, widens the fall harvest window, and offers environmental benefits. Yet, winter wheat […] Read more


Costly corn planter gives ultra-consistent canola stands

Craig Shaw loved the results, and lower seed cost, 
but the pricey equipment is a major barrier

It’s one of those farming Catch 22s. On the one hand, the high cost of canola seed makes it tempting to minimize one’s seeding rate — on the other hand, a strong and consistent canola stand is key to good returns. In the American Corn Belt, producers have found a solution by repurposing their corn […] Read more